By Marta Gonçalves, Managing Partner of Say U Consulting
One of the most radical changes experienced by those working in Communication is the seemingly unstoppable rise in social media use, along with the decline in the rule of traditional media and the apparent demise of a certain notion of brand loyalty. The sheer volume of contacts and connection possibilities has diluted the consumers’ attention span and created barriers to brand monopoly in numerous sectors.
When facing a permanent state of distraction in an ever increasing circle of contacts, how is it possible to captivate an audience and persuade a consumer to buy our product or use our service?
In order to answer this question it becomes necessary to understand that social media is not killing brands; it is the very nature of the relationship that consumers establish with brands that has been modified.
Mass media was the more common tool in developing a relationship with brands, but its influence has dropped dramatically. It becomes impossible to compare social media to traditional media tools and expect to make a similar use out of them, when reality is now clearly different. The reason why brands worked in mass media is because we were used to find them there. People were used to ads when reading a newspaper or magazine. They were used to them when watching TV. They were used to them because mass media are a one-way communication process, based on the brand’s ability to make itself noticed.
People have now the power to shape the information they have access to – and not just ignoring the message they come in contact with in traditional media. With the rise of social media – the space where individuals experience this interaction – there is the risk that people will fell bothered if they are contacted by brands. If you are not giving them relevant content you become just one more voice in the crowd. Or worse, a brand that trespasses into their personal space in which they don’t expect to receive the same messages as in mass media.
The answer to this lack of loyalty towards brands consists in a carefully planned content marketing strategy. Social media can be used as a successful factor in the interaction with the public, through which personalized and relevant contents and approaches can be put into practice. This is the type of content that is shared, that helps to create leads and that matters to clients. This is the type of content that helps to build brands.
Brands need to go back to the basics: think like people, talk like people and interact like people. Business will naturally prevail.