2013 was a watershed year for brands and businesses as far as social media use was concerned. Google+ made headlines by emerging as the ‘next best thing’ for social media strategies, while already established platforms like Facebook and Twitter improved their targeted advertising feature thereby endearing themselves even more to entrepreneurs. Vines became popular than videos; Instagram pictures a whole trend unto themselves. ‘Pinning’ as a verb acquired a completely new meaning, and LinkedIn became more than a employee hunting platform.
But this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what social media can offer. We in India have just entered a phase where marketing strategies and brand promotions are opening up to using social as a new way of gaining followers. The year so far has been proof of the fact that social media use for marketing and brand promotions is here to stay.
Social media marketing was till now relegated to likes, follows, fans, and shares. But digital marketing has now made its foray into the Indian brandsphere. For the brands of the future, marketing strategies will have to go beyond straitjacketed norms. Expect more promotions that are targeted for smartphone, tablets and other mobile gadgets in the future. Innovation and connectivity are key.
What is the biggest change in the way brands approach social media platforms today? The answer to that is “community building”. Earlier the focus was to create awareness about the brand, to get more likes, more shares, more retweets. But understanding has seeped in and businesses today know that it is not the company with more followers which is necessarily at the top of the social media ladder, but the one with the most active community members. Users will like, share, and promote brands that they feel connected with, and companies have turned to community building in favor of ROI and monetization for this very reason.
So much has been written about how people on social media sites do not read anymore and have the attention span of a goldfish that businesses were starting to fear content-centric marketing strategies. But good content is effective even today, and when it ties in with burning topics you have a winner on our hands. Infographics, memes, GIFs, slides – the way we market content has surely changed, but it remains a cornerstone of media marketing even today.
Marketers are making headway with blogs and using this platform as a content publishing medium. Tying with the above pointer about the value of good content, the trend of businesses and brands using blogs to reach out to a wider audience proves joust how important great writing and SEO tactics are in the Indian market. Businesses are using blogs in a bog way to redirect audience to the website, or to generate new leads for marketing and promotion.