Social marketing is very different than traditional marketing but still, Marketing and PR pros must work together to create an overall brand experience, and Brand Innovators must still consider the impact of the overall strategy in the real world and online.
In the past with real world marketing, the large corporate brand ruled and the message was pushed on the consumer. Today, because of social platforms, the consumer has taken control. It no longer matters if you are a big brand or a small brand. If you have the innovative moxy, you can rule.
So what is the secret social formula?
Truthfully, NO ONE really knows yet. Each Brand online must be promoted as unique in some way. So each brand strategy requires stepping into the proverbial promotional lab and testing it out. With real world marketing and advertising, companies grew to expect previously tested processes and strategies. But it took years of traditional marketing experiments to define how to romance the consumer in the real world. Now things have changed again. Marketers and PR pros have been thrown into yet another experimental phase but clients are still looking for solid results; the trick is getting results while hanging out in the online “promotional” lab.
One thing has become very clear though, you must NICHE your Brand online (and roll that niche over into the real world). Truly, this is a concept that needs to be embraced by ALL brands, large and small. Our world is no longer the “MAD MEN” show of advertising and marketing. Your brand is no longer competing with other local businesses or even national, it is competing with the world. Large or small, social marketing is about finding and making a niche that is “uniquely yours”, exactly where you are at. McDonalds has embraced this concept and “niched” themselves to the different markets they reside in – India’s McDonalds does not serve beef burgers, it serves chicken ala McEverything…Germany’s McDonalds serves McBeer….Italy’s serves McEspresso…Japan’s serves McSeaweed fries – you get the idea.
So how do you apply this to your company or personal brand?
Don’t follow the crowd. Bring your individual passions and beliefs to your brand.
For example –
If you are a national brand that stands for a cause – EMBRACE it WITH GUSTO online and then those who also have a passion for that cause, will embrace your brand and become its most vehement brand marketers and influencers.
If you are an accountant that LOVES to surf, talk it up, along with your business of accounting on all your social platforms and your website. Then, the surf community will embrace YOU as their accountant. Your Brand will become KNOWN as the surf loving accounting company – securing that niche for your Brand.
If you are a realtor that LOVES wine as a hobby – become the realtor that talks about homes and wine online for your location, and then those who want to buy a house in your community, that also love wine, will FIND YOU and want to work with your Brand because of your common passions – securing that NICHE for your Brand. (The opposite of this would be promoting yourself as the realtor that does foreclosures. Doing what millions of other realtors are doing in your area is effectively following the “crowd”. This does the exact opposite of defining your Brand. No niche and your Brand sinks into the abyss. This happens often, leaving people claiming, “social media marketing does not work!” when truly it is their lack of individuality that leaves them sinking.)
Niche marketing as a promotional concept has always been done, perhaps accidentally, through networking and micro level marketing but with the ushering in of social, it has become more pronounced and the definitive backbone of making your brand stand out online and in the real world.
So the Formula?…TRY THIS…
LOCATION + PASSIONS & BELIEFS + BUSINESS OFFERING = A STAND-OUT BRAND that will move from the online world to the real world with ease
The truth is, with social marketing, your beliefs and passions DO matter, as much as your customers. It is the coming together of those passions and beliefs that will lead to your Brand’s social sweet spot.