Social Media Is Dead! Long Live Social Media!

Great deck from my friend Julie Pippert of Artful Media Group. Check it out!

Here are her notes:

Even pros who stay on top of social media on a daily basis — tools, best practices, evolving tactics, improved strategy — admit social media can become utterly overwhelming, creating concern that, after all, it only offers at best some exposure and a few names for the email list or a couple of positive reviews.

It creates some “existential crisis” questions:
• Is this enough to make it worthwhile?
• Is there too much out there — in terms of noise, distraction, and tools?
• Have people begun to turn off and tune out social media marketing?
• Can we successfully run a campaign on social media?
• Should we hop into a new, hot tool?

Before you leap out of social media or into a new shiny object trying to recapture that social media high you had a couple of years ago, stop and think through very critically about what you’re doing with social media and how you’re moving through it while keeping up with it.

Ask: how are you using it, how are you measuring it, and how are you growing with it?

In a way, the frequent changes are good for us; they may make the tools work better for us OR they shake us out of complacency and force us to freshen up our tactics, and even to evolve into something with more wow. Content can mean a great written story, or it can be a Vine video as punch packing as a Raymond Chandler short story.

Here’s the key change I think we’re all experiencing in social media: this is the year of Paid Integrated MultiMedia Tools.

What does that mean? Many tools are integrating bells and whistles of their own and shutting out third party tools, endeavoring to keep the bulk of people and posting frequency on their platform.

It’s working. 72% of people post regularly on social media. And about that many are okay with being marketed to on social media.

But people are the product…for the platform. Social media, such as Facebook, isn’t actually your owned media unless your name is Mark Zuckerberg. Tools such as Facebook make their revenue by charging for access to what you think of as your community. But they are Facebook fans, Facebook users, and so, Facebook can and will cover charge businesses to come in to the party. It’s not just Facebook, either, although I enjoy picking on them and Twitter is such a reliable platform there’s not many jokes to be had there. However, they, along with top social platforms, are going public or have gone public now. They have been signaling us for a while: changing algorithms, shifting features, pushing ads and promotion opportunities, and so forth. We said goodbye to EdgeRank and Google launched encrypted searches. The tools are more consumer friendly, but require us to be sharper and more creative than ever–to generate the best marketing content we ever have and then pay to promote it.

But it’s worth it:

I netted these stats from Social Media Today:
• 91% of people have gone into a store because of an online experience. (Source: Marketing Land)
• 62% of consumers end up making a purchase in-store after researching it online. (Source: Marketing Land)
• 78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases. (Source: Forbes)

In order to succeed, you need to stay on top of the changes simply to ensure your tactics are up-to-date and netting results. Follow trusted sources to catch announcements — such as the blogs the tools run — and for a group of trusted people to help each other stay on top of the tools and how to work them well. Get creative and innovative, and incorporate video into your plan. Keep evaluating and measuring, and be prepared to budget for advertising and promotion. You won’t need to tool hop, unless it makes sense, because people tend to use more than one tool. But you will need to use different tactics on different platforms to reach people well.

But all of this is surface. The most important thing is to continue to view this as a business process. Create the solid strategy, ensure it works with the other moving parts of your work, and check in to see if you are achieving goals. Follow the “Common Sense Best Practices+Innovation” model and social media can continue to be a fantastic outreach platform for you.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Justin Belmont October 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm

It’s definitely important to remember that even if it can be frustrating, social media offers much more than “some exposure and a few names for the email list or a couple of positive reviews.” The vast majority of your consumer base is on social media. Social media is how they spend their free time. If you can become a part of that—by providing actual valuable/interesting/entertaining information, not just spamming them with ads—then suddenly your company is a trusted, friendly name. People are much more likely to buy from an entity they see as a friend, hence all those very persuasive statistics you cited about how online affects purchase decisions.

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