“79% of people ages 18-44 have their smartphones within arms reach 22 hours a day.” – Adweek
One of the most common misconceptions regarding social media is that it is merely another free-and-therefore-fleeting marketing channel, causing it to be an afterthought when discussing budgets and staff responsibilities. Can you identify any problems with this viewpoint? For the next several years, social media (in all of its various forms) is the battlefield where brands will live or die, simple as that. This is all depending upon their commitment to growing an audience and nurturing these followers into a meaningful community. Some are winning at this, many are losing. And despite what you’ve been told, it’s not about the numbers.
Take a moment and think about some of the most memorable stories you’ve ever been told. How many people were in the room when you heard the one impactful story or piece of advice that just came into your mind? While peer validation is important in social media, numbers don’t mean as much as you might think.
Despite the vastness of global social networks, it all comes down to a one-on-one experience between a follower and your brand. (By the way, we cringe at the word “followers” in social media. It conjures up images of lemmings and cattle. In truth, you should be following your audience as much as they follow you – utilizing the opportunity to get real-time consumer feedback and even improve your customer service efforts. But we’ll talk about reciprocating value and reactionary marketing at another time.)
Always remember that your followers are human beings that have given you the stage. Respect them and don’t squander that opportunity.
Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, states “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” The story you tell may originate with you – but that’s only the beginning. One of the most unique aspects of social media marketing is that it puts the entirety of brand perception in the hands and minds of the community.
You only get to control the message of your brand to the degree that you remain continuously and actively engaged in the story, and even then – plan on consumers telling each other whatever they want to. Like word-of-mouth marketing mutated and amplified on a global level. Instantly.
The good news is that this is where good storytelling and visual language come into play. Giving your audience more stuff to experience, read, or view will ensure that you remain the authentic source. And authenticity is everything. This is why top brands spend millions of dollars on managing their social profiles. Budgets have been pulled from traditional advertising methods like television and put into tactical execution of social media marketing. The future is now, so where are you?
“No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story” – Gary Vaynerchuk
At Superbase, we help pilot you through the ever-changing world of social media and develop a customized strategy, organically increasing your follower count through a focus on quality content and optimized engagement. Contact us to learn more or schedule a free Social Media consult today.