Let me state the obvious, social media is big. And not just because trending topics make the nightly news. It’s big because it’s got the attention of advertisers. That means $$$. Businesses want to leverage social media to convert consumers into brand lovers. You’ve seen this already, ever notice the ads on the right column of your News Feed or the promoted Trending Topic? Advertisers pay big bucks just to get a little attention from you, but they miss the mark. The fact is, for social media marketing to work it has to engage the same way social media does: genuine conversations with real humans.
I could go on and on describing the best way to do this. But instead, I’ll share Gary Vaynerchuk’s story about how he used Social Media to grow his business. A few lessons to be learned from Gary: Social Media advertising can’t be the traditional one-sided message we see on TV. Simply saying “Buy my product” will land on deaf ears. The nature of social media is engaging conversation, so ads must also be engaging. Another lesson: It has to be genuinely human. Those twitter bots are annoyingly obvious, and using those could hurt a brand. A real response from a real personal connection is a necessity to social media advertising.
It’s an exciting time for marketing. We’re on the cusp of something new, something that will make brands a LOT of moolah! But I think that we’re also about to witness the birth of something else. New jobs. Which to me is even more exciting!
However brands decide to utilize social media, they have to keep in mind those pesky rules around social media: Real Humans. Real Conversations. And just as it is in real life, powerful conversations take time and manpower. Just use Gary as an example. He spent 12 plus hours a day, scouring blogs to listen to concerns, tweeting, responding to emails, etc. That’s just for ONE business.
Imagine if every company had a social media advocate employed? How would this work? People. I’ll call them Social Media Advocates. Just like when you pick up the phone to call At&t to speak to someone about your needs, businesses will need a real person to answer their tweets, moderate facebook messages and create thoughtful discussions. If businesses are going to use social media the right way, they will need real people to create real connections. This is not a small task. One that requires full-time attention.
So while job creation and outsourcing are hot topics in the US right now, is social media advocating the answer? I can’t be certain, but what I do know is that social media is here to stay. And where the people are, advertisers will follow. So it’ll be interesting to see where marketing in the social media realm goes and how it’ll create new jobs.