What’s possible with social media is largely underestimated and even misunderstood. What
businesses and organizations began to look to in the mid-2000s as a group of nice-to-have channels
to broadcast company news and converse with fans has become so much more. It’s more than a fun
opportunity for an intern. Social is an opportunity to change the marketing outlook and drive real,
measurable outcomes for your organization. But so few currently take advance of this new
Things have changed drastically since its humble beginnings. Today, Social is a core part of the
marketing mix for businesses of all shapes and sizes. While B2C, and notably in recent years,
direct-to-consumer brands, have received the majority of praise and attention for their social media
successes, the opportunity doesn’t stop there. Social can be an equally effective tool for B2B
In fact, the opportunity should be too big to miss…
By the Numbers…
Of the 4.5 Billion daily internet users (nearly 60% of the world’s population), 3.5 Billion use social media. These users…
– average 5+ social media accounts
– spend 3 hours per day using social
– 62.8% are 18-64 years of age
– make up 76.5% of daily internet users
That’s the opportunity. There are 3.5 Billion humans who are a single click away. They’re all possible to target, possible to reach, and possible to bring back to your organization’s page, website, or conversion opportunity. It’s all right there… so how do you do it?
The intersection of Brand and Performance Marketing
Marketers largely exist in two camps: brand marketing and performance marketing.
Brand marketers look to bring awareness and shape the perception of your business or organization.
We leverage highly visible activations like sponsorship, endorsements, PR campaigns, events, and
word of mouth to create a feeling that resonates with an audience when they see the brand. Each of
these strategies and tactics can be highly effective.
Many of the world’s greatest businesses are built on the backs of brand affinity. Apple, Nike, and Coca-
Cola are not only among the world’s most valuable companies — they’re among the world’s
most beloved organizations due to their brand marketing success.
But for many, especially small or start-up business, brand marketing is difficult to measure. Success
is often the result of a feeling rather than a measurable conversion. Sure, strong brands produce sales
and revenue; they build larger, more engaged audiences; but those without significant research
budgets or sophisticated tracking systems often are left to rely on gut feel to measure brand
marketing success. But with social, the game is changing…
Enter performance marketing.
As opposed to branding efforts, performance marketing implies strategies and tactics that you can
measure to drive revenue or business outcomes for your organization. Think: impressions to engagements;
engagements to clicks; clicks to conversions. These tactics include performance-driving efforts including
search engine optimization, running paid ads on social, pay-per-click ads across multiple efforts,
programmatic ads, and email marketing.
No matter your preference or expertise, brand and performance marketing are vital to healthy,
holistic marketing organization.
And social media sits right at the center of the two, as a driving force for your omni-channel marketing
Social media has grown up… and your organization must, too.
Effective organizations can no longer get by with social media as an “intern” or entry level role.
Many individuals who have traditionally been tasked with efforts to manage and grow social media
channels are overworked. They lack resources and their output — and role in general — is
Why? Because leaders demand measurable results and social media is no exception. But many
organizations and leaders don’t yet understand how to measure the value of social media.
And while leaders search for results, many efforts are misplaced with companies only emphasizing
the value and plan for their brand’s owned channels.
People own the attention on social.
Here’s the disconnect: your brand doesn’t own attention on social media. But your people do…
– Your employees
– Your leaders
– Your advocates and brand champions
– Your ambassadors
– Your influencer partners
Each of these groups of individuals captures more attention, more engagement, and have the
capacity to drive more business outcomes than your logo alone.
Why? Because they’re human… and social media was built to connect people with people.
Platforms, ad networks, and user experiences have changed, but the core of social media has and
always will remain — it’s people, not logos, who have the attention of their audience.
This is ultimately evident in sports. Teams, Leagues, and even publishers like ESPN have logos that
are recognized and loved around the globe. They’re some of the most valuable brands in the world.
And yet, athletes still dominate the conversation on social media to the tune of 12-to-20-times higher
Many marketers and leaders understand this, but try to solve it by putting people on their brand feed. While highlighting humans in your feed is a great first step, the performance still doesn’t compare to content in the feed of an influential person.
Digital Word of Mouth
This rise of personal channels driving growth outcomes for organizations isn’t necessarily new. Sure, the
practice of encouraging – and even systematically helping – your most influential people share content on
social is new, but the concept is not.
Word of mouth marketing has been with us, well, forever. As long we’ve had products and services to hawk,
marketers have been looking to those with influence to help them raise awareness and drive purchasing
Today, word of mouth has gone digital. People are able to influence peers and those who look up to them
with consistent, fresh content on their personal media channels. This is the next era of social media for
today’s marketers. In 2020 and beyond, the most successful brands and marketers will secure relationships
that stretch social with their key partners – employees, ambassadors, influencers, athletes – to drive
powerful results for their business.
How Can Marketers Get Started?
Every organization has access to people with influence on their communities. Whether you’re seeding
content to members of your C-Suite, or allocating influencer marketing budgets to athletes who impact your target customer, there are myriad channels for your message.
By identifying your brand’s influencers and providing valuable, fresh content on a consistent basis, you can
win in today’s attention economy. While algorithms are sure to change and adjust to current trends, people
will always own the power on social media. For now, simply applying your people-powered social strategy
with consistent activity and fresh content is your ticket to attract eyeball and spark action with your
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