Movies have been made about the larger than life company Facebook and its founders. Twitter is leading the charge into interactive TV. LinkedIn is the place to be if you are an executive. YouTube is creating its own stars, and there are hundreds if not thousands of other social media outlets where hundreds of millions of people gather every hour of every day to share and be a part of a community. Companies, brands, associations, non-profits and others are racing to create marketing content to be a part of “it”, whatever that means. We at SocialToaster hear the questions all the time: “How do I leverage social media?”, “Where do I start?”, “I have a Facebook page, Twitter feed, or YouTube channel, but now what?” Here’s what: it’s still all about the content!
In the not so distant past, the exact same thing was happening. In the mid-to-late 90’s there was this phenomenon called the Internet. Movies were being made about internet startups, AOL was the place to go to get online and see the world, Yahoo! was just starting to map the internet, Alta Vista and a number of other search engines allowed users to find just about anything (including a lot of what they didn’t want to find). Millions of people were getting online and those same companies, brands, associations, non-profits and others were racing to be ‘a part of it’ whatever that meant. The exact same questions were being asked: “How do I leverage the Internet?”, “Where do I start?”, “I have a website, now what?”
Developing and hosting brochure websites became a large industry. But, as the name suggests, they didn’t do much more than mirror a brochure from the company. Most companies didn’t advertise that they were online and people didn’t usually visit a site more than once or twice because nothing changed on the site. Website owners began to realize that the internet was another advertising venue that had to be cultivated. People had to be made aware of the site, then the site needed to be updated on a regular basis, then marketing needed to be done to bring in new viewers and the ultimate goal was to drive numbers of viewers or unique users of your site which would, in turn, drive consumption of their products, services, etc.
How have things changed now? They haven’t! Website owners have become Facebook page owners and Twitter feed owners and owners of any number of other social network pages or feeds for viewers to see. So history is repeating itself and again we have static pages and what I call ‘static feeds’ where the information that is broadcasted is nothing new.
So the same questions arise as before and the answer is the same as well: content! Exciting and engaging marketing content is where to begin. As with before, the number of unique visitors that you have or in today’s lexicon, the number of fans or followers that you have, does not matter if you cannot engage them. (The quality of the fan also matters, but that is a subject for another post).
The Right Tools
As never before social media allows companies to talk to consumers and their friends directly, ask for feedback, get new ideas and even gain direction. Given the right tools, including SocialToaster, a savvy company that recognizes that it’s all about the content and content is key to engaging an audience can recognize huge opportunities and drive its success.