rubber meets road
Tom Standage explores social media from a historical perspective.
His findings reveal that people have seemingly always sought a way to communicate with others their ideas and identities across space and time. The motivation has always been to connect. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are leveraging the best technology and the time’s brightest ideas to create the most expeditious, unanimously adopted ways of connecting of our time. However, this is not new. For 2000 years, innovators have been leveraging the best available technology to execute their Big Ideas, based on the influence and availability of resources at their time in history (but we’ll get to that subject more later and also FLASHBACK to Steven Johnson and the origin of good ideas). It’s all coming together, guys. It’s all coming together.
So now we know that evolutionarily speaking (science, guys), we seek social media out to connect and share.
It’s time to start thinking creatively about your brand in particular. The only way Social Media Marketing works is if you’re actually connecting with your following. Facebook’s algorithm promotes engaging content over promotional content, for example. Internalizing this fact then, you begin to think of the way you can connect with people in every day life over something relating to your business. Enter: content marketing. The entire philosophy behind content marketing is providing your online following with usable information/advice/support/tips/tricks/treats which will eventually lead to direct business because of the long-term brand loyalty you have fostered, virtually (and most of the time, literally) for free.
You must connect in a genuine way with your online following in order to cultivate a meaningful relationship between them and your brand.
It’s the long game with content marketing. Next, you’ve thought about what is that you can connect with them about. This is the content piece of a good Brand development package – the voice and the visual of the Brand. Now we think about who those people are and where they hang out online. For most, being smart with marketing resources (time and money) is important. Therefore, more resources should be allocated to the things the provide the greatest returns. If your target market looks a lot like your grandmother in ten years, you probably don’t need to be burning up your keyboard 280 characters at a time on Twitter. Be smart about where it is you share your brand.
There’s a negative and a positive way to take and digest what we’re about to propose in the next paragraph (fasten your seatbelts…kidding. Really not that climactic).
In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he talks about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and all Those Guys (here’s looking at you, #SiliconValley) and how they were living examples of Right Place Right Time. Summed up: Completely Perfect Scenario. Set up. That shouldn’t be disheartening – you too can find your Right Place Right Time but it’s worth internalizing that there’s such a thing and that it matters. Where you find yourself in history and geography has bearing on your success within your niche (big duh). So keep this top of mind as you proceed forward.
We wanted to give you more practical applications in this blog post, besides all the absolutely practical questions you should answer before you actually do any work.
You’ve thought about where you’re going to share and connect, so that’s the first step. Next you need to think about when you’re going to engage. This will be dependent, in part, on who your following is and when they’re online and active. You will need to decide how Top of Feed you want to be. This must be balanced with your available resources. Content calendars are integral to getting organized, staying on top of what you plan to do and then making sure it actually happens, whether you’re the one executing, you’re delegating internally or we’re working with you as our client. Organization is the not-shiny key to success with marketing your brand and company online.
Last up and feeding off the “governance” discussion of last blog, we have the very Real Life problem of when to do the work that goes into content (read: creation) marketing for your brand.
Every case is individual. We like standard processes as much as anybody (more, actually) but every scenario is a different shade. What’s important to take away from this is that whatever works for your business should be what you do all of the time until you consciously decide to do something different because you’ve found a better way. Sit down with every member of your marketing team and map your communication process and every step that it takes and when you’re going to take them again and again and again. Make it happen and keep doing it and make it better every time.
This brings our September Series to a close. We’ve walked through the Why and Who, the What and How, and now the Where and When of your brand.