Social networking won’t save you, but that doesn’t mean it should be ignored or go unused. The truth is, going to social networks to revitalize your brand probably won’t work on its own. Just because you can make small talk with your consumers, share some fun photos, and tweet until you’re blue in the face doesn’t mean your brand will become as good as gold. Yes, connecting via social marketing efforts is good, and you should do it, but don’t put all your hopes in this vast new and ever changing world. Obviously there have been brands who have had great success on the social fronts and have made some notable waves (Virgin America, Dunkin’ Donuts) but the majority of brands today have to use multiple channel and many layers to truly create a buzz.
Here’s what you should know about social marketing – it’s changing the way consumers think about brands and how they relate to them. It seems that each of our lives so are wrapped up in this world of social networks that whatever we do, whatever we say, whatever we buy, those become part of who we are, part of our web identity. If you only drink a certain brand of liquor, or only fly on a certain airline, or wear a particular clothing line, those things come through on social networks and the brand becomes part of your image.
From a marketing perspective, it is important to approach social marketing with the goal of connecting to the consumers lifestyle, not just trying to make as many friends as possible or create a viral buzz. Those are great for the short-term, but if you want to be ahead of the curve and remembered in the long-term, it’s time to start thinking about connecting on a personal level with consumers, they’ll return by promoting your brand through their own web identities. Networks will change, but the ground work has been laid that is changing the way consumers look at brands, advertising, and in which brands they will give loyalty to.