Social Media is here to stay, deal with it!

Times are fast changing as the world is no longer as we know it. Some might argue the times have gotten better while others might beg to differ. I guess its all about perspective. One thing is certain though, the impact of technology is prevalent in every facet of life as technology has been interwoven into our cultural fabric. The ever-evolving nature of tech has spawned what might be considered the most interactive platform on the planet — Social Media.

Social Media goes beyond Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat. However, these platforms are undoubtedly the dominators in the digital landscape. As a digital marketer and social media enthusiast, I’ve come to learn (still learning) and understand how these platforms work effectively, and how users engage with social content. Being a millennial and digital marketer, I am both consumer and producer, hence I’m able to see things from both ends of the spectrum. A key problem some small & medium brands face today, (B2C especially) is failing to understand the value social media can bring to their business. The first explosion of social media sites like Myspace & Friendster in early 2000, heralded a new wave of how we communicate with people across the globe. Like every global trend, there were the doubters and pessimists. Some businesses believed social media was just a fickle trend, hence reluctant to participate in the wave and communicate their message on online platforms at the time. Like hip-hop icon NAS rightfully put it, “people fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.”

In 2017 (and moving forward), a company’s social media platform(s) can provide the most valuable insight into consumer behavior. How? True likes, comments, shares and overall engagement with the content a brand puts out. Companies can save tons on marketing research cost, build concrete relationships with their customers and so forth, by simply posting engaging content consistently.

Some great examples of companies that have mastered the social media game are Microsoft’s XBOX, Starbucks, Redbull, GoPro & Fashion Nova to list a few. It is highly essential for brands to get with the times and ride the wave while the tide is high. Companies like Kodak & Motorola paid the price for not becoming early adopters of social trends, one stuck to photographic film while the world gravitated towards digital, and the latter thought creating thinner phones instead of improving user experience was the best business approach. Both brands ultimately lost market share and completely nosedived off the consumer market.

Why Is Social Media Important?

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As advertising becomes less and less impactful, it is important for brands to focus on how to build a loyal community of not just patrons or buyers, but people who connect and understand the vision of a brand. Brand’s like GoPro emulate the very essence of social media communication and how this can impact a brand’s journey. GoPro has embraced its community of fun-seekers, adventurers and risk takers by letting them share their memorable moments using GoPro. The brand gets constantly tagged on social media which it in turn reposts and share consumer content, showing it’s followers’ experiences, giving them a sense of belonging. Other brands like Redbull, create compelling content around extreme sports fans and adrenaline junkies. Fans can get inspired from content put out by Redbull, share their daredevil stunts with the brand & become part of the unique brand story.

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In 2017 and beyond, it is important for brands to understand the marketing vehicle of social media. It goes beyond hiring a 20 something-year-old, giving him or her a phone and having them post content. It has more to do with several variables such as social media lingo, captivating pictures, emojis, influencer endorsements, engagement and brand image overall. It is very important for B2C companies to note that social media is an aspect of a business to take seriously.