Too many marketing leaders who understand the importance of social media are still stuck on the single-channel approach. They want to build their channels to reach and engage an ever-growing audience, but a disconnect remains.
Growing your owned channels is great. Audience size and engagement are the building blocks of success with social media, and you – the brand – has full autonomy and control of brand-owned channels.
But leaders need to drive revenue with social media just as they do any other marketing activity. And doing that with a single brand channel certainly isn’t impossible, but it can limit opportunity and present a very real challenge.
In 2020, there’s a better way.
We believe the world has matured beyond the single-channel approach.
Why is single-channel dead?
1. The trust has eroded.
There’s love-lost and general mistrust of brand marketing messages. Years of missteps and half-hearted public relations statements have led many consumers to cast a jaded outlook on brand communications from corporations and large brands.
And who can blame the consumer? For decades, we’ve endured stories of corporate scandal, fraud, and dishonest marketing from some of the world’s most successful and recognized companies.
While most brands avoid public scandal, the truth remains – the public often ignores, and in some cases, actively dislikes brand advertising.
2. It’s too crowded
Brand channels are crowded. Watered down. And the growth of those channels struggles to drive outcomes for a business.
In the world of sports, organizations are maxed out. The average professional sports team shares six-times more posts per month than the athletes who play for them.
Many brands are falling into the same traps. They post more and more content under the assumption that more posts will ultimately deliver result. But the harsh truth is that the audience is overwhelmed with content from these logos. Most have met, if not exceeded, their “limit.”
3. Single channel limits performance
Even if trust remains with certain brands, relying on one channel to drive home your message and deliver desired outcomes is limiting your reach. It’s limiting your engagement. It’s limiting how effectively you as a marketer are leveraging the resources that are already at your disposal… even if you don’t know it yet.
Here’s the thing: People still trust people. We always will.
Athlete and celebrity endorsements have been tried and true for so long. It’s just become more pervasive.
Even ignoring engagement and the human connection… wouldn’t five channels outperform one? Ten outperform three?
More channels, more diversity, and more connection will deliver more growth and revenue outcomes for your business.
Who’s doing people-powered social media well?
People-powered social media is already here. There are dozens, if not hundreds of organizations who have already made it a core pillar to their marketing operation. Many are performing extremely well and have reaped the positive impact in their business.
While concept is simple, there’s no one-size fits all solution. Each of these successful organizations has employed it’s own people-powered program, positively impacting their marketing efforts.
1. Vayner Media
– Building your leaders’ personal brands to become influencers for your organization.
The “Gary Vee model” is nothing new. Leaders in business have long stood amongst the most influential people in their respective industries, bringing more credibility and customers to their business. But Vaynerchuck has mastered this role of leader-as-influencer in the social media era.
Vaynerchuck has become synonymous with building a personal brand using social media. With Vaynermedia, he has leveraged his own skill and thought leadership with social media – which he broadcasts on his own channels all day, every day – into dozens of high profile clients, hundreds of employees, and one of the most successful digital agencies in the country.
2. University of Central Florida
– Creating a network of athletes and leaders by helping them build their personal brands, and in turn, sharing your program’s marketing message with their highly-engaged audiences.
The University of Central Florida exploded into the college football consciousness in 2017 during their undefeated run just two seasons after finishing with a winless record. But to broadcast their message throughout their unprecedented run, the program’s marketing team didn’t only rely on UCF channels.
Instead, UCF worked alongside the program’s alumni and student-athletes to share their content. This worked two-fold for the program. Not only was their message and media broadcast to their athletes’ individual fan bases, but UCF was able to tangibly help these student-athletes and alumni build their own personal brands by sharing the high quality content the program produced.
Since launching their network strategy in 2017, UCF has continued to innovate in athlete and leadership marketing. The school has since helped NFL players and University Presidents alike – encouraging them to share their message while building their personal brand with social media.
– The 100 post plan – how SaaStr founder and CEO Jason Lemkin became a category thought leader with high-frequency content on Twitter and LinkedIn.
SaaStr investor Jason Lemkin has built his personal brand, and in turn, helped SaaStr reach a larger, more captivated audience with a social strategy built around consistent frequency.
To get started, Lemkin wrote 100 ready-to-go posts, and began publishing. Much of his content is directed to leadership and those reporting to leadership. He speaks directly to the SaaStr audience – and due to his social media aptitude, his personal channels consistently outperform those of his company’s. Lemkin isn’t alone. Dozens, if not hundreds of founders, CEOs, and leaders are their company’s most influential voice on social media… they just might not know it yet.
The New Frontier
Best-in-class social media marketing in 2020 means creating a network of individuals inside or adjacent your brand who can broadcast your topics with credibility, in a way that resonates with their audience and the audience you’re aiming to reach. From brand ambassadors, to employees, and even influencers – who is sharing your message matters just as much as what they’re sharing.
While social goes through trends and shifts, one thing remains the same: people hold the power on social media. So, build a network, activate those individuals to share your content, and begin driving bigger, better business outcomes for your organization.
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