With newspaper circulations down, television commercials easily skipped and social media the number one activity on the web, brands are naturally following the crowd by going ‘social’ and joining millions of people online.
They’re setting up Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. They’re getting on Google+ and even dipping their toe into LinkedIn. Some have started blogs and created Flickr or Vimeo accounts to share pictures and videos.
Whilst this is all worthwhile, many brands are still getting it completely wrong. They’re trying to integrate social media into their old ‘marketing mix’ rather than understanding the whole purpose of social media.
They’re missing the point by throwing out one-way marketing messages like before, screaming things like ‘Buy This’ and ‘Get your 20 per cent discount today! Ok maybe that last message pulls a lot of eyeballs but is that any way to build a premium brand?
This traditional, one-way marketing doesn’t work anymore. Consumers are already bombarded with thousands of marketing messages on a daily basis but the majority of them are ignored. Most banner ads don’t get a click-through - it's about 1% on the good ones. Nearly half of all direct mail is never opened. And there are OVER than 200 million Americans on the ‘Do Not Call’ list.
So what else can you do to get your messages out there?
Today, we are all connected. Today, smart brands make business personal. And they do that by becoming a social business rather than applying the same old marketing techniques to the new medium of social media. They realize that ‘social’ isn’t a new way of marketing, It’s a new way of doing business.
A social business doesn't just do social, it uses strategic and creative excellence, and extraordinarily well-thought through content to create brand lust, engagement heat and ultimately passionate advocates for the business and it's products and services.
Brands that get social media right by becoming social see phenomenal success. Just look at the facts. Nearly two thirds of businesses have acquired a customer through their blog. A quarter of B2B firms have gained a client through Facebook. Company websites that have a blog get 55 per cent more visitors than those who don’t. There’s even evidence to suggest that web visitors from social sites convert 59 per cent higher than those who aren’t communicating directly with their customers. On Thanksgiving day our clients at Jim Beam welcomed their 1 millionth fan on Facebook, after some savvy social by our Beam & StrawberryFrog team.
You see - it’s not just about ‘going social’. It’s about becoming a social business. It’s realizing that marketing doesn’t work like it used to. Today, successful brands become social ones.
So how do you become a social business?
Essentially, markets have become conversations. If you want to become social you have to start listening to your customers, joining in on the global conversation and building relationships. If you do that, you’ll build trust and transparency. And brands that are trustworthy in today’s digital era will fair much better than those who aren’t yet social.
Because in this socially connected, real-time and mobile-enabled world, isn’t it better to be human and real than try to bombard irrelevant marketing messages like before? Isn’t it smarter to get personal and understand that people want to feel connected with humans not logos?
If you’re ready to take your company to the next level and become a social business, there are movement strategies for growth and how you can achieve that.
Image by: Blue Square Thing