Social media is changing the landscape for marketers and business leaders at organizations large and small. Brand leaders are finally starting to understand that it is not about a quick fix, band-aid for a broken business or spamming audiences with promotions. They must be willing to let go of old marketing ways and have an open mindset to new media technologies, processes and ways of doing business.
Brands that are succeeding and seeing results with social media are integrating social into the DNA of their business. They are finding ways to better meet business goals by embedding social across the organization including customer service, sales, business development, human resources, product development, customer service and the list goes on.
They are empowering employees, giving more than they get and focusing on serving communities and the human beings within them.
It is no longer a question if you should consider social as part of your marketing mix and business strategy. It's a matter of survival for many businesess. Social networks are where customers, employees, partners and communities are hanging out. It's where they are communicating and often times where many consumers and business leaders choose to communicate with the brand and the people in it.
Mobile technologies are changing the way we do business and empowering the consumer and business decision maker like never before.
- 90% of people have their mobile device within arms reach 100% of the time.
- 93% of marketers are using social media for business.
- 5700 tweets are sent every second
- 71% users utilize a mobile device to access the social networks
- 39 million Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month
- Instagram has 150 million active users and Pinterest has 20 million. Pinterest still drives the highest amount of web traffic.
- By the end of 2015, approximately half a trillion apps will have been downloaded
- 65% of social media activity occurs on a smartphone
12 Social Business Shifts Marketers Must Get Right in 2014
1. From me to we.
If you have ever thought business is all about you and your brand, there is no better time than now to acknowledge and learn that it is not. Building empires is not the road to social business results. Instead think team, think crowdsourcing. The crowd can do much more together than you can do alone in your silo. Next time you are short on ideas, content or time, try tapping into and empowering your community and be amazed at the results!
2. From interruption marketing to inspiring conversations.
Social networks are not a TV with a remote that you can simply pop in and blast out your corporate mumbo jumbo. Instead you must earn trust, invest in human beings and become part of the conversation in a real and meaningful way. Interruption will likely leave you with few online friends and little success in achieving business goals. Read-> Social Media Branding: 16 Tips to Create a Consistent, Relevant and Trusted Social Brand
3. From pushing noise to sharing value.
This is pretty simple. Quit broadcasting and instead get in the head of your customer. Know what they need and want. Then give it to them. Don't just share what you want to sell. Focus on their business and life goals. Inspire them to connect with you with a goal of helping them achieve their objectives. You will then achieve yours by default. Think relevance. Think context. Think meaning and value. Read-> 12 Tips to Share Your Best Stuff
4. From corporate speak to brand humanization.
You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them. Treat your audiences as human beings. Think, act, share, and talk like a human being. Don't make this more complicated than it needs to be. It's not rocket science. You are a human so simply treat other human beings like humans. Respect them, care for them and show them that you care about more than the credit card in their wallet. Read-> 13 Characteristics of Human Brands and 22 Tips to Humanize Your Brand Using Twitter
5. From disconnected silos to integration.
Integrate social media into the DNA of your business. Align social to business goals where it can have the most positive impact. Align with key initiatives and teams across the internal organization as well as external partners and stakeholders. You must stomp the Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs) as they will eat every last morsel of ROI before you wake up for breakfast! Read-> 9 Tips to Stomp Random Acts of Marketing
6. From information control to sharing your best stuff.
It's time to quit holding back. It's to share your goods, your best goods. The better you can help your audience and community solve their biggest problems, the more they will be organically attracted to you and your brand. It's no longer about holding everything behind a paywall. Instead of hoarding information, put out there some of your best content and resources that will inspire and empower your audiences to do better, be better and be more. When they succeed they will remember who helped them along the way. Download-> Content Marketing Editorial Calendar 2014
7. From counting followers to valuing relationships.
Enough of the counting fans and followers. Focus on quality over quantity. Relationships are the life raft to social business and technology evolution. Fake followers and fans do not eat, sleep, read, share, think or own a credit card. They are bots with no brain. Focus on human beings with hearts and brains, period! Read-> Focus On Human Beings, Not Just Social Media Tools Social Relationships and Social Relationships, The Life Raft for Social Business and Technology Evolution
8. From one way to interactive.
The focus must be on conversation that drives action. Conversation that inspires your audience to connect with you, to engage and to also share value to the broader ecosystem. Technologies must be prioritized that attract and engage your audience. Mobile must be embedded in the DNA of social and digital platform development from the start, not an after thought. You have approximately 5 seconds to engage a visitor to your website. Your online platform must inspire and connect within your ideal customer in a few short seconds, regardless of the type of device they are using such as mobile smartphone or desktop computer. Your websites and blogs better be mobile responsive if you want to support the needs of social and online users today. Listen to Radio Show-> Designing Exceptional Digital Experiences, With Special Guests IBM, City Forward and Base22
9. From paid spokespeople to earned brand advocates.
You must earn trust and the support of loyal brand evangelists and advocates. This is going to take time and will not happen overnight. Communities create markets, but first you must invest and build communities by empowering human beings. You want loyal brand advocates ready to shout how awesome your brand is from a mountain top. This includes empowered and engaged employees, as well as loyal customers, partners and the larger ecosystem of people who know and love our brand. Read-> Communities Create Markets – 13 Tips to Build Loyal Tribes of Brand Evangelists and 10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience (includes video)
10. From focus on influence scores to influencing minds and perception.
Quit worrying about your social influence scores. If you provide value to your audience in a real and authentic way and help them achieve their objectives, your social influence scores will increase organically. Instead shift your focus to influencing minds, influencing perception. How can you make people think different? How can you inspire action that drives them to greater success? Focus on the needs of your audience and do not let the desire for a personal or brand influence score dictate how you engage online. Doing such is risky behavior and will often drive less human behavior vs more.
11. From brand control to empowered workforces.
Gone are the days of the corporate brand being controlled by the c-suite or marketing ivory tower. Today your brand is what your audience says it is. It is what your employees exude. It's everything they say, think, share and do. Your greatest asset is your workforce. Treat them as humans and empower them to be a shining light for your business and your brand both online and offline. Read-> 71% CEOs Believe Human Capital is Key Source of Sustained Economic Value
12. From ignoring the unsocial to bridging the social divide.
Generation S is the first generation who chooses if they want to be part of the generation. They choose to be social, they are not identified by age, race, education or other typical demographics. Instead of ignoring the human beings who choose not to be part of Generation S, we must engage and empower them. We must learn how to bridge the social digital divide. We must use different mediums that can engage them in ways they feel comfortable such as audio, video and integrated online and offline events. Read-> Generation S – Bridging the Social Digital Divide
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- Worksheet: Download our Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template
- Worksheet: Download our POST audience analysis worksheet to help you identify and prioritize your top audiences.
- Blog Post: Brand Humanization: Focus on Human Beings, Not Social Media Tools
- Blog Post: Quit Trying to DO Social Media, Focus On Business Results
- Blog Post: 10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience (includes tutorial video)
- Blog Post: Social Brand Humanization: Authenticity vs Transparency
- Blog Post: 22 Tips to Humanize Your Brand Using Twitter
- Blog Post: Talk Human to Me: 20 Tips to Humanize Your Brand
- Blog Post: Building, Growing & Sustaining Communities
- Blog Post: 9 Tips to Stomp Random Acts of Marketing (RAMs)
- Blog Post: 13 Characteristics of Human Brands