Socialnomics by Erik Qualman is an insightful look on how social media caused a paradigm shift in advertising and marketing. Qualman specifically investigates the evolved: customer/brand relationship, political campaigning, customizable news, etc. Social Media has put the power of marketing messages in the consumers hands and as a brand, you’ll either adapt to the ideology or get left behind with an antiquated marketing approach. Below are four consumer habits and marketing strategies that have evolved and how you can start to leverage these into your social strategies today.
Then: I’m certain for most people, it feels like a lifetime since you last picked up your phone book and rummaged through the Yellow Pages to find the local pizza delivery establishment or Plumber; however, before search engines like Google and Yahoo exploded into the mainstream, the phone book was our resource to search for local services. In most cases, you’d flip through several pages to find the right establishment/service provider you intended to find.
Now: With Google and other search engines at our fingertips, search behaviours have decreased significantly to under 30 seconds in most cases. If the service you’re looking for isn’t on the first page of search items, numbers indicate (only 5% go to page 2) that you abandon your search or choose an alternative/competitor.
LEARN: The battle of the first page of search wages, and while Google Adwords campaigns should be considered, focusing efforts on a content marketing strategy that delivers valuable, engaging and visually-attractive content, with the primary intention to earn authority in your industry should be your SEO goal.
Then: Remember the episode of Seinfeld when George had shrinkage and you couldn’t wait to get to work or school the next day to quote Costanza’s famous, “I was in the pool” cry to colleagues around the water cooler? If it couldn’t wait until the next day, you’d call up your friend immediately following the episode to start sharing your thoughts on the wackiness of the Seinfeld 4.
Now: Similar conversations of your favourite shows, news stories and/or events are now happening in real-time among thousands of people on various social platforms.
LEARN: “There’s no time like the present” doesn’t apply any more than to social media marketing. It’s in the best interest of brands to stay abreast of news, pop-culture and milestone events to start driving and initiating the conversation around these trends. Leverage trends to keep your content topical; you have many tools at your disposal to you help you, like Trends Buzz
Push v. Pull Messaging
Then: If we learned anything from Don Draper and Mad Men it’s that traditional advertising was hit-or-miss and was predicated on whether the new jingle for laundry detergent resonated with its audience or not. At the core of successful ad campaigns was the message pushed out to the markets/demographics.
Now: Listening is at the forefront of any social campaign, advertising is not so much about the message created by the marketing department but rather what your audience dictates what the message should be.
LEARN: Social marketers should be listening first and continue listening throughout campaign execution because consumers will indicate what messages resonate with them and when you supply them the right messages and content then they’ll, in turn, create and curate content for your brand.
Word-of-Mouth v. World-of-Mouth
Then: Networks had limited reach. No matter how great a product or service you provided, word-of-mouth had limitations in its reach, usually not extending outside your customers’ networks.
Now: With the social space being global communities, filled with online forums and hashtags, we’re all connected and because of this, any individual’s network is astronomically larger than it once was. With an expanded network, the influence of your customer has also dramatically increased and because of such, you can cultivate your customers into brand advocates who will go to bat for your brand on their social networks.
LEARN: Consumers are embracing the increased influence they now possess. Find your brand advocates and allow them to become extensions of your brand. Start expanding your networks through leveraging your brand advocates. Not only do their networks reach far but their content is more genuine and trustworthy to their respective networks than yours will be.
The marketing and advertising landscapes have shifted to accommodate our social interactions and behaviours and this is thoroughly depicted throughout Qualman’s Socialnomics. What strategy will you give immediate attention to? What consumer behaviour do you believe has been most effected by social media? Please leave your comments below.