Engage Like It's 2009

by , Mar 21, 2012, 1:22 PM
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A new day has dawned in digital marketing to moms – or should I say, yet another new day has dawned, with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all announcing big format changes in the last 30 days. That of course follows the sudden explosion of Pinterest, the ridiculously fast adoption of tablets and “second screens,” and, of course, the cautious, but now seemingly real, end to this economic downturn.

While big brands have had the cash (petty) to relentlessly push ahead with establishing a presence on social media, many mid-size and small brands have only been able to dabble as the drop in consumer demand cut into sales and profits. Now a new day has dawned, cash is again flowing into company coffers and …it’s not 2009 anymore.

When I began writing for Media Post a few years ago, launching a social media program required time, influence and creativity. Now of course, all of those things still apply, but it is quite a bit more expensive. What was once, it seemed, an almost magical process driven by influence and first-mover advantage, is now a strategic process requiring copy strategies, tactical ad buys and 360 marketing support.

To some extent, it is actually less time-consuming on a day-to-day basis to manage a social media program. Facebook fans now follow multiple brands and really are quite happy to hear from you only once per day. On the other hand, the message must be carefully crafted to cut through the clutter from the other, on average, 10 brands moms follow on Facebook. That’s a lot of messages appearing on a mom’s wall every day … from companies, not people, and as a result, “unfollow” rates can climb drastically if your brand gets it wrong. 

The same goes, of course, for Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube … by the way, did I mention that it’s now a much more strategic decision than it was four years ago to determine exactly on which platform your brand should establish a presence? “Platform proliferation” has threatened to eviscerate even the most robust of marketing budgets.

 And, of course, as we are by now used to in the social media world, brands must also maintain the ability to drop everything and make changes every time a new platform emerges or an established one changes the rules of engagement. It’s a whole new world for engaging with moms. Strategy trumps enthusiasm and a headlong dive into social media no longer yields magical results. In other words, don’t party like it’s 2009 … umm … at least don’t approach social media that way!

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