Drowner, Floater, Sailor, Why?
Is your brand drowning in the social media seas or is your campaign sailing along?
Every day I see brand accounts floating in the ocean of posts, pictures and platforms, in the hope their messages will cut through the waves, yet they find achieving significant results is not plain sailing. The noise on social networks is now so loud, the good old days of simply posting great content and the latest offers, no longer delivers. The daily bombardment of brand content has contributed to the growth of a very savvy and discerning online audience. Social networks are a cacophony and users are not easy to please, yet businesses know they must have a social media presence. How can brands have an impact in today’s social media universe? First they must stop thinking about social media as one big lump.
As social media is consumed via the same devices (desktop, mobiles, tablets) and have the common feature of interaction between users, too often it is considered to be one media channel. I believe any consideration of “social media” as a single element of the marketing mix, seriously limits the success of the campaign. The users of each social network not only vary in geography and demographic, but also in how they interact, the style of posts they create, the time spent and many more differences. By considering each network separately, brands can communicate in the most appropriate style, at the optimum posting frequency and harness the specific features of each social network. By creating bespoke content and messages for each individual channel, a smaller net is cast and more relevant bait is presented. This targeted approach delivers the many benefits of 1-2-1 interactions – it is far easier to elicit the desired response speaking to one person, rather than addressing a room full of strangers.
My fellow social media marketers will no doubt have also suffered the toe curling moment when a family member asks what we do for a living and then reduces our profession to “posting on Twitter and Facebook all day”. I have observed another alarming underestimation of our discipline from many business owners, who think social media equals Facebook. It is sensible to have a dedicated social media team / department / agency / member of staff to guide the social media activities and ensure an integrated and quality presence is enjoyed by the brand.
The modern marketer should not just put Twitter + Facebook as the default choice for a social media campaign, in the same way they should not leap to join the latest social network just because it is new (see amusing advert by Adobe critiqued by Sally-Ann a few weeks ago). The dangers of treating social networks like mass media, broadcasting messages in the same blanket fashion as tv commercials and newspaper advertising, are well known yet brands the world over continue this approach. The key to sailing to identify the correct social networks and commit to talking to the users in the style in which they are talking to each other.
Are you a drowner, floater, or a sailor? Tweet us @GertrudeAndIvy