Social Media Branding: Welcome to the Jungle! Part I

So you’re a start-up company with great vibes, great product, wonderful ideas, searching for awareness and recognition by the market and potential investors. We all know that everybody is on social-media, we also know that social media has the widest distribution and exposure to potential markets. “Sounds great! Everybody is there and we don’t want to be left behind, we need social media”, is often the line of thought that crosses through a lot of companies. Not so fast, first step know what marketing changes and challenges the business world and social media is facing today.

The instability of online marketing channels

“The only constant is change” said Heraclitus, this has never been so true is in social media. Distribution channels and social networks rise and fall every second, the trick is utilizing them during their short lived spells of popularity and “ride their success” on time. In addition, marketing channels and social-media sometimes change their target audiences. For example, ‘overnight success’ Pinterest is currently known as a social network that specifically targets art and design enthusiasts. So before you jump into every social network in existence, do a little bit of research. Check how long it has been around, how many users it has accumulated in that time, whether it targets all users or caters to a specific niche, and last but not least: what people are saying about it online. Many marketers do not bother with these homework assignments and find themselves investing in channels that are no longer relevant to their audience. A shame, is it not?

Danger: Social-Media Overload Ahead

Not only are today’s marketing channels anything but solid, their numbers are overwhelming. The wisdom lies in knowing which channel is the right one for your brand, and where your target audience likes to hang out: are they Facebook users? Or maybe they prefer LinkedIn? Wherever they may be, shooting in all directions is a waste of energy that, at best, gets mediocre results. The real challenge is finding the right channel with the right users, who, if approached correctly, can become profit-generating customers. Once you have found that ‘sweet spot’, concentrate your efforts on it. This is the place to note that when it comes to social media, once you’re out there it’s hard to take things back. So please plan ahead, think about what is it you want to say, what would be the best platform for that and how you want to say it.

Specs, Technology…. Who Cares

Remember how we used to choose products based on their technical specs? The internet and social networks have long since changed all that by putting unprecedented power in the hands of the consumers. Social media has changed the way we market and buy, this is no news. Not only did it change the way we market, it also positioned and empowered the consumer in such a way that “collective intelligence” and “hive minds” have become today’s new source of knowledge. Hive minds are described as: “a notional entity consisting of a large number of people who share their knowledge or opinions with one another, regarded as producing either uncritical conformity or collective intelligence”.

More than ever, companies are focusing on marketing around their product, rather than promoting it directly. Sony figured this out a few years ago, when it tried, and subsequently failed, to sell its Bravia television series by emphasizing its impressive technical figures. Having seen that the strategy was not working, Sony quickly changed course and launched a new marketing campaign that had nothing to do with resolutions, refresh rates and other tiresome numbers, and instead, focused solely on color. “Color Like No Other” celebrated color, emotion and sensual experience, and was a wild success. Shortly after the campaign had been launch, the Bravia brand sales skyrocketed, regardless of the fact that the product remained exactly the same as in the previous, unsuccessful campaign.

Watch one of the campaign’s commercials here:

The good news is that there is a way to getting a grip on this social media jungle. Join us for the next article in this series to understand how.



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