Brands have active pages on social media. They are publishing content regularly. They have over 1 Million Likes on Facebook. But why is it not going anywhere?

If you are in similar situation, then are stuck on Social Media 1.0.

Welcome to Social Media 2.0

Social Media 2.0 is:

  • No more promotional stuff
  • No more repetition of same type of content
  • No more positive Monday and Happy weekend posts
  • No more badly designed content
  • No more lousy content that has been done to death already elsewhere

It is time for brands to think beyond these. It is time for brands to take social media seriously. Otherwise, you will fall way behind those who do, and your way back up will be an uphill task.

So, what is Social Media 2.0?

  • It’s about understanding user’s attention span
  • It’s about user’s motivation
  • It’s about understanding where your customers are
  • It’s about wowing them everyday

That is the challenge that Social Media 2.0 throws at brands.

It will force you to:

  • Not take your user’s for granted
  • Be more creative
  • Innovate with content
  • Be Relevant with trends

What does this mean?

  • Understand the right platforms for your business
  • Understand the platform arbitrage (can you really become famous on Twitter now if you are starting out? Why not get active on Snapchat when it is at its nascency with less noise?)
  • Do more research about your user. Yes, you need to have the Account Planners working with social media agencies as well.
  • Experience the brand as a customer. What you feel as the customer of your own brand, will help you empathise with your customer betterHow will Social Media be in 2016 & Beyond?
  • More emphasis on user research
  • You need to have a strong video team. Video will always remain the best mode of content consumption. It has been validated due to the rapid growth of Television industry. Social Media behaviour will be no different
  • Make an impact in 7 seconds. Human attention span is less than the attention span of a
  • Have the best creative team working for you. Unoriginal posts, shabby designs and boring content will not help you go anywhere. Facebook’s edge rank algorithm has forced agencies to be creative
  • Focus on storytelling. Not on promoting your product. Because user’s relate to stories, not
    to a promotion.
  • Influencer marketing will keep growing. And it will be more expensive to have the best influencers working for you. But you need to be well planned and have a clear objective. Try to wow your influencers.
  • Consistency with content will be essential. It will help develop your brand personality online.
  • Cannot afford to have bad reviews for your business. Listen to customers actively online, take feedback, discuss and take necessary steps.
  • Your product/service and the customer experience have to be top-notch. If you don’t wow your customer or your influencer, they will leave you.

One of the problems that I see with brands is, they are treating social media as pain killer for their revenue challenges. Social Media is just a marketing channel. It cannot get you more sales automatically. It cannot exist in isolation.

Unless your product/service is 10 times better than your nearest competitor, you cannot survive. Investor money will eventually dry up. What you need to survive and grow is customer’s money.

Your business should have a USP. And the USP is something that your customers should feel, not what you feel sitting in your boardroom.

Social Media cannot help you if you are no better than your competitor, or you don’t have a It amazes me when brands put the blame on digital campaigns for not helping them grow their business. We all know it, but fail to acknowledge that marketing cannot help you sell, if you are not good enough. The old adage “You can bring the horse to the water, but cannot make the horse drink it”, stands true with social media.

The social media team has to be strongly integrated with your own team and cannot be isolated. What I mean is, to survive in the digital world, you will need to have:

Marketing team + Brand Team + Creative Agency + Media Agency + ATL & BTL team + Digital agency + Sales team + Customer Service team working very closely with each other.

To succeed in the online world, you would need to be active in the offline space.  You need to create more offline events with your best customers and influencers. And you need to make the events memorable. Why? That’s because personal experience is 100 times better than a tweet!Always remember, people research online, make decisions offline and then they make the purchase. Therefore developing a one-to-one connect is essential. After all, you are giving them a chance to experience you. And the effect that it has is more lasting than just acknowledging
As one of my fellow entrepreneurs, Puneet Aggarwal, founder of Nirogam states –

There are 4 stages to MARKETING anything:

1 – getting ATTENTION
2 – establishing AUTHORITY
3 – clarifying true INTENTION and INTEGRITY through a “platform”
4 – Sales and RETENTION.

Most people try to go from Step 1 to Step 4 and that’s why they fail.

What if you don’t do this?

  • You will keep burning your marketing dollars
  • And you will keep revolving in this cycle:

The problem with this cycle is, your revenue will never be exponential as compared to your spend. You will always be struggling to meet shareholder expectations.

Therefore, to develop a business that maximises the benefit of Social Media, the focus should be on:

  • Developing a product/service that is 10 times better than your nearest competitor
  • Give your customers and influencers an unforgettable experience. Be it through content, through in-person visits at your local outlet, at the point of sale or through customer support
  • Create interesting content that wows your users every time they log in
  • Use tools to listen, analyse and measure the impact of your social media and digital activities
  • Have a 360 degree approach to your brand. Everything should be 1 unified identity, which is your brand

In the end, a brand has to realise that Social Media is a way to engage and build an audience who will be your customer. And that has been the purpose of Social Media since its inception. However, for quicker gains brands used the platforms like they would use a TV spot or print. The social world is now cluttered and users are bludgeoned with promotions everywhere. Therefore, you either are innovative, original and engaging or you lose out. Either you create an awesome product or you lose out. Either you show your customers that you care or you lose out. And that is what marketing has always been, isn’t it?

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