“Find us on Facebook,” often with an accompanying incentive, has replaced, “Get it at these fine retailers,” and the like, as the predominant call to action in print and broadcast media.
Integration of social media with traditional advertising has been increasing for years. Irreversible changes in communications technology—most prevalently, Internet social networks–have brought unprecedented power to the purchaser.
As adoption and use of social media by purchasers grows, so does the acumen to use it for matters beyond diversion and entertainment. Increasingly, people are employing trusted personal and professional networks to compile recommendations. Members of these networks are passively and virtually always available on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Successful companies are reacting by using these same social media platforms to build communities around their brands. They are monitoring online conversations for engagement opportunities and responding to comments.
The amount of time spent on Internet social networks has forced the aforementioned change to calls to action in TV and print advertisements. The change is very conscious. At a recent annual meeting of enterprise TV executives, the pitch from broadcasters had shifted almost entirely to networks’ prowess and acumen in social media. Advertising Age’s Brian Steinberg summarized it thusly:
Facebook posts? We do it. Viral video? Check. Real-time conversation? We spark more of it. Twitter feeds? Sure. Social media is the sort of stuff, the TV honchos, argued, for which their programs provide the greatest fuel.
This–the only rational reaction from a medium witnessing increased marketing investment in new digital media, especially social media, while its sales plateau–is the new place for traditional media: The “non-opt-in” channel serves as the gateway to the “opt-in” channel.
A “non-opt-in” marketing channel is one that appears somewhat involuntarily: A streetside billboard; an advertisement in the newspaper, on the radio or on TV; product placement in a movie. Social media is a “triple opt-in” channel. In order to see a business’s message on Facebook, a person must:
- Choose to have a Facebook account.
- Choose to “like” the business’s Facebook page.
- Because Facebook’s algorithm filters messages and newsfeeds bring in lots of information, the person must be expected to choose to visit the business’s page on her own.
Add in the element of timing and the very short marketable life of a social media post and two things become obviously critical for success in social media marketing:
- Incentives to visit the social media asset, most importantly quality content.
- Continuous support of the channel through integration with non-opt-in channels.
How to Use This Information
As consumer expectations for customization and personalization of message, medium, product and service increase, advertising moves from “one to many” to “one to one,” and from “broadcast” to “conversation.”
Opt-in marketing channels such as social media succeed much more quickly and measurably when integrated with and supported by non-opt-in channels including print and broadcast. Conversely, the age of non-opt-in channels succeeding on their own is fading.
Even within social media, advertising can expedite Return on Investment (ROI). Enterprise TV executives are facing this reality. Social media marketers should, too.