It has been said that our attention spans are now at all-time low, due in part to the changes in how we share information. We’re bombarded with text and images from the minute we wake up, with a large proportion of us getting our news from the social media apps on our phones. As a Creative Agency, it’s interesting to see how smaller businesses have evolved alongside this new medium. Cassandra Hayes at SocialBro.com has stated that: ’Not having the right social media channels for your customers to reach out to you is the 1995 equivalent of not having a phone line’. Are we at a stage now where not being savvy about your social media can run the risk of not only being ignored, but can actually damage your brand?
Social media is recognised as a cost-effective way for businesses to grab people’s attention and tailor it to their audiences. Despite this, a recent study from Clutch highlighted that 24% of small businesses don’t have a social media presence at all. With 95% of Millennials expecting businesses to have a Facebook, it’s becoming crucial to be on at least one social media channel. There are loads of examples of small businesses making big impacts online at a minimal cost. Maes Beer set out with a simple strategy that offered a free barrel of beer to people with the family name ‘Maes’, as long as they shared the post with 20 of their Facebook friends. This generated a huge amount of organic traffic toward their campaign, with people changing their surnames on Facebook so they could participate. Individuals have even managed to cultivate marketable businesses from selling themselves effectively on social media. Social Media ‘influencer’ Zoella is currently projected to be worth upwards of $60,000 a month and started her brand from her own bedroom with nothing but a YouTube account.
‘The traditional approaches are now obsolete. One hundred years of marketing thought are gone. Alternative approaches aren’t a novelty – they are all we’ve got left.’
Seth Godin, Purple Cow
It’s clear that when executed well, social media has the potential to produce amazing results. Poorly executed social media however runs the risk of making your brand look amateur, no matter how great your product is. It’s a well known fact that when we invest in a brand, it’s not just the product itself we fall for. We humanize brands, give them personalities and align them with our own aspirations. We are drawn to people with humor, charm, beauty or intelligence - your social media needs to embody at least one of these qualities to attract people towards it. If your social media is a barren wasteland of memes and shares from other pages, it tells your audience that you don’t care what they think of you.
With easy to use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, there are no excuses for lagging behind online. Scheduling content, measuring analytics & interacting with customers are right at your fingertips. Remember social media is meant to be fun! Sainsbury’s stylish Fish Pun Battle is a great example of social media done right, playfully turning a customer complaint into a PR win for their brand. It’s becoming clear that people are responding to more informal, conversational approaches in relation to marketing. The way your company approaches this can make a huge difference in turnover, at a low risk. So what are you waiting for? Be creative, take risks and engage with new audiences.