Digital marketing, social media, SEM, SEO, Adwords – for some they are buzzwords. They become amorphous objects, loosely collected in the back of their minds and there it’s gripped onto for fear of losing relevance. Utilizing the buzzwords are no longer about ‘keeping up’ but about following the pack, pretty pictures and likes only get you so far, brand building is not just an about creating a great landing page or a growth of followers year over year, but about making an impact. It’s one to one – meaningful marketing. There is a reason your boss wants you to look for influencers, there is a reason influencers are a thing or were.
I’ve built a brand from next to nothing to fully realized; something with supporting documents, direction, and real soul. The general public doesn’t want to connect with a brand – they want to connect to a person, an idealized entity that lives somewhere on the other side of the screen. They are connecting with their favorite celebrity, they collect ideas, feelings, pictures from across the hum and din of spinning fans in a server room. Our job, as social media and digital professionals, is to close that gap. It’s up to us make it feel less like showing up late to a speed dating event and more like finally getting the attention of that cute barista – something they know, maybe something fun or unexpected, but they want to know they’re okay, they’re heard.
Obviously, that isn’t always the case. Some people, many people live a life of complaints on twitter or facebook like it’s their personal megaphone to the world at large. They cry foul and only relay how they’ve been slighted. I’ve dealt with my share of that type – as anyone in customer-facing social would. Sometimes they happen to be someone who comes in 3-4 times a week, or spends thousands of dollars on hotels a week, or… well your “best” customers. Some folks just have an ax to grind and you’ve got to find out how sharp it is. Sadly, many companies feel as though this is what ‘social’ is all about; running searches and algorithms to mitigate damage and running press releases through 140 character ticker tape.
This misses the point.
Of course, this begs the question – what is the point?
You’ve got to find that out for your company, brand, store, etcetera. We are living in a world where you’re allowed to not be on a platform for whatever reason. You can sass your customers. Be a style brand. Collect likes as if they’ll stop giving them out. Do you need to post cat videos to be relevant? Maybe for you, but not for everyone.
My advice: don’t get caught up in the “we’re not on [x] platform” talk – it’s useless; don’t get wrapped up in everyone else is doing – find where you thrive; keep active and watch where it ‘feels’ right to grow. Get out there, kid.