Understanding the mediascape of social media is critical to a company of any size. When we look at branding through the ages, there has been a clear evolution leading to where we are now, and where we are on the verge of going. The social media landscape as a great place to be if you’re a brand who wants to converse with your consumers, not just sell to them.
Social Media is forcing companies to make the brand as a person, come alive
It used to be that commercial messages were all that a consumer would receive. If you wanted to sell a product to your consumer, you would say ‘here’s our product’. Now we are in the next phase which is being referred to as the ‘information age’. Now the product is accompanied by information to help the consumer learn more and make a more informed purchasing decision. This is also in the storytelling phase where we’re talking about the brand as well as the product. We’re sharing a story that might include a bit of history on the brand, a vision, and a glimpse into the personality and background so that consumers feel more familiar with that brand and not just the product it’s selling.
It makes sense that brands start to really look at the way they use social media and compare it to how we live and act in the real world. So a company website would be the equivalent of a bricks and mortar store where people visit the website to go window shopping, see what’s new in-store, and buy things. This versus Facebook which would be like friends hanging out at a coffee shop (think of the sitcom ‘Friends’), which means the way a brand speaks on a website has to be very different from the conversations they create on Facebook with their fans.
A brand is more like a person today, more than ever before
Some brands have done a remarkable job of engaging consumers through social media conversation. A brand is more like a person today, more than ever before. Social Media is forcing companies to make the brand as a person, come alive. The message is loud and clear, if you want to be successful as a brand, you have to put a face to the name and strike up dialogue with your customers and give them a personality to converse with – not just a logo.
This is an exciting time to be working in the social media space but the best way to create those conversations and engage consumers isn’t just to know how to talk to them – you have to know where to speak to them, when they’re listening and know how to provide them with the content they want – not the content you want them to have. This is a conversation – not a push strategy.