Marketing and Social Media should be best friends. This is critical for products and services to reach their targeted market in the competitive consumer environment.
I’m a ‘supermarketaholic’ and enjoy visiting the biggest store close-by. Walking the lanes is both nostalgic and different today. Nostalgic because I know this experience will change in the future as it has from my childhood, and its different because I’m seeing products through a different lens. In the past I would seek out new, highly advertised products ‘seen on television or newspaper’; now, I’m checking out the deals and new products filtering across my mobile, logging in to Facebook, Instagram and other social media messages. Yes, its different.
Facebook advertising works so well one does not even associate it with advertising. The images we see can draw us in with very few words, mainly images – this was not my perspective until quite recently. If its good a brief review is given, and this can influence choices. Sometimes I will comment on a product, service or ask for more information, and this can start a conversation with the poster or other readers. If my experience is negative a diplomatic response and experience may be shared or will delete/ remove ad from my feed. That’s my act of community service to people I know and the general public.
Consumer spending today is driven by more than hyped-up, interesting products and disposable income. It goes beyond the borders of influence, and up the alley of social media marketing with savvy promotion. It’s that defining comment which resonates, and initiates a desire or reminder of a ‘want’ which indicates potential valuable return on investment.
In my experience, social media marketing can be described as a mixture of penetrating a market through images, conversations and social marketing strategy.
The product promotion can take place in the ‘comments’ of a thread or shared review posted. This is then shared, over and over, by consumers who connect with a ‘feeling’ of value, distributed to others. Indeed it is the trigger from these conversations which can be monetized as advertising, for commercial gain by a hosting platform. This has helped many brands launching new products and give renewed life to a product in decline stage of product life-cycle. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to name a few add commercial value with their promotional assets — online subscribers, through incessant conversations and sharing, which support commercial activities .
There are few ads on Facebook which generate a desire from me to look further in their present format.They give me that feeling from the past, of getting up during the commercial breaks to go for popcorn or a drink. These ads are pretty and I may miss a deal or two, but hey, they do not impact on what I’m going to buy or where I will shop most times. If there is a conversation, then I am drawn in and my credit card can tell that ending!
One of my theories on why some ads on social media do not appeal, has to do with ‘verified experience/value added’.
The comment threads act as a storyteller! Yes. Its like opening a book and reading a dialogue, complete with human feelings and stimuli. Sharing from my consumer experience;
The Pub — There is a new outdoor mall with a pub I wished to visit. The name and graphics on the sign grabbed my attention. On Facebook a comment on the pub was shared by a friend of a friend, with a dissatisfied heading announcing ‘poor service at $200 per meal’, the few lines posted were mainly negative feedback. On reading I thought — “won’t be spending $200 to be insulted anytime soon, or ever!” That was instinctive. A few days later on another thread, I read a positive experience one of my closest friends had at the same pub, and she keeps going back. Both experiences were different but the bias of my friend knowing the owners, and may be getting preferential treatment, was sufficient reason to pause. Full story ending indicates, was not convinced to go!
Soaps — I’ve been noting a few friends keep sharing an ad on a new line of bath soaps with herbal and natural extracts. I like Dove, but reading the the comments caught a scent and feel of a different experience. Something soft, mild and without a lot of additives, and it smells divine based comments from people I don’t know. As I hunted the lanes in search of this product, can only recall the name and the experiences driving me not to give up! It was not on the shelves, and asked the supervisor about the product line. Her response was negative, but asked for a description — shared from my Facebook screen and on next visit it was in the store.
Marketing and social media can deliver an experience, which is replicated through the buyer/consumer conversations. Good or bad, everything can get validated from stories we hear/read via comments. At the end of the day, marketers need to move the customer towards exchanging cash for product/service. That is the objective.
Social Media sharing is big and can lead to great success and awareness before a brand image can be tarnished and should be a part of most product marketing strategies. Going beyond the superficial is demanded by the new consumer, as they engage and act on experiences of others. Marketing and Social Media are best friends, so lets get those consumers to feel our brands, through conversations!.
Thank you for reading and adding to these observations shared.
About Me: There is a lot more to the multi-dimensional person who makes up Donna-Luisa Eversley. Experiences in Sales, HVAC, Business Development, Entrepreneurship and everything else are intertwined, existing together. As a problem-solver navigating through chaos and crisis is my new normal. We can make sense of everything!
“You were born in a time of technology and change, embrace the opportunities.”(Donna-Luisa, 2020)
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Revised 10/07/20. First version published in ‘Marketing and Growth Hacking via Medium’ – “Reaching Consumers through Social Media Conversations”- on 05/05/2017