Social Marketing is a discipline that continues to evolve as the variety and use of social media channels grow. In its most basic form it is the representation of a brand or product via one of the many social media. Since Social Media plays a variety of roles in the consumer's daily life, the role of a product or brand and how a consumer may interact with that product or brand can take on many forms. Social marketing not only includes the traditional paid advertising that has been omnipresent across Facebook, Instagram, etc. but also includes the representation of brand via their brand or product pages and the interaction they have with their consumers.
Because of the multiple roles social media has taken on in our society, social marketing had become quite a complex challenge for marketers. This complexity has resulted in a number of agencies that solely focus on social marketing. When taking on a new social marketing program, it is important to consider the role that own plays across the entire marketing mix for the product or brand. Marketers must avoid the "bright shiny object" syndrome, i.e. "Snapchat is hot, we need brand stories on Snapchat!” With social marketing still in its infancy, it is still a bit like the wild West and without the proper map, trail, guide and protection, a brand can get hurt.
Another mistake marketers make with social marketing is to assume that by just being present in the right media constitutes social marketing. Because of the dynamism and increasing sophistication of both the social media platforms and the consumers who engage with them, the just be a concerted effort to ensure the proper engagement. This engagement can occur in many ways, but just occur! And to get that engagement requires effort and expertise, not just posting some photos on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
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