Is social media really everything?

In Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Social media by lizhen

social media buzz


The buzz word all marketers know – social media.

But is social media everything? Has everyone been too focused on social media? Is there really not much control left in the hands of marketers? From sunrise to sunset, these are some of the questions that many have been pondering over. This is how much uproar social media has caused.

You know how one can be stuck in that frame of mind because of influence when everyone else is thinking and agreeing to that one thing. Herd mentality is the phrase to use for this. I was reading this research paper, "Branding in A Digital Age" by Mike Liew, and he really made me think out of the ‘herd'!

Here are 3 interesting things mentioned that makes me think and hesitate if I should admit that they are true:

1. "Social media is just a new, low-cost added tool to do some of the things that traditional branding has always strived to do."
My two cents worth: True to some extent. But if it really is a low-cost added tool, I think it depends how one define cost. I would define it as total cost of using that tool. The cost incurred when you use social media may be more than what you think it is. What if something goes wrong on social media? Good or bad, things on social media spreads like wild fire. The costs incurred to recover or salvage situations may well be higher that other tools. So I guess it's always better to think twice before you do or say anything on social media

2. "Social media is just another tool that consumers use to interact and express themselves. Consumers do not exist to tell us what to do with our brands, or how to run a business."
My two cents worth:
This is really so true! The things that they say on social media, it doesn't mean that they are always right. Very often, consumers do not know exactly what they want. Like what the visionary Henry Ford said, "If I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." Think again and ask yourself, have you thought you needed all that you have? Like the iPad mini? Furthermore, we know that there are no two same persons on Earth. So whatever was said on social media, they should be data that companies collect and used to gain insights for better decision-making, and not treated as everything.

The last point should answer to the question: "Is there really not much control left in the hands of marketers?"

3. "While the media and the means to engage the consumer are evolving, the need for a disciplined and strategic approach to brand-building hasn't changed one bit."
My two cents worth: As marketers or brand managers, to put it bluntly, our job scope is to sell more of the products and services we have. To do that, we will have to shape the identity for the brands, create preferences and relationships, build affinity and craft brand experiences. Always remember this, "One size fits all" doesn't work here when we talk about the brand experience. All of these are to make consumers fall in love with us and be loyal. So, aren't these within our control?

Sometimes we really should slow down or even stop to think. Leave the herd and think it thoroughly.

Click here to find out more about the research paper.

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Image is retrieved from FelixPOV.