Enough is Enough: A Manifesto for Social Media Marketing
At the Lithium Network Conference (LiNC) in June, Nate Elliott, in a breakout session, said something that really struck a nerve within me:
“The rise of social has fundamentally changed marketing and advertising as we know it. The problem here is that brands aren’t really sure if their social marketing efforts are effective.”
Let’s quickly take a step back to fully understand what that means. As marketers, we instinctively know that social media must be a part of our daily lives. It’s not an option; it’s table stakes. Brands that succeed in today’s rapidly evolving consumer marketplace are those that harness the power of social media — and do so in real-time.
The only problem is that being on or a part of the social media ecosystem doesn’t actually equate to success for a brand. In fact, just posting a blog, tweeting a tweet, or pinning a pin doesn’t do much in isolation. Sure, doing so gives brands a presence on social media; however, what good comes from all that posting, tweeting, and pinning if marketers don’t truly understand how to extract value from all this effort? And let’s be honest, having a presence on social media takes a lot of time, effort, and resources — so why waste all of that on “post and pray” tactics when there’s data and tools at our fingertips to help us make sense of it all?
The answer is simple: there’s no excuse. We’ve lived, breathed, and ridden the rollercoaster of social media for too long now to not understand how, when, where and why our social marketing efforts are effective (or not).
Social media marketing does not — and absolutely should not — fall short any longer. We must resolve to do better. We must avoid perpetuating the endless cycle of “not really knowing,” now and well into the future. We have to make social media work harder for our brands over the long haul.
How? We have to be more accountable to results and make the following commitments to ourselves:
1. “I won’t use social for social sake.”
Social is a tool for solving business problems.
2. “I must talk and respond.”
Social is a two-way dialogue.
3. “I have to be more compelling.”
Organic performs better, but is getting harder.
4. “I will own my customer relationship.”
Social deepens the customer relationship, so I won’t outsource this to an agency or a partner.
5. “I won’t just keep growing the team; I will work smarter.”
A bigger team doesn’t mean better results.
I’ll be heading deeper into each of these in the coming weeks, shedding light on what this actually means for brands as well as how embracing them can lead to real business results. I’ll also share some companies that are role models for the right behavior. In the meantime, feel free to learn more about our “manifesto” and, while you’re at it, don’t hesitate to share your own stories of how you have overcome the challenges of social media marketing in the face of ever-changing (and ever-growing) consumer expectations.
Social media marketing can work hard for our brands again. This is our answer for “how.”