The Power of Speed

I have a point to this post, I promise. Bear with me for a little bit and you’ll understand where I’m going.

A girl was scrolling down her newsfeed on Facebook and she came across a post someone had put on her sister’s wall. The post was from a family friend sending her condolences about the death of her father. Shocked and confused, the girl called her mom to see if this post was real. It was. Social media informed this poor girl about her father’s death faster than the girls own mother could contact her.

So what’s my point with this? My point is social media is now faster than day-to-day communication, on an extreme level. It doesn’t wait for anyone. And if you are a company using social media for marketing purposes, you need to be on your game. If you want to be the company people are talking about, you need to be first. And to be first, you need to be fast. Really fast. If you fall behind, you will never catch up. You will be buried by the noise of other brands and have extreme difficulty in getting your company’s voice heard.

Social media waits for no one, in both a positive and negative way. Blogger Jay Baer posts

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I agree with him completely. If you are first, you have more power to influence the consumer than the 3 or 4 companies’ that follow you up. The speed of social media can be a powerful tool in positioning yourself in the forefront of the consumer’s mind.

But like I said, there are negatives to the speed of social media, as well. Like in the story of that poor girl and her father, social media can be too fast for our own good. From a marketing standpoint, an example is clicking that post button too fast. We all know the importance of first impressions. Marketing can often be the first impression of a company to a consumer. And if you mess up a first impression with the consumer, you may have just bombed any chance you had on acquiring that consumer. So you need to get it right. And we all know that speed and getting things right don’t always go hand in hand. In their race to keep up with the speed of social media, many companies have kicked themselves in the butt. For example, in his race to be puny and comical on the present state of our country possibly sending our military into Syria, Kenneth Cole tweeted

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He didn’t stop a second to think of the negative perception his followers would have on him after so rudely and coldly using our nation’s men in uniform as a marketing vantage point. He realized his mistake of heartlessness soon after, when he received an incoming of negative remarks and reprimands from consumers about his distastefulness. But it was too late. He had already pressed the post button and the damage was done. He brought on a negative and tarnishing light on his brand. He was too quick to the draw and the speed of social media punished him greatly for it.

Getting the balance right between saying things in a fast enough manner and not being too fast where you put your foot in your mouth is a meticulous and important task. If done correctly, you can harness the power of a speedy social media environment but if you aren’t careful, you could also suffer the damages that the speed of social media can so easily bring.

The clock is ticking. Ready, set, post.

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A Piece of the Fairytale

I may be speaking more to the females out there, but I don’t think many would disagree with me when I say, “I wish my life was like the movies.”

The movies and TV shows that consume our leisure time are filled with the thrill, passion, love, danger and excitement that we crave in our lives. I think that’s partly why our culture is so drawn to movies and TV, we want to escape our reality for that 90 minutes to live in someone else’s shoes and experiences things that we might not have the means or time to experience. Especially for our fantasy fans out there- how many girls would love to play a Bella or Elena? (Twilight and Vampire Diaries fans will understand that one). But obviously that will never happen. The movies and TV shows we watch give us a chance to live a life we only wish we could have.

And for this reason, the marketing projects for these entertainment type products open a whole new and enticing door to the social media world. This door allows the audience to engage with these entertainment products and momentarily insert themselves into these fictional worlds. What in the world am I talking about, you ask? I’m talking about quizzes.

When scrolling down your Facebook news feed, how many quizzes do you come across on average? I guarantee at least one. That’s an old trick that have become revamped and brought back into the limelight. These quizzes engage the audience by connecting them to the movies and shows on a more personal level, and in turn, wanting to share the results with the world to prove they have a place in that fictional world. “Take the quiz to find out which Hogwarts house you would be in!” “Take the quiz to find out which Walking Dead character you would be?” Take the quiz, take the quiz, take the quiz!

The beautiful thing about this social media marketing attack is that it benefits both parties. The consumer gets their chance to insert themselves into their favorite fictional worlds. The descriptive personal questions make them feel cared about as if the company really wants to get to know them. It brings another form of entertainment to the consumer and makes them feel giddy of the life they can more easily see as their own now. From the perspective of the company, it is an amazing way of getting these entertainment type products such as movies or shows in the front row stage of consumers across the globe. These quizzes spread like wildfire on social media platforms. Once the consumer takes the quiz, the want nothing more than to share their results and let the world know exactly how they would fit into the movie and TV world. It is very easy to make a quiz go viral and spread the image and word of the company and product, keeping it relevant and interesting to consumers.

At the end of the day, it is a win-win for both consumer and marketer. I get to find out that I would be in Gryffindor Hogwarts House and the world that is all Harry Potter stays relevant and interesting even after ten years since the initial sale of the series. That’s a strong marketing tactic if I’ve ever seen one.

A Piece of the Crown

Social media is the new royal throne. It has submerged itself into the everyday life of our society, from teenagers, to creative moms, to influential executives. But it has the ability to pass the crown of power from each of these individuals to another in a moments notice. Social media platforms, if used wisely, are the key to ruling the Kingdom and moving the commoners in a direction you want.

I watch the potential for social media power grow all around me. However, I, unlike most individuals of my age, am not an advent poster, tweeter, picture snapper, and sharer. Everyone has that friend that snaps a picture of every inanimate object and smashes it together with a deep quote. And that friend who tweets every event they attend to illuminate their life to others as ‘the life to have.’ I sit back and scroll through these posts, not fooled. But the truth of the matter is, these friends have a following. Whether their content is worth the following or not, that doesn’t matter. Social media has the power to form that following and make movements happen when needed.

Speaking of a following even when there is lack in content, Ben and Jerry’s tweet has won it a social media of the week award, according to Ann Handley. Been and Jerry tweeted, “BREAKING NEWS: We’re hearing reports of stores selling out of Ben & Jerry’s in Colorado. What’s up with that?”. https://twitter.com/benandjerrys/status/418849733851885568/photo/1)

This tweet had little content about the brand or its products and had such an impact on its following. This tweet was retweeted 10,503 times and had 6,357 favorites, up to date. These humorous marketers captured what was going on in the news and turned it into a humorous joke to benefit their brand. Brilliant. And that is the best thing about social media. Once you’ve had that social media crown of power once, you get to keep a piece of it once it gets passed to the next person. The followers of Ben and Jerry’s will likely be waiting and watching for more humorous posts in the future. And whether they make these posts or not, they still have the power of social media backing them up.

http://www.annhandley.com/2014/01/06/joint-effort-why-ben-jerrys-won-social-media-last-week/