Guest marketing blog post by Michael Gaizutis of brand marketing communications agency rno1
What you say and they say matters…regardless of what the source. In today’s digital age, what is said online seems to matter most.
Social media has had explosive growth as a “trustworthy source” because so many individuals look to social media in their personal life, work life, and everyday life. From Facebook to Twitter, and LinkedIn to Evernote, we’re constantly surrounded by family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances that rely heavily on social media sources as their primary sources for information and relevant content. So, the next important question to ask is: Will this be the end of traditional media, and is it dead? “Dead” might not be the word. “Dying” might best reflect what’s truly happening with traditional media outlets.
There are many advantages to this shift. Utilizing new media (social media), gives us (the consumer) the opportunity to see a continuous movement or “flow” of information and relevant content. Gone are the days where we have to wait to get the latest, breaking story from any one source. Now, we’re inundated with opportunities to know what has happened, or what’s happening, sometimes, potentially before it’s even happened. This is a huge advantage for us (consumers), as well as for brands and businesses, large and small, that want to capitalize on an opportunity to speak directly to us, and create a brand connection that resonates and works. Whether specific to a review, or more generalized as a dialogue between friends, social media is alive… it shifts and shapes as needed, and morphs to the needs, wants and desires of our changing hearts. Often times, it creates a potential need, want or desire to help us live a more fullfilled life. This is a major plus that most traditional media outlets can’t satisfy.
According to Simon Mainwaring of simonmainwaring.com, the business of social transformation, “Technology is teaching us to be human again’”. In another social media brand article, he suggests “Used correctly these tools can be transformative within an organization both inside and outside the company walls.”
Disadvantages? Sometimes, too much content moving rapidly can become saturated. The key to all of this is creating connection. If a brand or business can specifically speak to the consumer, through these new social media channels, then they can escape the mundane overflow of information, and rise to the top.
In targeting different generational cohorts, brands and businesses can rest assured that even though they may not be receiving this information “directly”, it’s quite likely that their younger grandchild, niece, nephew, or neighbor will be spreading the word to them “indirectly”. Knowing that traditional media outlets (i.e., CNN, etc…) are big advocates of social media channels, confirming the validity of these sources for information, there’s absolutely no doubt that they’ll still be able to reach a fair percentage of listeners, decision makers, and advocates of their product, service or offering. Younger people are much more comfortable with being online, reading and writing reviews for products, services, etc… because they live for change (see Gen Y in the Workplace). They adapt easily. The majority are content connoisseurs and brand enthusiasts, ready for the next best thing, or new sensation…regardless of what that “thing” might be. At the end of the day, they want to be on the cusp of what’s new and exciting because it matters to them, their peers and their generation. They (usually) don’t hide behind walls, because there really is no need. They’re (usually) honest and direct, regardless of whether they’re online or offline. This is inherent to them, as they’re growing, learning, developing, maturing, and most of all…being receptive to change as change happens. Obviously, there’s a huge gap between younger and older markets, for this very reason.
Social media, and our online interactions, might not just be a “trend”, which is here today and gone tomorrow, but might rather be the beginning of something amazing. Econsultancy.com writer Jake Hird: states, “70% of bloggers are organically talking about brands on their blog”…and “38% of bloggers post brand or product review”.
Utilizing social media is truly a way for us (consumers and brands) to interact in a space outside of the space we’ve always known. To connect on a new level, a new dimension. To bring truth to a product or service (prior to this outlet) that would mostly hide beyond the walls of traditional advertising, or like approaches, to sell such a product, service, or offering. Most of all, it’s (social media) just as much a living thing as we are. It’s agile and adaptive, and feeds off of our interactions and movements. It’s truly biotic.
The future of social media is unknown. What is known is the impact it’s made to date, and the unimaginable possibilities that wait ahead.
Image by Flavio Takemoto from Stock.Xchng