The State of the Internet Address: Social Media Changes the Game Plan
Ever got your hands on a client with a difficult niche to promote? We all know how allergic Google is nowadays to spammy content and links that can be directly manipulated and automated by those so-called black hat SEOs. In my humble opinion, it isn’t Search Engine Optimization that should be taken into consideration but Will Reynold’s stint on Real Company Stuff, or #RCS.
Today, more and more companies are gearing up for marketing strategies that are out-of-the-box; that is to say, involving themselves in inbound marketing. The long-term effects of inbound marketing are slowly being appreciated by many as social media and content put reigns on the rankings of each website in the land of the Internet.
What we do not spend much time on is HOW we could make things happen; instead, we ponder on the statistics that indicate the “efficiency” of our campaign.
Whoever said the efficiency of our outreach is measured by simple data calculated through complex algorithms devised by Google? Isn’t it about time we throw away that notion and start "doing online outreach to our consumers instead of getting a bunch of do-follow links?" (I got that from Will Reynolds)
It’s difficult to pry yourself away from those quick fixes; we also care about rankings. Who are we kidding? What do these rankings mean if we cannot even utilize them to generate leads and sales for our clients?
Cue in social media, the game changer. The table-flipper. Social media definitely turned the tables as they revolutionized marketing strategies; say goodbye to old outbound marketing techniques as social media continues to wave its flag this year— and in the years to come.
What is it with social media that makes it so enthralling, so effective in virtually any campaign or any niche in the Internet?
Answer: Communication. It’s how people are engaged in conversations and word-of-mouth promotions. In this era, people are getting smarter and cost-efficient; before they get themselves to buy a product, they Google it.
Branding expert Martin Lindstrom said in his Positive Brandwashing: Guideline to Brand Ethics, “Be 100% transparent. Nothing less. The consumer needs to know what you know about them.”
Are you “bare naked” in front of your consumers? Are you giving them what they deserve? Do you exist for the sole purpose that you once promised your consumers? Or are you thinking that it's impossible to adhere to your mission and vision, that’s why “everything goes”?
A lot of brands make it through, mind you. Though you might think it’s just masking the intent to increase sales; nonetheless, they make it through and established themselves as authorities in their own niches. No one used to believe them either and look at where they are now:
Coca-Cola. They started a “happiness” campaign wherein they promote their beverage as a “key” to open happiness. Other carbonated beverage companies followed suit, but only a few succeeded to remain at par with one of the most-loved beverages in the world. Not only that, their transparency as a brand is evident with the vast number of resources at their website; need facts about their products? Do you want to know how they began? It’s all just a download away. Their carbonated beverage existed for you, for me, and for everyone in the world.
The Walt Disney Company. Without a doubt, Disney is the largest “diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise”. From its Disney classics to its fresh concept of family entertainment, who can contest to its popularity? Indeed, Disney has touched the hearts of those who watch their shows— making the brand immortal to every child and child-at-heart. Disney’s timeless classics are certainly nostalgic; one of the most effective branding presentation technique that can be successfully pulled by an established company.
Facebook. Almost every social media platform deserves a place in this list, but only Zuckerberg’s brainchild can truly live up to its branding. Facebook came in and toppled the social networking giants of the past— remember Friendster, Myspace, and Multiply? Once they have graced the Internet’s craze; admit it, you even had an account with one or all of these sites. Only did Facebook reign supreme with the innovations it brought into the Internet world; that’s why it was readily embraced by billions of people worldwide. It emphasized the features available on other sites, and tweaked it until they can call it their own. Even with the impromptu entry of Google Plus, Facebook still proves as a rigid competitor in the social media sphere; a brand incorrigible for years to come.
We often associate the rise of social media with the advent of Facebook's popularity. There are numerous emerging platforms nowadays that you can fully use to increase your web visibility. Keep in mind that branding doesn't excatly mean that you're someone famous in a field or in your chosen industry. Branding is entirely your company's facade etched into your followers' minds and hearts. Create a brand that's uniquely you. Serve for the purpose of helping your consumers solve their problems or alleviate them at the very least.