Social media marketing has come a long way. In the past few years agencies pulled together teams, marketing teams set aside budget and team members, and the need for education on the benefits of and reason for social media marketing has given way to more mature questions around measurement and integration.
Most marketers have evolved from being obsessed with viewing social media marketing as a silver bullet to another way to reach consumers and build relationships with them, while having its own strengths and weaknesses.
Social media should continue to be a focus, but it should be the responsibility of everyone and integrated into everything until it becomes an invisible layer over every marketing initiative.
No Social Strategy—Just Brand Strategy
In 2013, social media marketing should no longer have its own goals and strategies. At the heart of any social effort should be what’s at the heart of any marketing effort—brand strategy designed to achieve larger business objectives. Use social media to build on that strategy and challenge it to show value for the organization. The only way this can happen is if social initiatives are built on the same strategy every other marketing initiative is.
A Social Layer for Everything
Social media is everywhere. It’s built into websites. It’s on TV. It’s integrated into our phones’ operating systems, which means social is not just one person or one team’s focus. It’s everyone’s job.
Social exists in every aspect of consumers’ lives, so it should be considered at the beginning of projects—not tacked on at the end. The power of the web today is the fact that consumers are all interconnected and tied together. A brand is only one messenger. Consider how social can drive a message further and with more credibility as consumers take a message and share it with their personal connections.
Arming consumers with the reasons and the means to share should be our focus in 2013 as social becomes a layer over everything we do in marketing.
The Invisibility Opportunity
The end goal is for social to be everything and for everything else to be social. Social media has infused itself in every aspect of digital today from search to video to display to mobile and beyond. Most brands haven’t discovered the opportunity for teams to work together to create unsiloed campaigns in which the channels naturally become invisible because of the level of integration and how they’re both feeding and being fed by each other.
It’s no longer about “being social.” It’s about being smart marketers making decisions guided by an overarching brand strategy.