The overnight popularity of Facebook and Twitter (CNN and Oprah) has resulted in a influx of social users; last month, Comscore reported that Twitter had 9.3 million visitors and Facebook had 200 million. The spotlight on social media has driven record user registrations; brands are following suit, using Twitter & Facebook as promotional tools.
Has the mass adoption of social media by brands and retailers led to its oversaturation?
No it hasn’t, no more so than the mass adoption by consumers. Television and print attention has pushed social media to the next level (the only place it could really go); garnering it mainstream, mass appeal.
I believe the question of “oversaturation” is actually another issue being raised by social marketers that have had amazing social marketing successes until now. Now, their clients are asking for more quantifiable, measurable results and they can’t produce the results. Furthermore, these individuals are finding that they more competition established agencies and boutique outlets with more bandwidth. More marketing firms are integrating social media divisions; they know it’s necessary in order to stay viable in today’s market.
These divisions and individual marketers are developing strategies that have taken social marketing to the next level. We can now build brand awareness, convert new users, drive web traffic and convert that traffic to online sales. We are monetizing social media, which has been the ongoing question from the beginning of web 2.0. We’re saying that social media success isn’t defined by how many fans a brand’s Facebook page has, how many followers on Twitter a brand has or how many retweets a particular topic recieved. We are saying social marketing success is shown through sales conversions and growth.
How do brands and retailers change their online marketing strategy?
The social engagement strategy (the way in which a brand or retailer interacts with it followers and fans) for brands will follow a similar model that they’ve taken with customer service (listening and providing amazing experiences) and be more involved with their followers. Brands will cater their social outlets to their fans’ and followers’ wants & needs (ultimately let their fans shape their social media strategy); thereby cutting through the noise being generated by the larger volume of retailers online.
What marketing tactics should brands take into account for social marketing right now?
1. A brand has to have a strategy. Don’t launch or implement anything haphazardly. If you want to develop a Facebook or iPhone application, don’t do because it’s cool or you want one. Do an analysis of what that application will do for the brand. Will it build awareness, will it generate sales or drive web traffic? Ask yourself, “Why would someone choose to integrate my app over someone else’s?”
2. Active engagement. If you’re a brand with a Facebook page or Twitter account, actively maintain them. Use your Twitter & Facebook page as you would use your blog, share information, add photos, report trends, new products, event promotions, etc.
Your blog, facebook and twitter content should all match. Make sure you talk to your fans and followers. If someone friends you or follows you – THEN FOLLOW THEM BACK (you can use Social Too to maintain this). It rude not to follow your customers back, unless they are spammers or absolutely insane. Here are some great examples of fan pages:
3. Don’t completely replace old promotion methods with social media. Use social media to enhance traditional marketing initiatives; only use social media for things worth marketing. You don’t always have promote sales, discounts, etc. Interact as a person, not a robot. It’s okay to share great office stories, runway malfunctions and behind the scenes info; it allows your customer to identify with your brand. You’ll recieve a better return on the time invested and you’ll set yourself ahead of the competition.
This posted was inspired by Twitterati: So Last Week.