Let’s get one thing straight right now. Social media is the single most important development in advertising and marketing since the early 20th century when radios became available en masse.
Television came close but only changed the delivery method. Banner ads didn’t move the needle in comparison.
Social media didn’t just change the way we consumed media. Social media changed the expectations of our media experience.
We’re not here to argue whether or not you should be on social media. You should be.
We’re not here to argue whether social media is the future of marketing. It is.
We’re not here to argue whether your business is doing enough with social media. You’re probably not.
None of us are.
Social Media Marketing is About Being Human
We’re in a transition phase where too many are still holding on, waiting for someone to hand out roadmaps, waiting to see if social media has the staying power to hedge against feeling foolish with our investment, waiting for someone to explain how we measure the ROI of social media because we still believe that numbers are the answer to everything.
Social media will never be measured the way we’ve measured our marketing efforts in the past because social media does so much more than deliver impressions. Its compounding effectiveness comes from the same part of our behavior and psyche that makes us want to do business with people we know, like, and trust.
When done correctly, social media introduces humanity back into our marketing and advertising by opening up a conversation with our clients and fans after years of yelling and preaching at our audience through radio and television.
Ted Rubin's Theory of Return on Relationship
Ted Rubin is a speaker, author, and respected thought leader in digital marketing. Here is what he says about the power of social media to inspire sustainable growth.
“ROR: Return on Relationship, simply put, is the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple [dollars] and cents. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through connection, trust, loyalty, recommendations and sharing.”
Effective social media marketing isn’t about adapting social media to fit our traditional model. It’s about developing an emerging model that allows the audience to enter into dialogue with your brand.
That kind of back-and-forth can be really good, it can be really bad, and yes, it can be kind of ugly. That can be scary to a market that has become used to having complete control of their image. But this is the world we live in now.
It’s the expectation of our customers and clients. It’s the expectation of our brand evangelists, and it’s the expectation of those who take issue with something we’ve done or left undone.
If you don’t adapt, you won’t be around in ten years to talk about what went wrong. Social media has taken the power of branding away from us and put it square in the hands of the people who are probably the best judge of how well we’re doing–those doing business with us.
The secret to social media marketing is to abandon the idea that you are marketing and get back to the basics of why people do business with one brand over another. The new expectation is NOT that your company is going to be treated like a human being, it’s that your brand experience will make it very clear that their are human beings working at your company.
Social Listening is a Major Key to Sustainable Growth
Real people are doing business with us, and we need to make sure that we are creating things for real people. We can entertain them, and we can educate them. We can inspire them, or we can inform them, but whatever we do it better be clear that it was made specifically because they know they’ll find value in it.
Your tribe wants you to solve their problems, but make no mistake, you are no longer in the driver’s seat. They are. The good news is that you can talk to them, and they want to talk to you.
That is what makes social media so important and revolutionary. It gives our customers and clients a seat at the table to tell us what they like and don’t like. It allows us to show that we care and that we’re listening.
Change is happening faster than ever. It can be difficult to keep up, but it isn’t impossible. You must adapt if you want to grow in this new climate.
The good news is that you aren’t on an island. Here at EM, we encourage our customers to actively engage with their communities on social media, and we are happy to spend time with you to make sure you do it well.
Taking care of your customers should never feel like “... just one more box you have to check off during your day.” Your client experience is the lifeblood of your success. Listen, and not only will your community tell you what you need to work on, but they will very likely tell you where your next opportunity to grow will come from because problems and pain points will begin to routinely show up.
EM Would Love to Help
If you’re worried about putting out things on social media that interest your clients and customers, it might be a good idea to partner with an agency that can help you to produce high quality content that is built specifically for you to provide value to your digital audience.
We just happen to know one that would love the opportunity to help you stand out. IT is what we do.
If you have any questions about this blog, social media, or what it takes to experience sustained growth in this fast-changing business landscape, feel free to reach out on social media or simply click below. We’d love to chat or have a cup of coffee. Seriously, we drink at TON of coffee.