BRANDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

As the CEO of a Social Media Agency, I often hear brands make excuses for why they are not using social media.  The number one excuse is certainly that they are “too conservative” to use social media.  I always try to explain to them that their brand is being discussed in the social media world anyway, so the only choice they have to make is whether they want to join in the conversation.  The conversation is clearly happening all around them.

So here are some things for all brand people to think about when considering social media.

Contrary to popular belief, social media is not a popularity contest –  Most people believe that they need to aggregate as many friends and contacts as they possibly can, regardless of the quality of the connections.  I wholehearted disagree.  If you have 100,000 followers on Twitter but only 100 really read your tweets, what are the other 99,900 doing for you?  Nothing is the short answer.  You can have more influence with 100 quality followers than 100,000 who do not read a word you say.  You need to focus on the people who will help you build your Influence Stream.

There is no difference between B2B and B2C This one drives me crazy.  What is the difference between B2B efforts and B2C efforts?  Nothing other than the target and the message.  We are all consumers at some point in the day unless you are that famous young cult hero thief, Colton Harris, living in the woods.   The person you are trying to influence to buy is a person and a consumer.  The only thing that needs to change in your efforts is your message not the platform.  Again, quality messages lead to quality fans/followers/friends/connections, all of whom can help you to build you Influence Stream.

Social Media is a phenomenal SEO tool – If your target customers use the Google then you are nuts of you are not using social media.  Blogging, wikis, Facebook, YouTube, and other social media tools are all indexed.  Now that many social media platforms appear in real-time search data, things you blog about and tweet about quickly appear in Google and other search engine searches.  Why wouldn’t you want quality information on your brand to come up in Google searches quickly?  Talk about instant gratification.

Social Media has turned the tables with respect to brands and audience- It used to be that brands had to go out into the world and find consumers.  In the old days (2 years ago) people had to go out and find the news if they wanted to know what was going on in the world.  Now the news comes to us…quickly…through social media.  That same paradigm shift is happening, just in reverse with brands.  Now people are researching and finding brands they like in social media platforms and online.  Brands need to be present to be found.  The old “scream your message from the mountaintops” technique is not just brand noise.  People don’t care and really are immune to one-way messaging.  They want to find the brands they like and connect with them in a 2-way conversation, which is what social media is all about.

This list could go on and on, but this should be a decent conversation starter for brands when they are thinking about social media.

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7 Comments

Filed under social media - general

7 responses to “BRANDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

  1. Mitch Lieberman

    Jonathan,

    Fun that I can comment on a blog, written by somebody I knew (many) years ago (exact number years hidden to protect the innocent).

    The one area which may warrant further discussion is the difference between B2B v B2C. To some I am splitting hairs, but to others I hear and understand the concern. Social Media is a lot of things – you probably know better than I – but I do not think of ‘it’ as one platform, in this context.

    The message should be tweaked for the platform, and in this case, Twitter is different than a Blog, different from email, YouTube, etc.,.. I see Social Media as a lot of different things. One could easily say it is one platform with a lot of channels. So, in that case the message and approach is specific to the channel.

    I completely agree with the thought process though, consumers are consumers, for business or personal, there is always a ‘what’s in it for me’ phenomena. I have a post 1/2 written on this very topic. It has a more technical spin to it though.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

    • Mitch-

      I agree that Social Media is not one platform, but rather a catch-all phrase for anything where people are having 2-way conversations online or in the mobile space. As such, there are clearly different approaches for the various social media applications. As you point out, the message MUST be tweaked for each application as their limitations and usage are all different. The key to the whole social media picture for brands is clearly identify who they are trying to reach and what they want the audience to hear. Many brands think of this perhaps another mass media opportunity because so many people are out there, but he truth is that social media (all of the applications) are the ultimate in customization. Social media is perfect for giving people important bits of information that they can use and share with their friends in ways and through media that make sense to them. When I share information about a brand with my friends it has a lot of credibility because we are friends and I have an idea how they might use it. When that happens the message goes to nooks and crannies that traditional marketing could never reach. It is in these nooks and crannies that true credibility and authenticity live

  2. Pingback: Is B2B the new B2C « Mitch Lieberman – A title would limit my thoughts

  3. Good stuff listed here. Thanks. How do I subscribe?

  4. wii

    I can’t find your rss feed to add to google reader? Help me please

  5. Saw your blog bookmarked on Delicious. I love your site and marketing strategy.

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