Social media has changed the way we market our brands in 2 basic ways. First, the brand is no longer under the control of the marketing manager nor anyone else in the company, it now under the control of the CUSTOMER.
The second factor is that smart customers today know and DECIDE what kind of content they would share via social media. Marketers like us cannot DECIDE for them.
The sad truth is, not many marketers today do fully understand these 2 important factors; many of them still treat social media like any traditional advertising tool or some tool to engage their brand with their customers. They simply massively communicate, but failed to measure and see the real results from their social media campaigns.
Social Media marketing is way MORE than that.
A real life example
I have a friend who works as a marketing manager for a MNC; just a few months ago, her company threw a small champagne party to celebrate their achievement of over 10,000 Facebook likes in less than 9 months. Their entire social media campaign costs them about $50,000 in social media consultancy fees, online and offline advertising costs as well as purchases of expensive lucky draw prizes.
Just a few days ago, my friend called me up and said she did not understand why her boss is so angry with her that he is going to “fire” two of her marketing staffs. After hearing her ten minutes of complaint, I simply asked her back two questions:
1) “Do you see an improvement in your company’s sales after you have achieved your 10,000 Facebook likes?”
2) Have your 10,000 Likes increase the number of your product enquiries in terms of online enquiries or call in enquries?
Her answer is “No”. Then, I replied, “If both your answers are No, are you telling me that you have wasted 50,000 marketing dollars and 9 months of your time on people who don’t even CARE about your brand?”
So, What is the Moral of this Story?
The moral of this story tells us that our main goal in our social media strategy is:
“Marketers like us need to convert social media prospects into buying customers while at the same time make our existing customers feel proud owning our brand.”
The New Role of the Marketer in Social Media
You might be thinking that since customers are the ones controlling the brand and you cannot decide for them what to share on social media, then does it mean marketers like us could pack our stuffs, retire into some remote mountains and leave our marketing activities to the customers?
In fact because of social media, marketing people like us are much more NEEDED today.
To Teach Your Company Staffs on Social Media Management
Marketers are more needed today to educate every person in your company, marketers or non-marketers alike, on ways to handle your brand image on social media. This is because everybody is now representing your brand. It is no longer the role of the marketing or PR person only.
To Support and Guide the Customers
Since you cannot control and decide for the customers what kind of contents they will share on social media, you could create an atmosphere around your brand, to guide and support the customers all the way, to like and share good things about your brand on social media willingly. One way you could do that is to focus on educating your prospects and customers on your brand through related posts, articles, images and other related contents.
In summary, just remember this again:
“Social media has changed the way we market our brands, the ball is now in the hands of the customer and they are the ones who will decide what kind of content to share on social media.”