Last week we had the opportunity to hear socialpreneur Philip Nowak
discuss how some big brands are diving head first into social media without a solid business strategy or revenue model. At first, this sounds shocking, but it's strikingly simple: finding success with social media is about trial and error. Eventually, you will find what works best for your brand.Philip also talked about some of the reasons why brands use social media. Here are some of the reasons (and my commentary).
- Fishing where the fish are. People (consumers) are using social media tools. Brands can too.
- Avoiding brand jacking and other potential PR crises. Get involved before your brand has to.
- Matching the competition. Your competitors are there. Do you want consumers to connect with them and not your brand?
- Getting instant feedback. Only from those who want to provide it.
- Building loyalty and brand ambassadors. Certainly.
- It's more affordable than traditional marketing. Sometimes. I would argue that finding success with social media as a marketing tool takes time and resources.
- There's potential for a viral explosion. This is not something that can be controlled and could have positive or negative results.
All of these reasons are relevant, but what wasn't stated directly is that the goal behind all of these reasons is to make money.
Brands are using social media tools to make a profit, by using platforms to reach new consumers, maintain visibility, drive marketing campaigns, gather information, manage reputations, or build customer relationships. There may not be a silver bullet approach (think: Facebook page), but the tools are worth exploring.