Social media in 2011 – The reign of content
For almost two years now, digital marketers have been riding the crest of a wave. Social media has been ‘new’ enough for the simple setting up of a social presence to equate to a ‘win’ for a large majority of marketing departments worldwide.
Global boards have been placated by the simple fact that their brands ‘have a Facebook page’ or ‘are on Twitter’. But as we wind up 2010 and head into another new year, digital marketers need to recognise that social is no longer new – which means new social strategies are required.
Don’t get me wrong; many brands are executing social media marketing to spectacular effect. The fact remains, however, that many are not. Why? ‘Being’ in the social space is no longer enough to warrant a follow, a like, a membership request – you have to EARN that connection with consumers – and you do this through great content, which is where many people fall down.
Take Twitter for example: it’s a fantastic communications channel and an excellent way to reach out to, and connect with, current and new customers. But like all communications channels, you have to have relevant and timely things to say – or content that people will want to read.
Social media is ALL about permission marketing. I’ve long compared web 2.0 to a digital democracy: no one voice is now ‘more credible’ than another. If we are to permeate our target audiences, we need to do so authentically, passionately and relevantly – and all of this relates back to the fact that content is king.
At the Stopgap Group, we’ve refined a social media strategy over two years. I’m the first person to hold my hand up and say I’ve learnt and changed things in that time, but those learnings have allowed us to refine and grow a social media strategy that now includes a marketing podcast, defined Twitter streams, a thriving LinkedIn group and a marketing library on Delicious.
We are all capable of making digital noise. As we head into 2011 we simply need to remember that, noisy or not, we need to ensure we’re saying things that are relevant and interesting to our target audience.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Stopgap Group