Maximizing Social Media Value

Thursday, April 08, 2010
Michael Orpen

We know that because digital is incredibly interactive, a brand experience can easily and quickly lead a consumer from awareness through to purchase, and then to recommendation/promotion. No other medium has affected the traditional marketing/purchase process so dramatically.

When there was only print, logos were important. With radio, jingles took prominence. With television, the focus was the image of the brand communicated in the span of 30 seconds. The story here is that branding strategies have always been connected to specific media technologies. This omnipresent fact is even more relevant given the advent of digital. As such, we need to re-examine how we look at marketing communications in this new and exciting context.

Maximizing social media value is straightforward if you realize the potential. Don’t ask “How should we use the Internet to build brand value?”, but “What on the Internet is valuable and how can we use it?” The Internet reveals the not-so-obvious and unexpected relationships between people, products and the technologies they use. The old way of looking at branding is based in large part on the awareness of more obvious relationships. In the digital environment, branding is going through much, much more than just a simple evolution. This is a revolution. By making more things connected through information, brands using the digital channel can maximize their ability to generate relevant and more complex information.

Think about your client’s Twitter followers and Facebook friends, specifically: how many friends they have, who they know, where and what they buy, what they watch and when they watch it, how many people respond to their posts — EVERYTHING is visible because everyone projects. Smart marketers will pay close attention to the online dialogue and use that information to their advantage.

What insights come to the surface when you follow consumer interaction? In many cases, the best information comes from consumer conversations unrelated to your product or service. Are you using your social media channels to their utmost potential?