For traditional marketers, the end of year holiday season marks a massive push in terms of advertisements. Unfortunately, when small businesses don’t realize the power they wield with social media, they miss out. The holidays can be a beneficial time to ramp up your social media efforts in order to attract new clients or customers.
All too often, small businesses don’t understand the importance of an active social media presence and suffer the consequences. Developing a strategy for your small business in terms of social media can be just as important as the right location. With the advent of social media, businesses have been allowed the freedom to reach customers and other businesses in new and inventive ways.
Today, there is no shortage of data. There is exponentially more available data in our hands today than a decade ago, and there will be much more data available tomorrow than there is today. With so much information available, it’s strange that many still rely on their instincts or sales pitches to determine where to put their advertising dollars.
Most big companies get it. They will go so far as to buy other companies just to get access to their data. This has been common for decades, but today the ability to sift through and organize the data in a quickly-retrievable manner makes it even more prevalent than the past. For smaller companies, it gets a little more complicated, particularly if they’re working within a constraint such as limited potential customers bases or localization. That doesn’t mean it’s not impossible.
When I first started playing around with social media marketing back in 2007, it was new, fresh, and wonderful. I created this blog to keep my thoughts in order, to have a central point through which to post all of my content, and to build a brand that could eventually become a company of its own.
Things change. Directions change. Elements of our lives that we once considered to be important become secondary in the blink of an eye. For me, Soshable has been one of those aspects of my life that fell by the wayside. My focus on automotive social media marketing has allowed me the privilege of forming a strong company with a bright future that takes up way too much of my time and my former blogging stallion was put in the barn.
That is changing. The good part about having a company grow is that you can start to hire people to do much of the work that you had to do in the beginning. Things that took up all of my time when I started my company less than a year ago are now superbly handled by a team that makes me look good. Time is opening up. Needs are growing, but in different directions. It’s time for Soshable to erupt into what it once was – a place where I and other authors promote the best practices available in social media.
It doesn’t need to be a social media blog. It needs to be thesocial media blog, the one that it once was and that it can be again. Thankfully, it’s not like a boxer coming out of retirement. When a volcano erupts after being dormant for a long time, the fury is often greater than it every was before. That’s my hope. Bring the marshmallows. We’re about to spew some heat.
As a good chunk of the internet is finally starting to switch to responsive websites, let’s put another nail in the unresponsive website design coffin. For social media, consistency between mobile devices and desktops is imperative.
Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest can send a good measure of traffic to websites, particularly if appropriate campaigns are being run on them. Creating landing pages that are “social-appropriate” can be a challenge when there are two variations of a website running, which is the case with adaptive websites that present different pages for the same URL depending on the device through which they’re called. If the goal is to send traffic to the website through social media, responsive is an ideal solution.
When it comes to marketing (and just about everything else), there are right-brained thinkers and left-brained thinkers. The right-brain thinkers are more subjective and often more creative and would not like the concept of social media having two options. It makes it too black and white. Left-brain thinkers are guided by logic and wouldn’t necessarily believe that there are only two categories in social media marketing. In other words, neither type of person will likely agree with the assertion of this article, at least not at first.
One can make an argument that there are definitely multiple sub-categories, styles, and strategies that go into social media marketing, but there are really only two stances that businesses should take. These two categories can be called “outbound” and “inbound” social media strategies. They shouldn’t be confused with inbound or outbound digital marketing strategies. In the case of these social media categories, we’re being a little more straight forward than that.
Just about anyone who has been on the internet in the past couple of decades has fallen victim to the unfortunate fraud of contact form ambiguity. You fill out a form in order to get some information or to be contacted by someone, only to receive the wrong information or to be contacted by the wrong (or even multiple) people. It has gotten to the point that contact forms in general often leave a negative taste in web surfers’ mouths.
Moreover, they rarely have the right information even in the forms themselves. It’s common to be filling out a form and not have all of the information necessary to know if you’re filling out the right form or not. This is not only a pain, but it can be dangerous as well. Between privacy issues and the need for transparency, collecting information on the internet has gained a bad but deserved rap.
Recently, some social media users have been in an uproar after Facebook admitted to carrying out a secret experiment in which the news feeds of more than 600,000 users were filtered to see if those individuals would have differing emotions based upon what they saw on the screen. For example, it was determined if a person was exposed to more positive news from friends, he or she would be less likely to post something negative as a status update. The opposite was also found to be true.
“Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion”
On a smaller scale, most of us are already familiar with this phenomenon. Spending time with a friend who is in an abundantly good mood probably makes you feel similar, even if you were previously feeling a little down in the dumps.
There’s a saying that goes something like this: “Give me the baby. I don’t need the labor pains.”
This definitely applies to modern digital marketing and advertising. It’s actually contrary to certain trends. Faster internet connection, faster mobile devices, and a resurgence of multi-step digital processes point to the concept that perhaps we don’t need to be so focused on getting to the point, but the other factors point in the other direction. Most notable of these factors would be the fact that people have been forced to jump through hoops in the past and those who emulate this same process will not be rewarded.
Have you ever wondered how a particular brand knows so much about you that they keep sending relevant discount offers, including at times when you need them the most? It is not magic, nor is it luck. These offers are a result of the brand being able to obtain some solid customer insights that have helped it create a timely marketing message that is extremely relevant to your needs.
While there are plenty of traditional data collection techniques, like web analytics and monitoring a particular customer’s purchase behavior, there is another wealth of consumer data that is just waiting to be tapped and this data is sitting on a consumer’s social profile across different networks, like Facebook and Twitter. The question is – how do you get access to this rich social data that is essentially the most credible first party data that you can get ahold of?
There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.
Okay, so that’s not really original. Any opportunity to plug in a line from Gladiator, I’ll take it. Despite the overly serious tone of the quote, it plays well with the dream that was social media. The idea of having a set of free venues through which businesses could interact with consumers and the consumers could interact back presented itself as a grand concept to be desired and cherished. Unfortunately, the dream is dead. Success on modern social media requires one of two things: serious fame or cash invested.