Social media for business is becoming more and more pervasive. As new social networks are introduced and the average age of Facebook and Twitter users increases, ‘traditional’ social networks become an online marketplace for business-to-consumer and business-to-business interactions. For native users of social media, this transformation is met with mixed reviews. Lots of consumers enjoy having a forum to engage with the brands they invest in…at any given moment, your organization’s customers are taking part in a dialogue around your brand. Whether or not you choose to engage is an important facet of your digital strategy.
The other side of effective social dialogue that takes place around specific brands is the unfortunate eventuality that many businesses who don’t have a strong understanding of what affects positive engagement in an online social environment tend to use their platforms as a tireless digital megaphone, blasting the same promotions and superficial messages through cyberspace at regular intervals. As quickly becomes apparent, this is not the way to inspire influencers to take part in a meaningful dialogue around your brand. In fact, it often has the opposite effect. Potential customers become frustrated with the lack of meaningful content that stems from your digital presence and this inspires a much more negative discourse around a company’s brand.
If marketing in the age of New Media has taught us anything, it’s that when Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message,” he wasn’t kidding around. It’s not what you say, necessarily, but how you say it. Content marketing encompasses most facets of online advertising – social media promotion, especially. In order for your brand to mean something to people when they recognize it, it’s essential to cultivate a positive association with your online identity. This is accomplished through creating content that edifies the user in some way. Many companies don’t quite understand this concept – why should I spend time creating a piece of advertising that has no immediate, direct affect on my bottom line? Content marketing and social networking for business, when done well, involve a commitment to strengthening your brand and inspiring a social dialogue around your online identity by means of enriching, unique content; the end result is an increased audience and strengthened brand equity that goes hand-in-hand with establishing yourself as an expert in your industry and a resource for potential customers seeking answers about your particular product or service.
That said, there is still a stigma attached to using social media to market an idea, cause, business…the list goes on. The reality is, though, that social media as an educational tool, a way of blasting a meaningful message to a widespread audience, has been used for some pretty incredible things. Namely, cause marketing. Marketing for a cause via social media is something that a business can take part in, an individual can jumpstart or an NGO can avail of to get the word out to a much more diverse range of influencers than is possible through traditional media.
In 1999, an Australian news channel aired a story about how a group of men from Adelaide came up with an idea at the pub one night – they would get the men in their community involved in an initiative to raise money for prostate cancer awareness…they would grow moustaches in the month of November.
Movember was born.
Beginning with 80 men from Adelaide, Australia, through the power of New Media and digital crowd funding, the initiative has exploded into a global phenomenon, to date raising over $170 million for prostate cancer awareness. Without social media marketing and digital storytelling, this would have undoubtedly been impossible. But, Movember is here to stay. All over the world, throughout the month of November, men grow interesting facial hair and solicit donations for this cause. Corporations and small businesses get involved, creating pages on the Movember site and campaigning to make a difference.
Now, I can’t say that you’re social campaign for a cause will take off in the way Movember did. But, here are a few steps to ensure an effective foray into cause marketing with social media:
Image Source: www.granitebrewery.ca/movember-is-coming/
Welcome to our blog, a place where we write about advertising and marketing industry trends, ideas, tips, and our thoughts for improving your marketing communications. Palmer Marketing delivers creative solutions that contribute to our clients' success. Located in Mississauga (Toronto), Ontario, we create everything from complete advertising campaigns to promotional items. We're also web design company, and we create award winning websites.