That was then, this is now. The new addiction is the Web, and social media in particular. Interacting is more fun than just watching – and on top of that, it’s content created by people you actually know. Or at least most of it.
How addictive is social media today? A recent study says a majority of social network users have a real fear of ‘missing out’ if they don’t check in. Many said they’d prefer a root canal to giving up their social profiles.
So what does this mean for your brand? Something you probably already know by now: Businesses devoting more substantial resources – including money, personnel and outside experts – are having the most marketing success. And those integrating social with traditional advertising are doing even better.
As we always tell our clients, smart marketing has always been about showing up where your target lives. And today, people live on social networks. They’re online (multitasking) when they watch TV. They check in by phone while in line for a movie or out shopping. They check Facebook and Twitter updates in the middle of a dinner date. You probably do these things, too. It’s a full-fledged addiction.
We talk with a lot of brands that have Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. They post and respond daily. They may have tried a few tactics like a contest, sweepstakes or product giveaway. But they haven’t really made the commitment to social. They don’t fund it properly. They don’t have an experienced team working on it. And they haven’t hired a good social agency to help them keep up.
These are businesses we call ‘social followers’. They follow what are competitors doing, and other than that it’s pretty much business as usual. The other, much smaller category are the ‘social leaders’. They’re the ones trying innovative new ideas for content creation and sharing. They tend to make news as a result. And naturally, to sell more products.
So the question for today is, which category is your brand in, and why? We’d love to hear from you.