Social media marketing is now mainstream and as someone said: every media becoming social. I think some brands and their attitudes to social networking, content marketing, management. It is clear out of every angle, except from view, that most brands are overlooking the “social” facing the social media. It’s this that sets social networking besides other kinds of media. To excel in social networking, you begin with cultivating a social media mindset. Most haven’t understood what this platform offers.
All that we are still doing is majorly titled toward social networking abuse which is dependant on advertising and shameless ego promotion. This affects corporate brands more though.
Most have concentrated mainly on mainstream traditional media. They have neglected or can we say they’re unaware that the only way to survive in this time around is really a two-way communication media which embraces not only the traditional but online media platform. As we know, the present trend today is for brands to first understand their brides-customers, manage to get thier attention through the usage of social networking platforms like blogging, Youtube, Xing, Facebook, Del.ici.ous, Bookmarking, RSS, Podcasting, videocasting, Wikis among many other available online media.
The evolution of the new media has opened up opportunity to find opinion, interact, court, date and offers irresistible proposal which will hook the bride. Today customers are no more buying one mode fits all offer by the traditional media. Some corporate brands here seem to hinge non-participation in online community building on such excuses that we are not yet online, neither exist recognized consumer fora which may have major convergence of consumers online. Also no regulatory authority here pays focus on or gives any focus on whatever they have to express can. Additionally they claim that online forums here haven’t any impacts on corporate performance. Some also claim that social networking is alien to us. My answer is that social networking is not alien. The very fact remains that many things had been part people only that we do not accurately labeled them before westerners help us out.
The notion of social networking, content marketing is rooted in cultural rituals where a couple gets engaged before they may start dating. The procedure require that suitor’s intention needs to be established through family contacts, integrity checked and a cogent promised is made he is interested in a serous relationship and not flings. Without these background checks, nobody officially allows the intending couple to begin dating. If this really is violated then, the bride to be would be disciplined.
Drawing a parallel in this ancient ritual, the customers want the brand today to show that what matters is her, not money making. The customers want to be sure out of arrays of suitors-products, services- your brand will take the initiative of starting a conversation, the client wants to make sure your brand is not merely flirting, shopping for short flings but a real relationship which will enhance her lifestyle. Brand through social networking, content and social marketing setup a bate by loading the proper words inside their contents to convince, educate, entertain the bride they are out to make her life better even before selling anything.
Customer desires to see how much of one’s intellectual property will soon be made available without charges. The client wants to find out you’re a giver. One of their love languages is gift sharing. A giver without string attached always takes the show. Social media marketing, content marketing requires plenty of commitment. It takes time before social networking and content marketing make huge impact. Any brand that will show advanced level of commitment in social networking will always carry the day.
Typical case studies of brands with efficient usage of social networking include Tony Hseih. Tony followers in Twitter today is finished one forty million. Hseih could be the managing Director of Zappos.com. Tony through his ‘tweet’ has course to generally meet with customers at a club while many in his position will rather hide under the guise of busy schedule. Tony uses Twitter to build interaction with customers; he uses twitter to solve problems for clients. The strength of Tony Hseih and Zappos communities has been used to strengthen relationships with Zappo’s brand offline. Zappos client freely gives their ideas about what they want. This aids, leads to co- creation of brands products, services.
As busy as Richard Branson of Virgin group is, he also maintains a twitter account. He’s used his twitter account to answer questions from angry customers along with virgin potentials. The virgin group also posseses an integrated website that allows news update, blog among others. Southwest Airlines has used social networking to build strong connection that impacts on the brand’s offline interaction
A good example of the usage of social networking to spread messages and connection was recently demonstrated by Michael Jackson’s personal doctor. As we are all aware, it had been once insinuated he killed Michael Jackson through drug overdose. About a week ago, he used YouTube video to spread his part of the case. This video spread across the net along with mainstream media. Popularity of virtual community has been soaring high with an increase of people focusing from academics and marketing communications practitioner discussing it beforehand countries, yet Nigeria brands have assumed ‘I do not care attitude’ ;.Nations and brands are not considered backward just because of their location but based on attitudes, disposition to the usage of technology which will aid progress. Building emotional connection, loyalty with the brand is now a simple thing through social media.
Social media marketing has turned into a great platform to spot with, interact, communicate brand element. This often starts in online forum and lead to offline beneficial relationship. Today, nearly three billion of the seven billion potentials are now actually connected in social networking platforms. Agreed the ratio is still slow here but the amount is increasing daily. Through social networking brands can ignite confidence in the hearts of the bride, build thought leadership. Your brand competitors might have better product, services but will surely lose out to you when you can build strong connection using them when you ask them to buy through massive advertisement.
If your brand can hand out enough information, answers to concerns and prove that you are on the verge of seriously neglecting your own personal best interest, of tight schedules, in order to serve these greedy, needy brides that desire your brands be more open, honest using them which can be the essence of social media. Social media marketing do not allow cover ups, unnecessary protection of corporate brand’s failures. I’m of the opinion that when our banking industry’s Managing Directors have been active in social networking, there is probability of gaining public sympathy instead with this anger, tantrum they’re now receiving from various angles. Their followers could have been able to protect them and take appropriate position that will have given them soft landing in this trying period.
Since our brands have concentrated on one kind of media, mainstream, tell me why should their brides not stop their useless bragging through advertising? Tell me why is it burdensome for brands n our environment to see handwriting on the wall that their brides now desire their authentic voices that are not coloured with jargons of self- serving moneybags? The brands’ brides are now actually also afraid; skeptical of marketing. Why should the brides be loyal once the element of trust is shaking?
Having established that let’s now examine proper means of participating in social networking which can be now being exchanged for web.2.0. For brands to actively participate in social cheap panel networking, brands have to observe, listen, find clients’ hibernating medium. In achieving this, brand should first define its social networking strategy through careful evaluation of brand’s resources, analyze the target market, and identify objectives. Having done this, brand must carefully pick or access platforms that fit their goals. This may inform your decision to run a weblog or just to participate in other forums like Twitter, Facebook, discussion board, social networking bookmarking, stumbleupon among others. Make sure to realize that such platforms are employed by your niche audience. Identify the top influencers of one’s industry online through recognitions given with their opinions, comments, awards etc.
To achieve this effectively, brand may consider creating the positioning of community or social media/knowledge management manager or hire consultant who has track records in skills like community management, online reputation management, monitoring, tracking, podcast, video cast, web links etc. These skills do not require a programmer’s knowledge and in actual fact, they’re employed by customer relations, brand, and Public relations experts. The only requirement is passion that is backed with proven results. The said manger or consultant must understands forum rules, reputation software, learn how to distribute contents without creating offense as this may be counter productive. Great ability to create qualitative content for blogs, create profiles and claim such blogs in online directories is also essential. Social media marketing, content marketing, management is seen as number of open-sourced, interactive and user- controlled online application used to expand the experiences, knowledge and market power of the users as participants in operation and social processes, the social networking landscape is basically about conversation before any marketing campaign.
Brands must therefore consider Rajesh Setty’s suggestion that it must demonstrate your brand cares, is curious to find out what’s the concern of the customers, contribute, make sure the information is worth their attention, clarify issues, build conversation which will lead to strong relationship, make plenty of creativity, demonstrate the brand’s character and values cherished, build community, tribe, brings change, instill courage and be highly commitment to a cause its believe in.