Some called it at the beginning of the year, and with each new announcement from Facebook in 2014 it became more and more apparent that the days of free product advertising were done.
What are we going to do?
I think that we’re missing the point a little bit here. The thing is, social media was never supposed to be about traditional marketing. Remember when it was just starting and it seemed infinite with possible uses? Guess what? It still is.
There are 2 things that I want to remind everyone of before we all start freaking out about the end of social;
1. Facebook is not the be all and end all of social media.
It’s no secret that I’ve never been a massive fan of Facebook, the audiences I have managed on there have always felt like just that, rather than communities. There are other platforms, many more appropriate to the people that you’re trying to reach. Facebook is full of horrible, badly made content right now and something needs to be done to address that. Remember forums and using Twitter like a human being? There are loads of other places you can be to engage with people who like what you’re doing.
2. Social Media was never supposed to be about just marketing anyway. Content is supposed to be interesting to the people who are seeing it. There’s only so many “competitions” and artfully placed photos of your product that people can see and still find entertaining. What’s really happening here is that brands who haven’t really thought about what their social strategy is besides ‘um, reach?’ are in trouble.
As I’ve said before, social isn’t just for marketing, and your 2015 strategy should reflect that, or you’re going to be spending an awful lot of money on showing product pictures to people who aren’t very interested.
Social customer service is still woefully bad in most cases, and yet this is what changes brand opinion the most. This blog post posits that good social customer service allows you to be active in the social space.
Given all of this, you would imagine customer service would be at the centre of most social strategies. But it’s still not. If you want to win at social in 2015 I’d advise getting your product people, your marketing people and your customer service people in the same room and building a strategy out from there.
Good social customer service alongside finding a compelling way to talk about your brand will always be a good foundation.
This wasn’t supposed to be a rant, more a call to arms to remember why we got into this business in the first place.
I’m looking at this as a way to be more creative and hopefully use 2015 to do some of my best work yet.