“Social networks are useless.” I have heard this expression in many professionals who believe that communication plans in social media are ineffective or unprofitable. And they do not lack reason, since social networks are tools that will only be useful to us without really knowing how to manage them, manage them and we know our market and how to seduce it.
However, before starting, it should be noted that marketing is difficult, since there are many variations within it (grouped in offline marketing and online marketing), we must take into account the cultural factor, be empathetic, know that Measuring the success of campaigns is not easy, be patient, know that, in general, viral marketing can not be planned, etc. And social networks are no exception. They are relatively simple tools, but being successful with them depends on the degree of knowledge you have and, above all, on the strategy you use.
The problems are several. To begin with, there is a lot of ignorance of its management. Many managers live anchored in the past and suffer “the short-sightedness of marketing”, since they only concentrate in the short term and do not think about the needs of the industry in the future. We are in a digital evolution that has no return and, therefore, it is important to always be with an attitude of learning, since the Internet and new technologies are evolving at a rate much higher than the ability of understanding and adaptation of professionals and companies . But the main problem is in planning, since most companies do not have a long-term digital strategy. They get into social networks without knowing the tastes of their target audience, they do nothing but promote their products or services, they put in fellows who do not know the company as Community Managers, interact little or nothing with their clients (they behave like a ship that gets into the ocean without a defined course), etc. There are many mistakes in companies (even to thank customers for their loyalty, as many do not). And what happens next? That managers see results below expectations, end up frustrating and thinking that Web 2.0 is useless.
Also, many companies ignore that, in economies, there is a lot of “infoxication” (a phenomenon that describes the excess of existing information) and consumers do not want to be bored in their little spare time available. They want you to contribute value to your products or services and, when there are problems, to give them satisfactory and fast solutions, but, above all, they want you to have a clear customer orientation, offer quality content (content marketing is very important ) and also entertain them. We are already seeing that product marketing “has died” and must be conquered by the heart, since what moves the human being is emotion and not reason. There is a clear trend called “Flawsome” that shows that consumers increasingly want brands to be “more human”, that is, to show their shortcomings and act to improve them, listen to their problems and needs, etc (there are companies such as, for example, Domino’s Pizza that already realized this). Likewise, “Branded Content” is the future of advertising, since it makes sales less intrusive and much more attractive.
Nor should we forget that, in many cases, there are “terrorist clients” on social networks, that is, clients who are neither “retained” to the brand (because they have more alternatives) nor are they satisfied with it (since it gives them the same and only follow it to criticize it). In the world of blogs, they are also known as “trolls”. This happens more with public figures, but also with companies that care about their customers (as happened in the offline life with McDonald’s and ended up reflected in Twitter).
There are entities and professionals that know how to manage social networks in a successful way. Do you want to see examples? There are many cases, but I mention some well-known ones: Telecom raising the spirits of Colombia (through the women called “Gloria”), the Swiss municipality of Obermutten (with its bulletin board), Texas Ribs (through its challenges with their clients), the Government of New York (helping to overcome the hurricane “Irene” through social networks), etc. There are even professionals who have known how to stand out through Youtube and social networks, such as, for example, the singers Pablo Alborán, Justin Bieber, Vazquez Sounds, etc.
In short, there is no magic recipe to be successful in social networks, but if you have a high level of knowledge of web 2.0, you work hard, you have patience and you know and you care about your market, then you will have a lot of ground gained;) Luck!