Social 3.0 … Generating Results That Matter

Social Media in Transition

Social Media, as an advertising vehicle, has gone through considerable changes in the last five years as agencies and brands strive to deliver more accountable performance

  • Social 1.0 – Posting / Real-time marketing
    • The first wave strategy tried to build awareness by injecting brands into conversations on any trending current event or cultural happening … regardless of relevance.  Brands declared victory on the number of shares achieved.  If the objective was awareness, that made some sense, but did little to move users beyond awareness to brand engagement  
    • The other Social 1.0 activity was posting/tweeting various marketing content from offers to new product intros to real-time marketing 
    • Social Media marketing was (and still is for most brands ) all about generating awareness 

 

  • Social 2.0 – Ads
    • It became apparent to Social sites like Facebook that the way to make real money was to drastically restrict organic post distribution, thus forcing brands to spend on advertising 
    • With Mobile taking off, especially among Millennials, Social ads became a leveragable strategy to gain rapid awareness among the huge Facebook audience … Mobile ads basically saved Facebook.  Other networking sites quickly followed suit in an attempt to monetize their platforms (Twitter still has not turned a profit)
    • Again, Social Media strategy was anchored to generating brand awareness 

 

Social is the Least Understood Medium

If Social Media is truly about user-to-user conversations, then why do brands and agencies cling to merely generating awareness, instead of striving to produce engagement, influence and conversion

  • The answer is more about the DNA of advertising and the culture of its practitioners 
    • Brands strive for awareness.  Brands trust TV.  It generates vast awareness.  If you have enough SOV, you can even sell insurance with a caveman or a small green lizard.  As anyone who’s worked on a major account knows, big TV budgets often produce big results
    • CMO’s like structure in their marketing plans.  TV is easy and simple to sell upstairs.  Social Media is not (true for all digital in general).  Smart Social Media goes anywhere and everywhere the consumer goes to be there at the moment of decision.  The most effective strategies are often the messiest.  Hard to explain to a CEO and harder to implement
    •  The ROI payout for Social Media is hard to justify in a dispersed digital ecosystem.  Clients and agencies are having a hard time proving real value given the lack of direct conversion metrics.  Its easier to shoot a TV spot and run the hell out of it … no one gets fired for running Network TV.
    • We all love to talk a good buzzworthy game … engagement, programmatic, content houses, influencer marketing, big data, authenticity, etc. … but brands are reluctant to commit to Social or Digital for fear they cannot justify the spend under intense scrutiny (can you blame them)
    • Marketers are trained to sell … Social Media is about engagement and influence.  C-Levels call that soft and want hard metrics to prove a linear relationship to sales ( I always laugh when a CEO driving a Maserati tells me that branding has no effect on him).  In the world of quarterly results for Wall Street, soft doesn’t cut it.

 

Social 3.0 is About How Consumers Learn to Buy Brands Today

There are two keys to successful, accountable Social Media performance … they are very different from most Social implementations being used today

  • Educate ➠ Interactivity
    • People learn by doing … engaging consumers in interactive content teaches them why your products are better and gets them to buy
    • An interactive content strategy gets users to participate with branded content they’re interested in and increases brand favorably and Net Promoter scores … as well as promoting greater user sharing  
      • Gamification, polls, quizzes, video, downloads, etc. immerse users and facilitates learning  

 

  • Influence ➠ Authenticity
    • People believe other people … user-to-user reviews and recommendations are the most powerful selling tool in marketing today 
    • The Blogosphere is the most influential component of Social Media, out ranking even Facebook
      • Many interests from music to art to DIY are powered by blogs helping people discover new and exciting stuff
    • Effective Social Media strategy is based on generating user-to-user messaging that is believable and authentic … moving beyond awareness to teaching consumers to buy your products

 

Straight Up  ⇒  Brands need to move beyond their current Social Media practices to generate results that matter  

  • Brands spend a lot of time and energy by neatly lining up their content marketing strategy only to whiff by not adding interactive content into the mix … people learn by doing 
  • Brands need to tap into the Blogosphere in the right way … not by paying tons of money to get fabricated posts, but by developing 1-on-1 relationships with interested Bloggers … people believe other people

 

 

Zig is a nimble digital consultancy with deep expertise in Social/Mobile/Video marketing.  Our approach is different … we go beyond awareness to teach consumers why your products are better and get them to buy.

You can see our work by clicking on the link ⇒ http://www.zigmarketing.com

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