With the rapid rise of corporate marketing on Facebook and Twitter, I am seeing an increase in traditional marketing. I’m referring to posts about free giveaways, discount codes, press annoucements, etc. Using these techniques are certainly valid, but they aren’t taking full advantage of new social aspects of the platform. Marketers are often approaching these interactive mediums with the same broadcast mentality. “I have X number of followers/fans that received this message.” Now one advantage with the Internet is you can track your clicks, etc. so you can measure your ROI more closely, unlike radio or tv. But what makes social media different isn’t the click tracking or the network effects of re-tweeting – it’s the whole “social” mind set.
What people love about Facebook is that they can share their lives with friends – photos, status updates, etc. Twitter started out the same way, with posts like “I just got out of bed…where’s the coffee?” You can understand with posts like that, how the average busy adult might dismiss Twitter. Who has time to keep track of their fifty closest friends caffeine intake? And yet at the same time, what people love about social media is exactly that – the little trivialities of daily life that keep you connected to friends and family. And it’s this same love that also has people already decrying the loss of authenticity and the rise of corporatism in social media.
If you are a marketer, you need to avoid alienating your audience when you enter the social media space. You need to conceive of your marketing strategy with a social mindset. Your plans needs to make a unique social connection with your audience that also leverages the power of social media for your business. Don’t just broadcast announcements and deals with the hope that people will read them. At the same time, be wary of trying to hard to be authentic. People can easily detect phony attempts at seeming real. If you were the CEO of Chevron or Shell and you posted, “Bought a solar powered calculator, made me feel good to conserve” I think people would see right through the PR department’s closely managed plan.
So, from an organizational stand point, this brings up a lot of questions. How do you leverage the social qualities of your organization to create a unique interactive message? How do you develop an authentic voice for the organization that socializes with your audience? How do you allocate resources on social interaction that provide a real impact on your business?
That’s what I will be addressing next week. Each day next week, I will post a different tactic about how you can develop a social mindset for your organization as your develop your social marketing strategy.