This is a really thought-provoking piece by John Battelle, who is well known as a digital guru, in response to a recent AdAge piece claiming that advertising on social media doesn’t work.
As John argues, “barging” into social media spaces with banner ads and other inventory that produces results in other spheres doesn’t work - where’s the surprise there?
At the recent Future of Social Media conference, we heard again and again that digital marketers need to live and breathe social media, and be passionate about what it can do, in order to craft unique, compelling propositions that raise awareness of their brand, their offerings or their propositions. The sledgehammer approach doesn’t work - because social media is so different from other media channels that we have grown accustomed to.
As John writes: “So far, there’s simply not an algorithm for understanding the nuance of conversations between humans, and conversations between humans are what drives social media.”
Digital marketers operating in the social media sphere need to understand the new paradigm and appreciate that whilst social media marketing doesn’t perhaps generate traditional returns, what it can be is extremely effective in beginning to change perceptions, in turning your consumers into advocates of your brand and getting your customers to spread the word about the great experience they had with your brand.
I will leave the final word with John Battelle:
In short, if your brand creates or underwrites a valuable conversation, you are accruing value to your brand, and more valuable brands, be they soap, computer chips, or charge cards, are brands more folks will buy. Customers will reward brands that have added value to their lives. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what marketing is all about?