Does your company have a Facebook page (or a Twitter account, a YouTube channel or another kind of social media presence)?
You do? That’s great! But who cares?
(Though if you said “no,” then you have a different kind of problem. Let’s talk about that here.)
After all, doesn’t EVERYBODY have a Facebook page? Why should anybody care about your brand’s page? And, from a strict ROI viewpoint, why should YOU care enough about Facebook, Twitter, etc., to pay to maintain a presence there?
Before we answer these questions, let’s take a quick trip back in time to the stone age of 2007.
A Brief History of Social Media Cynicism
In those jurassic times, Facebook and Twitter were new tools that people used to keep in touch with the other humans they already knew “in real life.” Eventually, the use of these tools became an integral part of many people’s daily routines. And as brands became aware of these new channels, a single question arose:
Initially, that question was asked by the brands themselves, in a conversation that usually went something like this:
CMO: “Why should we care if a few million college students spend all day on Facebook talking about last night’s keg party? How does that help us sell widgets?”
SOMEONE WITH A CLUE: “Wait… did you say millions of people spend ALL DAY on these sites?”
And thus was born the era of social media marketing.
Now fast-forward to today, when the world takes social media — and the branded content advertised within it — for granted, and you find yourself in…
The Modern Era of Social Media Boredom
Today, we see Facebook ads and promoted Twitter trending topics and we shrug. We notice companies following us on Twitter, and we see that our friends have “liked” a brand’s page on Facebook, and we yawn. A lifetime of ignoring TV, radio and print ads has prepared audiences to block out even the most resourceful online marketers because they view those messages as unwanted interruptions in their day.
Your brand has a Facebook page? Great. Who cares?
But now that question is being asked by the audience, AKA your customers (or your potential customers), AKA the very people you don’t want to ignore you.
So, when every brand is using the same Facebook strategy to “connect with their community,” where does that leave you?
As Twitter is replacing the PR newswire as the fastest way to spread rumors and breaking news, how can anyone see through all that white noise and focus on another redundant, self-serving message from your brand?
“Why should anyone care about my brand’s social media channel?” is actually too long of a question. So simplify it:
“Why Should Anybody Care About My Brand?”
What makes your brand different? What makes your brand vital? Why do people love your brand? Why do they remain loyal for years, or for generations? (They do, don’t they? If not, inbound marketing is the least of your problems.)
If social media channels are where users retreat to connect with the people who matter to them, your brand must become an entity that matters.
Your messages must be useful, entertaining, personable and necessary. Your channel can’t be perceived as an ad; it has to be a living, breathing representation of the soul and personality of your company. It has to provide your customers — and people who want to be your customers — with the kind of information and experience that they look forward to having, and which they’d miss if it were gone.
Anything less is begging to be ignored. (And don’t you already spend enough on print ads as it is?)
BUT WAIT! How Can I Possibly Be Interesting AND Profitable?
Yes, we know what you’re thinking. “But how do I share my company’s soul, personality and vision when the whole point of business is to sell more widgets?”
The short answer is, that’s what we get paid to help you figure out.
The long answer is better explained with a little show-and-tell.
Imagine you’re riding home on the train, and two guys (or, if you prefer, two gals) sit down next to you. One of them hands you his business card, tells you all about his business, and then asks you when he can stop by your office to demo his product for your c-suite. When his stop comes up, he leaves you with a brochure and a coupon for a free sample of his top-selling product.
The other guy compliments your shoes, makes a joke about the commute, and asks you if you’ve had a good day so far. When you mention that your dog is at the vet, he suggests a different vet that his coworker prefers. And when his stop comes up, he offers you his card and invites you to contact him if he can ever help make your day better.
As soon as you’re alone with your iPhone, which guy are you going to look up on Facebook first? Which guy do you want to find out more about? Which guy will you tell your friends about over drinks? Which guy will you remember next week?
That’s the difference between traditional marketing and social marketing… or inbound marketing, brand management, lead generation, customer outreach, or any other buzzword you’ve just Googled to get here.
That’s the human side of business.
And that’s the difference between making a pitch and making a connection that matters.
Please come visit us on Facebook and let us know how we can do a better job of making a connection with you.