Social Media Marketing Is Changing
Social media marketing has never been free. Anything worth your while requires a certain level of input in order to get output. Today, social media marketing presents a fools gold type of opportunity for brands who see it as a cheap and easy way to get increased awareness or more customers. But social media marketing isn’t immune to the rules of business. That’s why it’s so important to get it right.
Social Media Marketing Is Evolving Just Like Traditional Marketing Has
It used to be that we could just tell people what to do in print ads. Then we realized it was getting boring and becoming less and less effective. So we got more creative with our ads. We learned to tell stories. We learned to be clever, to hook people in with compelling creative, and to amaze them. We learned to make a product more than a product – we created brands that meant something more and connected with people on a deeper level.
Social Media Is A Maturing Medium
Social media isn’t for yelling or commanding anymore (yes, you who use all caps). It’s a more sophisticated blend of art and science. The time of cheap social media marketing is over. There’s no longer a first-mover advantage. Everyone’s joined the party and it’s noisier than ever. The challenge for brands is to rise above the noise and cut through the clutter. Executives should take note of these changes in the social media landscape. This is a call for brands to raise their game. Executives need to prioritize high-quality social media marketing and put as much effort into social media as they do other channels.
How Great Brands Create Winning Social Media Campaigns:
1. Great brands always start with a strategy.
Never execute without a solid strategy that aligns with overall organizational objectives. Just like you would never go to a trade show without preparing in advance, you need to prepare what you will do ahead of time to make sure it aligns with your current marketing strategy. This includes defining objectives, establishing personas, developing a content and keyword strategy, planning an editorial calendar, determining a content development, approval, and promotion process, and establishing community and employee policies.
2. They choose wisely when determining who should implement.
Great brands understand that the person or organization operating their social media channels needs to always be up-to-date with the changing landscape and technology. They know that even if they have someone internally who might be able to pull it off, it’s not something that can be treated as a side job. The initial cost savings of managing social media internally aren’t as important as getting social media ROI. Great brands look for sustainable social media marketing that delivers results.
3. They value high quality content.
Everything you share on social media is a reflection of your brand. Brands need to create original, production-quality content. There should be a consistency across social media channels that matches the rest of your company’s branding, both online and offline. You should have a designer creating graphics and a copywriter crafting the messaging.
4. They ensure consistent messaging.
Just as every single image you post is a reflection of your brand, every single word, phrase, and sentence needs to be high quality and aligned with the brand. It may feel casual because of the immediacy of real-time communication and friendly conversational nature, but social media marketing means having every message aligned with the business strategy. Everything produced for social media marketing should be something the CEO would be proud of.
5. They regularly audit the strategy and implementation.
You should regularly assess the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts to determine if you’re getting the desired results. If your social media marketing isn’t performing, it may be time to consider whether the implementation was executed on strategy, if it needs adjusting, or if the strategy needs to be revisited and potentially updated. Even when things seem to be going fine, you should be evaluating the results. If you’re not, you should be asking yourself the question, “what kind of money is still on the table?” It is likely that unmet opportunities exist for your company.
Social media marketing is a channel that requires time, effort, and resources, just like any other marketing medium. Yes, there are great opportunities for brands who leverage the channel appropriately, but brands must be willing to invest in it in the same way they invest in print ads or flyers. Every single expression of your brand, both online and offline, should be contributing to your brand equity.