Last Monday there was an epic Beancast Podcast hosted by Bob Knorpp. I suggest you subscribe on ITunes. It is one of the best Marketing Podcasts out there and he always has 4 incredible thought leaders each week to discuss the topics of the week.
One thing that was discussed was the role of Brands in Social Media. Jonathan Salem Baskin said 'I don't wake up wanting to talk to my toothpaste'. I wrote about this 21 months ago. I know the world is always slow to catch up to me. We can not talk with customers on any scale. This blog has many posts discussing this. Yet the 'Big Social Media' people rant on and on about talking with your customers and fans and engaging with them. Yes do this, but your reach and scale are so small it will never move product or drive your revenues.
I have told people to spend a day counting every brand in their life that day. The hundreds of them. Each has a twitter account and a facebook page now. They all demand you talk with them right now. How many will you talk with? How many do you want to? 1? 3? 5 at most? The rest never will get to talk with you.
But as discussed in the Beancast Social Media isn't about talking with customers and fans but to have them talk about you. Especially big Brands with millions of customers. You can't talk to all of your customers and potential customers if you tried. Even if you hijacked the US Army and had every person manning Twitter and Facebook a global brand can not talk with 100 million, 500 million or 1 billion people.
But they can talk about you. And isn't that what is important? Word of mouth? People discussing your brand? In private and public?
So what does this mean for Brands?
1] Set up listening programs to gather data and insights.
2] Do have Twitter and Facebook presences and do talk with the fans you are capable of engaging with
3] Integrate Social Media with your overall Marketing Plan and Campaigns and enable the conversation about you where you can.
- Make content easily sharable.
- Focus on a great experience for your customer. They will talk about this.
- Claim your location with Google Places, Yelp, FourSquare
- Use Publicity/PR to advance your message and Brand