During the closing event at the Madrid Music Days last week I stated my opinion, with reasoning and examples, that social media marketing as we know it is coming to an end. I revisit here four of the most important points of my speech about what we can do so that Social Media doesn't die. (Note: this won't prevent its evolution.)
What needs to be done in Social Media so it doesn't die?
This is the approach we've been working on for the past two years, and it is working.
1. Social platforms are communication and marketing channels and, as we've proven, are still viable sales channels. However, they need to be led correctly. They need a coherent strategy and execution that focuses on results, on connecting with our community, therefore creating certain resonance with our people in a dynamic, interesting and brilliant way.
Social Media doesn't create a different world; neither does it invent or define. This is something that only comes about with an idea, initiative, project or business. At the end of the day, it's only marketing through a new means of communication. Navigate your project or brand through these channels, seeking a clear, defined project. Do so without losing track of the people because, most of all, you need them right now. The value you provide is the value that the world will give in return.
2. Symbiotic models have always worked best (except in the case of Spiderman and his alter ego). Throwing conventional communication and marketing out of the window was, still is and will always be a dumb idea!
Look for a cross media strategy. Traditional communication isn't dead, PR is extremely useful for word-of-mouth, there are still a variety of offline means to cross over to digital communication. Use what you do well out there, such as sales, to bring your customers to your company blog or to have a 24/7 customer service over Twitter.
3. Companies that claim to care about people but who can't be bothered to interact with their buyers can ignore all of this. We're ignoring you in one way or another.
Ask, listen, do something with all of this. Look out for conversations, take part in them. Recommend services that are in line with your audience, become "the person to turn to if I need something" and let the results speak for themselves.
4. If you want to use the social web and the great opportunity that lies therein, at least attempt things, learn from them, fail often, experiment, fine-tune, use any feedback you get, be creative and try something different; all of this before, during and after using social media. There's no other way. That's my recipe to get to where you're so good that no one can ignore you.
Should you advertise on Facebook? If that's your concern, there's so much more you should be concerned about. Is being on Pinterest worth it? Who knows. Should you programme your tweets? Have you ever tried this and measured the results obtained? The only way to get an answer to these and many other similar questions is to just go for it and try it out. You need to work with the social web thoroughly to understand what works and what doesn't. The best -or worst- thing about this is that it's a day-to-day job. What worked yesterday may not work today, or what works today may not work tomorrow.
The direction that such work is taking means that if you want to make the social web to work for you, it must become a part of all your business processes. It's not less important but, rather, the driving current. The work you carry out is part of your marketing, your customer services, finance, internal communications, human resources; it's part of your company's model. It's a part of it all!
What else needs to be done here? What's your role?
Photo credit: Clint McMahon.