We'd hashed out just who the agile consumer is before, but at our recent Social Media Week panel, a who’s who of journalists, marketers and industry watchers shared their thoughts on how this movement is changing marketing. Three panels of social marketing experts offered up insights, reflections and stories about reaching the agile consumer. There was plenty of wisdom, so we plucked some key takeaways for social marketing.
1. “The agile consumer isn’t resistant to marketing. They’re just more aware of it.“ – Brittany Darwell, Lead Writer at Inside Facebook.
Customers today are savvy. They do their own branding on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more. So they’re more likely to spot and disparage brand messaging that comes across as phony.
What to do? Be transparent about your marketing practices and authentic in your storytelling. As David Teicher, Associate Editor at Ad Age, put it: “Don’t spin an ad and tell me it’s a story.”
2. Give fans reasons to share content, and you’ll build brand loyalty.
The best marketing insights come from adapting your audience’s organic feedback. Katie Ellis and her team at Rent the Runway (RTR) discovered fans loved using Facebook to share and seek feedback about their dresses. So RTR created Our Runway, a web product centered around user-generated photo reviews and saw a 200% improvement in conversion rate.
Logo TV's Shawn Hollenbach ran a Video Contest where fans voted in a cast member for Ru Paul’s Drag Race. The campaign added 45,000 new Facebook fans, growing an online community of highly invested viewers.
3. You need to connect everywhere. Even offline.
When Saks 5th Avenue’s Melanie Kwong ran a Photo Contest to celebrate the new “floor of shoes” at Saks’ flagship store, she used in-store signs to promote it, including a video screen showing recent entries.
The result is consistent engagement of online and offline activity. In Melanie’s case, she saw many shoppers entering with their mobile phones.
4. Social marketing isn’t “soft.”
“A few years ago, people thought social marketing was about giving fans a hug,” laughed Gilt City’s Mae Karwowski. Not anymore, thanks to improvements in tracking.
Brands can track fan engagement and how that leads to new customers, resulting in bigger budgets for social marketing. For instance, Logo TV monitors social channels to hear about fans’ passions. They use that insight to create more relevant content and integrate user feedback into TV programming and ad deals. The niche network is building big buzz. “We built ourselves up to be the loudest brand because we’re listening,” said Shawn.
If you want to hear even more, check out the whole session here and please let me know your thoughts in the comments section! Thanks!