4 Ways Social Media has altered traditional marketing forever
Social Media has empowered consumers through enhanced choice, online Rating & Review websites (like TripAdvisor.com) and providing the consumer with a greater ability to engage fellow consumers and businesses.
However as a recent survey showed, 55% of Irish SME’s view their Social Media as performance as “average or poor”. Therefore, businesses who recognise this changing environment and choose to do something about it, are set to benefit.
Here are four reasons why each business needs to embrace Social Media and create a Social Media plan to harness it:
1. Businesses can no longer use marketing communications to control their message
Marketing is less of a one-way channel today than it ever was. In the past, as a consumer, you were “served” ads. Now consumers can engage via social media with most businesses on the consumer’s terms. Consumers can choose to “like” a business Facebook page, “follow” on Twitter or join with them on G+ or Linkedin.
Consumers can write to businesses, write about them, rate them, share their updates, comment on their blog posts or totally ignore them. The whole process is engaging for all sides. As a business, once your marketing message is unleashed on to the market, it is open to the vagaries of social media and there is very little control at that point.
2. Brand managers no longer have control over their brand
Where once a Brand Manager was the “Lord and Master” of his Company Brand, Brand Managers now run the gauntlet of instant customer feedback – good and bad. If mistakes are made, they are permanent.
Even if the advert, tweet or post is withdrawn, someone will have saved it somewhere so it will always resurface. For example, last year, Home Depot sent this truly awful tweet. It was withdrawn immediately but, of course, that was too late as it had already been shared. This is permanent and lasting damage to a business brand as it will be shared for years (as I am now!!).
3. Consumers no longer purchase what Marketers promote to them
Why? Because, consumers now research online!
The old way was simple, right?
i. Smart Marketing guys design great advertising campaigns.
ii. The consumer is convinced that they need this product.
iii. They go out and buy it.
How things have changed! Marketing smart guys still craft great ad campaigns to promote a product but now consumers can filter everyting. They have smart phones with access to cost comparison websites pause and fast forward on their TV and they can also see feedback and reviews from other consumer with “star ratings” or marks out of 10!!
Stats prove this point. If, for example, you are advertising a hotel room in Ireland, you would need to be aware that 66% of your target market will conduct online research on your hotel (and your competitors), before they commit to staying there.
4. Customer engagement is no longer an optional task, it is essential
When using Social Media in business, there are two common mistakes made by business owners.
The first is that they set up all of their Social Media channels without any strategy. Then, they sit back and wait for the new business to come flooding in because that’s what happens with Social Media!! Finally, they express disappointment at how Social Media is performing and wonder what all the hype is about!
The second is that they talk “at” their customers rather than engage “with” their customers. In other words, they are retaining old school interpretation of the B2C relationship and how it used to be.
Engagement can be extremely fulfilling and rewarding if it is done correctly. Ask Tom Dickson, Social Media novice, Grandfather and also CEO of Blendtec in 2006. He decided to use YouTube to promote his blender products and became an online sensation. His “Will it blend?” campaign turned him into an internet star and Blendtec into a social Media sensation driving revenue.
However, for every Tom Dickson, they are millions of businesses who try and fail to get Social Media to work for them. Many people judge a business online by how actively it updates its website and Social Media Channels. If you are a business owner and your last Tweet was in 2012, you should close the channel rather than advertise the fact that you have no Social Media Strategy.Tags: Brand Managers, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, traditional Marketing