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.
Over the last few months, a lot has changed on the beloved social network known as Instagram. Unfortunately for its 400 million users, most changes have been made without the actual experience of said user in mind, or at least that’s how it feels. Instagram likes to say things that sound nice and fancy – things like they’re enhancing the Instagram app, or making things more relevant for people, or a bunch of other things I typically block out. But what’s really happening is very apparent, and it doesn’t bode well for the future of Instagram.
Two weekends ago, on February 1st, I was lucky enough to speak at the 2014 SIA Snow Show in downtown Denver. Specifically, I was lucky enough to speak about something I am passionate about, and have been involved with for several years: digital storytelling. Also, I spent the better part of just over three years in the ski industry – so it was fun on a personal level to be back in that environment talking about content specific to the snow sports world.
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.
You are a brand. You use social media to connect with your consumers, business partners, general fans, and other random people that clicked that button to link themselves to your social presence. You put content out there for these people to see, to say something from your brand. It might be a story. It could be a really entertaining short-format video, or maybe a longer one. You could’ve put a clever graphically-designed post out there.
Android FINALLY just got Vine. So, pretty much everything below is irrelevant now (so goes the beast of social media). Anyway, I still believe it what I said before the Android version existed…so, take it for what it’s worth. In the meantime I’m going to take my android phone and go play with Vine…
This whole social media thing is finally not “new.” The big social business boom of 2008 was several years ago. If that was the business world’s freshman year; it has now graduated. If you are a business that’s been around for a while and just starting or trying to figure social out – you are behind. The businesses that have been doing it for years have been able to try and fail, try and succeed, and figure out what the goals are for their brand(s) with social media. Many have gotten it right. And, many are still looking for a map.
Remember a few years ago when some of your friends would “check-in” to every damn place they went during a day? Remember how annoyed you were when you’d see these as status updates? Yeah, me too.
I jumped on the Google+ bandwagon right away when in launched in the summer of 2011. I was skeptical at first, mainly because Facebook was the boss (and currently still is). I couldn’t understand how or why Google would want to dive into this arena with a completely new social platform. And then I remembered…