Consumer brands on social media are not a new thing, in fact, the brand “boom” on channels such as Facebook and Twitter was about seven years ago. In those seven-ish years we’ve seen social platforms grow up, go public, and become huge legitimate businesses. Their users have grown up and adapted as well, as have those users’ expectations and behaviors, how they consume content, and where and when they consume it. So it comes as no surprise that brands have had no choice but to keep evolving on social media, too, if they want to reach the right people with their messaging, stories and content, and make those stories matter.
A year ago I had very limited experience with mobile marketing in general, let alone SMS (text messaging) on behalf of a brand. The far and away priority in my world when I started the new job was the social media program and strategy, content marketing, and building a new model in that realm that better connects the brand to consumers and gives them more of what they want to engage with. It’s not something that happens overnight so it took the majority of my time for a long while. But along with the social and content side, I also had the responsibility to oversee the mobile SMS program – something I needed to learn quickly and get rolling. It soon became much more of a priority for me and my team.
We’ve all seen them. They’re still everywhere. As consumers, you’re either intrigued by them or they completely annoy you, depending on your own personal goals. I’m talking about social media sweepstakes, giveaways, and sometimes (but not always) contests. And I hate them, well, most of the time.
There are three quite different areas that fall into what we once knew as “social media”: content marketing, social advertising (paid social display) and community engagement.
Let me break these down for you…and hopefully add a little clarity to the mysterious world of “social media” for businesses as it sits in 2015.
Over the last several years, the success metrics that have told us if social media is doing a “good job” for a company or brand have fluctuated more than Chandler Bing’s weight in the last few seasons of “Friends.” A few years ago we were all very proud of ourselves as social media managers and marketing organizations if a Facebook post we put out there got a lot of “likes.” Or if a tweet got a bunch of favorites. Because, that told us that the stuff that we published had people clicking a thumbs-up or a star. And of course, that meant success.
Brands in 2013 utilize social media for a wide array of objectives – loyalty, awareness, sales, community, web traffic, share of voice, influence, engagement, and beyond. The list goes on and on. What for the most part was a pool of companies and brands just a few years ago jumping on the social bandwagon because they felt like they had to, or because it was the new, cool thing… is now a full blown discipline that directly marries marketing and public relations.