All marketing is communication. And all communication leaves an impression. Posts, comments, hashtags, banners – all this content is constantly communicating who your business is and the value of your brand. What is the value you want to impress upon your audience especially when it comes to social marketing?
Consider Dove’s ultra successful video campaign, “Real Beauty Sketches.” This has become the most successful viral video ever with more than 4 billion media impressions.
What did you think of Dove before this? I thought they made white, silky soap, purchased mostly by women. After this video I didn’t think much about the soap, but I was left with the impression that the makers of the Dove products genuinely care about women. And that is infinitely more powerful than the features of the soap.
Consider Nike’s ceaseless marketing campaigns using their slogan: “Just Do It.” When you hear this phrase, do you immediately think of buying shoes? Well, after this many years of associating that phrase with the brand, we probably do. However, we think considerably more about our performance in those shoes than the shoes themselves.
And what about Coca Cola? Their recent “Happiness” Campaign has generated a huge amount of online attention for the soda company. Instead of getting a coke from a vending machine, Coca Cola’s Happiness Machines shell out treats like flowers or sandwiches and even require some comers to perform a specific action – such as giving a hug or dancing – before receiving. It’s marketing initiatives like these that have helped Coca Cola create an enduring and popular brand— #2 of all time.
So, what does this have to do with social marketing? It’s simpler than you might think. Too many marketers and executives are overwhelmed by social – the scope, it’s hunger for continually fresh content, and the possibilities of negative comments having influence. But why isn’t social viewed simply as an obvious and natural extension of all other marketing communications?
If your business is advertising on the radio and in print, why not carry it over to social? If your business relies heavily on outside sales reps and banner advertising, why not carry that over to social? Maybe you say your businesses only relies on word-of-mouth to grow your business, then why not carry that over to social – the digital word-of-mouth medium?
It’s important to recognize that social is just as important as other marketing or sales channels and it’s time to embrace it as one of the best ways to effectively communicate the value of your brand. Dove, Nike, and Coca Cola each have an active and strategic social presence. Why? Because that’s where their audience is? Because the demand for their brand’s content is constant? Because they understand this a communication medium to provide better service to their customers? Yes, yes, and yes. But more importantly, having a strategic social presence in today’s internet entrenched world is a vital and important way to continually impress the value of your brand upon your loyal, and potentially loyal, audience.