During the past years the digital marketing opportunity became more active (which is good). The web communications keep growing and growing and every day we see more brands and companies participating on-line.
But... during the past months all of them or almost all of them want to do something related to social.
I like their excitement about that, but... do they know what to do? do they have a real strategy? or we are starting to build just based on buzz?
How many brands are doing social web experiments right now, but they just are "doing" something, but they are not developing a strategy. How many brands are going to fail and they wont try to do anything else in the future years, because they tried, and they did not have any result as they expected?
Now we hear that they want to be on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube or they want to build their own social platform, but just because they want to be there or build their own social network and not because they can enhance the client experience (better product, better service, support, marketing...)
Their main focus must be first in their own product, then on how to communicate it to their own targets and then build a relationship and YES they can support their commercial funnel using social platforms but only if it is necessary. Nowadays we can see that we can be part of a group, fan or follow brands and products that we might use, but our relationship with these brands do not motivate us to have an ongoing communication with them, or we do not want to share our private spaces with them or we do not want to share with others on sponsored platforms.
My point is:
1.- Brands. Please focus first on your product
2.- Based on your marketing strategies define what is the best medium to do awareness about the products or services
3.- If the brands want to have a conversation with their targets "maybe" the on-line platform could be part of the solution, but identify if your brand has a personality like the one the targets want to get in touch with or if the product / service or brands is only a commodity to their target or they do not want to see it next to their friends or interests.
4.- All on-line destinations could be the solution, but it is important to define what to say and then where to say it. I could follow the latest bargains to fly to a vacation destination, but that (to me) do not mean that I want to be a fan, be part of a group, enroll in a sponsored social networking platform related to an airline. I want to follow a topic, not an airline.
I learned that all implementation should focus on
All your communications should be useful for your target. Your website, your keywords, the comments on a blog, the posts on social platforms, display ads, etc...
Then all of the them should be on the right context. Maybe a social platform or maybe a lot of them, but also maybe just distributing your content on Non social sites, but highly related to your topic and audience. Think how usable your message would be on the environment you are planning to share it
Finally... work on the best way to show it (the best possible copy, image, etc...) if the message is the right one, on the right medium, but it is not attractive to your audience, then you could fail
I wrote all of these, because the web YES it is for everybody, but the social / web 2.0 platforms are not or at least you should think how to participate, maybe is just analyzing the content and not building a YouTube mimic site for your brand or company. There are more options that could give your better effectiveness.
Finally.. work with people who have real experience and not people who just finished a web 2.0 book or always read TechCrunch or other blogs. Work with agencies who understand the medium not who says they know how to do. It is incredible the amount of "consultants" who claim to know about this, but they just have good intentions, but any experience.
I know a company who wants to do something, leverage the power of the communities, but they want to build something and it is kind of obvious that their audience do not want to be in a brand sponsored environment... The real opportunity it is the connection development between the brand and its audience, but not having a site and track visits
Anyway these are just my thoughts and I wanted to share it with you