Social Offense Or Brand Defense?
We are extremely busy people. We are newly and happily socially engaged. We are focused on our relevant careers, our families, our friends and what time is left in our day for our cherished hobbies. Our transactional DNA has digitally evolved; our personal and business fabrics of engagements have morphed. We keep a glowing mobile pylon at our sides 24 hours a day. Hyper-changing, short product and app life cycles have caused positive disruption, local and global opportunities, competitive danger and of course, vast confusion through our homes, businesses and mobile lives.
In business, we know there is always opportunity in disruption and confusion. Mostly, we create opportunity by building internal reconciliation and augmentations to mirror-advantage changing market dynamics and new realities. Business America smartly focuses human capital and financial assets on changing consumer affinities specifically today through varying social content clouds. We pay attention with squinting eyes and ears to learn what they hunger for. We study and engage with relevant and actionable forethought to ensure that brand relationships become effective, profitable realities. As we know, the very best opportunities in business lie in danger. “Welcome to the danger of missing the brand-profit-fuel of social networking.”
Opportunity itself is why we conduct phatic brand discourse indispensable to maintaining constant and frequent social connections amongst our most important consumers. It is indispensable precisely because it keeps the possibility of multi-modal consumer communications in fluid order for the purpose of future, more substantial brand communion. These social realities in social networking (SN) need to be defined, motivated and commanded to ensure we build brand infatuation through the clouds.
• SN DEFINED: “The development of social, professionally motivated contacts, sharing and caring about information of common interest.”
• SN MOTIVATED: “To ensure your brand reaches and engages with your very best, most relevant consumers to gain highly valuable brand relationships, brand congress, brand affinity, brand sense: more brand cents than your competition.”
Brand competing – that is, fighting courageously for a consumer’s short- and long-term attention, interest and conviction, is not a solitary art form, especially in the world of social networking. There is competition behind, in front of and even hidden from you as your brand marches through the clouds. The following social marketing realities portend greater business focus to look, listen, learn and deploy socially charged, socially engineered strategies and tool sets to protract brand growth, brand security and brand profitability:
• Reality #1: Savvy brands are commanding distinct sales, marketing and communication prowess across social networks. They are hiring subject matter experts to navigate, harness and capitalize on this highly competitive, less-expensive market leverage. Smart brands are dramatically moving investment dollars away from conventional ad media into socially relevant networking opportunities, choosing their top relative social platforms to core down and heavy up with.
• Reality #2: The social Internet is accelerating, naturally evolving core one-to-one relevant relationships and creating efficient margin pools between content creativity and actionable consumer stimulations. Measurement, analytics and deep-dive analysis is a must to build cross-company teamwork and focus, to ensure relevancy – impact for future content deployment.
• Reality #3: ComScore’s four-year trend research depicts 82 percent of world population is touched by social networking sites, with 20 percent of online time tied to social engagements. This data changes the value proposition of email marketing, of building brand through traditional communications. In essence, social brand muscle is defined by who you stand with, engage with, and build sustainable relationships with.
• Reality #4: Social networking is not just for the young. Those with the largest household incomes, over the age of 55 globally, are highly Internet-social. This socially engaged demographic represents high-value brand-building targets.
• Reality #5: Facebook is the dominant window into local and global social engagements. Every brand-builder should have a keen and highly motivated strategy to harness and benefit from this social powerhouse connecting over a billion social minds, hearts and pocketbooks.
• Reality #6: “Tweet, tweet, blog, blog, YouTube, YouTube!” Consider that every minute, 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, placing consumers in control as content publishers and as music and video artists. In addition, over 125 million blogs are available on the Internet, according to BlogPulse. And of course, there’s mighty Twitter. Each of these publishing models offers vast vistas of brand engagements if created and executed in the relevant language of user- and consumer-valued relevancy.
• Reality #7: Social engagements must be tuned to build and mature consumer relationships based on what is important to “them,” not to “you.” When accomplished, social networking becomes highly efficient and exceedingly more profitable than conventional media, if, when and where harvested and implemented correctly. Three highly relevant words at the core of social networking: “content, content, content.”
• Reality #8: Ambient marketing is simply mono-marketing, if not enveloped around relevant social sites and opportunities with competitive rhythm-impact.
• Reality #9: Lasso, harness and docent your entire organization ¬– from the CEO across and down your hallways – regarding the competitive value of the new social networking landscape. Social networking cannot be effectively triggered and commanded without internal support, usage and engagement.
• Reality #10: Docent every department, every employee, to physically act, react and engage as if they are performing in the social clouds. Social engagements start and mature first in the physical realm, then in the clouds. This is especially relevant and true for retailers and their store associates when engaging face to face in the retail aisle.
The gambit of competitive hunting and preying through social change and social networking is hyper-changing brand values and corresponding product sales daily. Socially informed and savvy brands – those with the will, the need and the means to engage in relevant, creative ways to build sociable, profitable brand equity – are already accelerating market growth. Brand socialization leading to brand infatuation is any brand’s most potent, profitable competitive weapon of choice. The net: a successful social offense creates a fastidious brand defense, all while creating long-term brand offense and profitable consumer preference. n