I’ve been thinking about the convergence of social + mobile recently and I had a mini revelation.
For marketers, reaching mobile customers can be a challenge. Search and email work but mobile-specific strategies likely won’t move the needle much. Especially if you’re already doing a good job. Mobile banners, sorry iAd, are fine but with such limited screen real estate they tend to be even more annoying than on the Web. Marketers can build apps, and for many it’s a great idea, but getting people to discover and use your app can be an ongoing challenge that requires a new set of expertise and tools. And lastly, for the sake of argument, making your core websites (eCom included) mobile-optimized is required and is not seen as a “marketing effort” per se.
As social media has evolved as a channel, brands and retailers have come to use it to connect with their customers in a wide variety of ways. As a result, what used to be considered a single category of activities – “social media” – has become much more specialized according to how a brand is putting social to work to drive a particular aspect of the business.
I’ve worked in the social media field since 2006 when I co-founded a social marketing company. It wasn’t really called “social” at the time, but the widgets and feeds of Web 2.0 turned into the streams, tabs and apps of today’s social environment. As Web 2.0 evolved, marketers’ approach to connecting with consumers in digital and social evolved, too.
I’m a twenty-something, the very definition of the hard-to-reach gen-y customer. As a child of the 80s, my generation is a strange one – especially when it comes to technology. See, when I was a kid, there were a few of my friends who had a computer, but they were big, bulky, and didn’t do much. The Internet was still a fringe system, something most people still didn’t understand.
Despite their often massive fan bases and nationally recognized names, major brands have struggled to create vibrant, engaged audiences in social for years. If the recent numbers on Walmart’s local approach to social are any indicator (and I think they are), the secret may lie in taking a few notes from the little guys.
As social media marketers plan for their sixth holiday season, it’s a great time to take stock of the current best practices for amplifying campaigns – and sales – because this year’s formula for social marketing success is different.