Sometimes all you need to gain clarity on what matters in social media marketing is a conversation with a hip hop legend and 50 of your closest friends on Twitter. This happened yesterday at our Advertising Week panel title “Turn the World into Your Publisher” featuring Funk Flex, and during the preceding #KloutChat on the same topic. Although it can seem impossible to keep up with social marketing, Thursday’s discussion revealed that it’s pretty simple:
1. Focus on people, not platforms.
2. Do this through authentic engagement.
3. Reap the benefits of brand awareness, customer loyalty and market feedback.
It’s about people, not platforms
Throughout the conversation today the original premise of Klout kept surfacing: the social web is fundamentally about people. For brands to succeed on social media, they must recognize this and focus on growing an audience that transcends any individual platform. Flex gave a particularly potent example of this in the form of MySpace. He invested heavily in developing his MySpace persona and growing his friends, only to watch it all die when MySpace died. He realized that instead of adapting himself to the next big platform, he needed to focus on being his true self and building an audience across many platforms. As he puts it, he went from “dropping songs to dropping apps” and began to connect with his fans more deeply on his own website and across social. In the context of marketing, many brands spend a lot of time determining what platforms they should be on. Unfortunately, this is a losing battle. As Founder of Klout Joe Fernandez put it, “find the right people, build a relationship and they’ll bring your message to market for you on all platforms.” David Caruso from United Entertainment Group put a finer point on this by reminding the audience that “people want to hear from other people, not from brands.” Sounds simple enough, but how?
Building relationships with people requires authentic engagement
The big difference between today and a few years ago is that you have to earn your audience today. Flex used radio as an analogy. A few years ago, the radio would give a musician their audience. Today musicians that want an audience need to build it themselves. For breakout musician Corey Andrew, he described his experience in doing just this. “I realized I had to take the focus off of myself to be a successful musician. By focusing on the world around me and building relationships, people began to show a real interest in my music.” For brands, the need for authentic engagement is even more important. Today’s #KloutChat surfaced a powerful conversation about how to produce authentic engagement. The consensus was that a brand needs to represent something and put their users first in order to succeed.
— Joel Peterson (@joelyoh) October 2, 2014
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsDuring the panel, David used Red Bull as an example “how often do you see actual Red Bull in all the amazing videos that Red Bull produces – not very often.” Red Bull instead stands for extreme sports and proves it in the content investments they make.
Putting people at the center of your marketing builds awareness and loyalty
Given that 90% of people trust their peers, the most obvious benefit of having people talk about your brand is that it increases awareness. Beyond that though, the #KloutChat uncovered several other benefits. The first was loyalty. According to Lithium’s Chief Community Officer Joe Cothrel, “People who participate in creating content for brands, just reading even, remain customers 50% longer.” Many participants agreed with this sentiment. The second key benefit was more surprising: the feedback that marketers get about their brands. Products, communications and processes can be vastly improved by listening to the people who love (and don’t love) your brand. Kyle Moncelle from Google discussed how much value his team has received by getting feedback from users. Products, communications and processes can be vastly improved by listening to the people who love (and don’t love) your brand.
If you want to put people at the center of your marketing, Klout can help. Reach out today.