Social media can seem like a free-for-all. And sometimes brands treat it like it is. Have you ever tagged a product in an Instagram photo? I have. The way that your photos on social networks are treated by brands is evolving. What rights do brands have to your images? And what rights do you have?
2015 was a big year for brands and social media. Twitter acquired Periscope. Pinterest released buyable pins. Instagram opened up advertising to brands nationwide. And, brands are fighting to come up with creative ideas to become the “next big thing” on social media. While some have failed, some have totally nailed it.
Twitter’s livestreaming service, Periscope, is the talk of the social marketing world. Yes, it’s another great point of presence for consumers to interact with the brands they love or are just finding out about, but Periscope has more powerful applications for brands and individuals than appear on the surface. Sure, it’s awesome to be a supremely talented social marketer that’s out there pitching Periscope or Meerkat, but why? Why should brands use it?
In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, Alexandra Samuel argues that data journalism is an underused tool for companies and marketers. She says that while many brands have become publishers, they’ve failed to take advantage of the insights that their own corporate data could provide to customers.
For anyone who has yet to become familiar with Periscope, it is a live video streaming social media app – basically Face timing to your Twitter followers. If hitting 10 million users in under 4 months isn’t impressive enough, Periscope users are now watching 40 years' worth of streams a day, totaling to a whopping 21 million minutes a day . Unlike brands previous slow transition to incorporate Snapchat into their social media marketing strategies, brands have been quick to adopt Periscope into their marketing communications and seem to have no problem using the social media app.
At this point, a sizable proportion of your Facebook friends have changed their profile picture to an image filtered through a rainbow flag to celebrate a landmark Supreme Court decision that made same-sex marriage a right nationwide. Companies, public figures, and millions of other people across the country and world have taken to social media to commemorate the occasion, including the 26 million Facebook users (and counting) who’ve changed their Facebook photos to show support.
Social media has brought new opportunities and new challenges for companies seeking to connect consumers with their brands. Platforms like Twitter and Instagram provide marketers with new ways to reach customers, but they also require companies to rethink their usual advertising strategies. The “hard sell” technique that has its legacy in television and print just doesn’t play in the social media space.
There was a time (in the recent past) when brand sell was all about showcasing features and benefits to an intended target audience. With the emergence of social media, the art of the brand sell has evolved to include a very real social component. Social media has made engagement and response rate some of the main objectives for brands. With that, in the framework of brand development, the art of storytelling has become much more important. What was once brand sell, is now story sell. Now brand marketers need to wrap their initiatives around the story sell of their brand. Like it or not, engagement is where it’s at today and the way to consumers' hearts is through storytelling.
While there are a number of ways to measure ROI generated from social media, Facebook and Twitter are still worthy tools that can add a lot more value to your internet marketing campaign. Indeed, how greatly can social media benefit your business depends on how well it has been executed. The way you execute the social media decides how you will progress on the digital footprint.