George Takei once said that “social media is like ancient Egypt: writing things on walls and worshipping cats.” Those who attended Imagine That’s seminar on Social Media Marketing Thursday know that the subject of cat-post popularity on Facebook was brought up more than once. But what do pictures of cute kittens on the Internet have to do with good marketing for your business? Quite a lot, actually.
During the seminar – hosted by Imagine That co-owners Jeff McElhattan and Tom Fellner – McElhattan reiterated the importance of utilizing a mix of captivating graphics and interesting content to draw consumers to your social media activity. “Facebook posts with pictures of cats get the most re-shares,” he added.
The lesson in this is not that you should integrate cats into your business plan, but rather a more general rule of thumb to follow: The art of marketing and advertising has changed drastically since the birth of social media. The days of telling the customer what they want are over. Technology has given consumer audiences a voice, and in turn, a major role in industry trends.
Remember, “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen? The song probably started playing in your head at the sheer mention of it – a direct result of shares on social media. “Slacktivism” wouldn’t exist as a word without the viral uproar over KONY 2012. Justin Bieber didn’t walk into a music agency with a demo tape; his manager discovered him via YouTube shares.
Even when it comes to gathering news, people now turn to social media more than newspapers and broadcasting stations. Remember Felix Baumgartner, the skydiver who broke the sound barrier? More than eight million people watched the jump on YouTube, making it the most-watched streaming event in history.
These are just a few examples of people and trends made famous by popular vote. Nowadays, it’s likely for a music video to go viral online before it’s featured on television. Successful social media marketing doesn’t try and tell customers what they need. It provides them with useful and dynamic content that generates interest or sparks a discussion based on trends the audience has already set.
Thursday’s presentation touched on this point by bringing up the importance of knowing your message. A good message is constructed by determining your market’s needs and desires in relation to your business.
Fifty percent of people say that they trust a company’s Facebook profile over their actual website, and over eighty percent say they read online reviews before choosing a local business. The bottom line is that Likes, Shares and Followers do more than help advertise a product; they send a message to your audience that people like you.
In truth, (like Ancient Egypt) social media marketing is nothing new. It’s simply the modern-day version of word-of-mouth advertising. The difference is that instead of telling two friends who tell two more friends, it’s more like two hundred friends who tell two thousand more, and so on.
Word-of-mouth has always been effective for businesses; it just didn’t have a big enough platform to maximize on until the dawn of the Internet age. Is your social media marketing keeping up with the times?
Imagine That’s Social Media Marketing Seminar was held on Thursday, April 23 in the ELEVATE coSPACE on Granite Street in Frisco. The seminar was part of the Imagine That learning series, which offers both free and paid discussions and workshops to benefit local business owners. For information about Imagine That's Learning Series contact us at 970-368-2250.