After recently attending a few events associated with a market segment bowden2bowden dabbles in often, it gives me some pleasure to sit down and reflect about conversations I have had over the last several years. I like to think of myself as a forward thinker, always looking for the newest and brightest gadget, talent, initiative, etc. My brain is always churning and peaking out-side-the-box for excitement to ignite a brand. I love change. I love studying human behavior. When new media (social) started to penetrate the corporate marketing and public relations departments at many mid to large companies it was dismissed as a fad but I thought not. Immersing myself into the various channels and trying to learn the mechanics of how they work, can work and applying the proper ones with the proper brand or client. It was fun, is fun but often frustrating when revisiting with potential clients from just a few years ago.
Let me set this post up a bit…
My social media timeline;
2007: Social media is a game changer!
2008: Social media is way cool, you should integrate this into your marketing plan.
2009: I have been telling you that social media is the future but you have not been listening.
2010: Yes! It’s working. I was right.
2011: See how well this works. I told you so.
2012: Didn’t I say all this stuff to you five years ago and now you are telling me that social media is the way to go?
Just to be clear, I still very much believe in social media. Social is now part of everything we at bowden2bowden do. But I believe we’re now entering a time where we need to start building on top of the social world. To many they are just now discovering the foundation channels and it reminds me of the newspaper industry that had their head stuck in the sand for so long when they should have been the leaders in digital news delivery but instead let their arrogance lead to their own demise.
With social media there is very little new anymore, it’s all just variations of the same thing and from here on out it’s pretty obvious how things will play out.
However, we visited and talked to friends, entrepreneurs and small business owners who still believe using social media to market their business is a waste of time. They believe this because they think every minute spent on social media should equal a dollar amount in return, they expect every Facebook like or Twitter follower to equal a dollar amount.
If you are thinking of success in social media can only be measured by money received and are not taking other factors into the equation then you will not see it as successful.
Everyone knows a business can’t be successful if no one knows about it. No matter the size of your business, you must market and promote it to be successful!
Big businesses with big marketing budgets see the value of using social media marketing. They understand they can use social media to build, connect, engage and influence their target audience by driving Internet traffic in ways other marketing and advertising cannot do.
Social media is valuable and will continue to be a valuable tool for companies who figure out how it can work for them. The crazy part will die down and this relatively new set of marketing tools will take their place in the marketing mix. Those who do it right and for the right reasons, will remain. Social media has enabled us to connect with more people both personally and professionally. It has enabled brands to build a certain level of relationship with individuals, and this has changed the face of marketing.
So, what is coming is a greater appreciation of the intimacy, the magic, and the power of face2face relationships. We already see the growth of web enabled meet-ups and tweet-ups and the phenomenal growth of FourSquare and Yelp and social media will enable these. We see a proliferation of conferences and every week I get hundreds of e-invites to some charity, networking or vendor-related event at a restaurant, someone’s home, or another real life face2face event.
When people come together and talk about ideas, big things can happen. The body language, the tone of voice, the setting, the clothing, and the way a person looks at you is all information that can only be transmitted in one setting. Social media now facilitates and enables direct human contact.
Businesses need to use all of the marketing tools at their disposal to connect with consumers, pushing toward face2face events. Some of the most Internet-challenged businesses have the greatest opportunity to use the power of the personal experience to build their business. The way I see it, social media is now the catalyst to a greater opportunity for generating more intimate exposure for your brand with your customers.
Now catch-up or I will again be saying I told you so!