Ok. So its Sunday I am guessing that this piece of ‘opinion’ is not going to be everyones cup of tea but its an opinion piece. So lets all try and be honest about this shall we?
I have had the opportunity recently to meet many friends and foes in the industry , both client and agency, and there seems to be a growing trend of the industry ‘secretly’ admitting that this social media business is a bit of a ‘cash cow’.
Agencies of all disciplines are now claiming that they ‘do social media’ and that they have expertise in house. This can of course be the case but I think its worth stopping a second and clarifying what ‘social media’ is.
Social Media in essence is not a media buy. You can’t use your budget or your agencies to determine what consumers think about your product and service. Of course they play a role but lets create an example to clarify what I am rambling on about. It is Sunday after all.
You work in marketing for a credit card. Your consumers are in a recession and your APR on your cards is , say, 30%. You want to engage in social media, you want to develop advocates for your brand. You want people to talk about you freely across the internet – blogs, twitter, message boards, Facebook. You want lots more in bound links, you want to be perceived as a friend of the consumer.
Now you are a credit card with a high APR in a recession. Do you think viral videos, apps, fun games on Facebook will make any real difference to your business?
No doubt you can build something that gets thousands of tweets and views. But is that what a credit card business needs? My guess is a credit card company wants more customers, more loyalty and a high class customer service.
My point is that agencies and clients alike need to understand that the Internet allows users to make their own opinion up about your brand – usually around what you do and how you interact with them on a business level not marketing.
Making money out of clients around videos and apps is sometimes relevant but it does smack of opportunism.