In a recent article for Social Media Today, Eliason (who is now the director of global social media for Citi) says as the social networks of Facebook and Twitter lose their sparkle among younger demographics, social media professionals are at least partially responsible for the exodus. Brand accounts simply try too hard to take advantage of real-time marketing and they risk becoming the very trolls and spammers they despise.
With more than one billion users worldwide and an unstated mission to make more money, Facebook has become a social network often too complicated, too risky, and, above all, too overrun by parents to give teens the type of digital freedom or release they crave.
As the signal-to-noise ratio on the social networks of the moment increases, users will end up somewhere else – where conversation and engagement mean people connect to people.
The best brands will continue to find ways to encourage others to talk about their brand. For example, during the blackout at the Super Bowl, Oreo tweeted an ad that read “Power Out? No problem” and included a starkly-lit image of a solitary Oreo and the caption, “You can still dunk in the dark.” The message received over 15,000 retweets and more than 20,000 likes on Facebook.
While the Oreo content marketing win during the Super Bowl was masterfully delivered in the moment. In comparison, during the Oscars, many brands attempted to emulate Oreos real time marketing by using pre-created Photoshop templates. However, it felt forced and therefore failed. The messages didn’t resonate with the audience like the Oreo spot did a few weeks earlier. For example, Special K posted this tweet:
Unfortunately for Special K, this post only received five retweets and four favorites.
Jay Baer, a social media and content strategist, said, “If you’re going to try to capitalize on televised American water cooler moments you either need to be truly, inherently nimble and FAST like Audi and Oreo at the Super Bowl, or provide information that further the knowledge or entertainment of stream junkies.”
What a difference a few short weeks makes.
Social media professionals need to refocus on what makes social media so fascinating and valuable: Peer-to-peer relationships and collaboration opportunities. Because let’s be honest, no one logs into their social accounts and says, “I’m going to engage with some brands today!”
Networks come and go, but people don’t change much. We like to talk about the things that annoy us and the things that make us happy. Social media is still a bit too much media (broadcast and distribution) and not enough social, but social media professionals can change that in the way we develop strategy and seek to grow engagement and community through our social outposts and activities.
The key: Let your product or experience talk while your customers spread your message far and wide.
What other brands do you think have been successful with real-time marketing?