Do you find your business relying more on social media than traditional marketing to build awareness of your brand and to enhance your brand reputation?
If so, you’re not alone. Many celebrities and businesses are now bypassing traditional forms of social media and relying more on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc to promote their goods or services. Beyonce recently adopted this strategy when she released her new album. Rather than promote the new album through the traditional marketing methods (such as a radio campaign), Beyonce posted a video on her Instagram page to her 8 million followers about the release, with the simple caption "Surprise!" In a press release, Beyonce said:
"I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," she states. "I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans."
After the press release, Beyonce subsequently launched her new songs on iTunes. This strategy worked exceptionally well for Beyonce, whose album downloads exceeded her previous album, which was released through traditional media.
Before your business decides to throw away your product catalogues and traditional promotional material and invest all its resources in social media, you need to make sure that social media is a good fit for your business and your brand.
Undoubtedly social media allows you to interact with far more people than traditional media. However, does social media allow you to interact with your specific target audience? If your product or service is targeting the 65 plus bracket, then social media may not be the most effective form of promotion. Recent statistics showed that only 43% of people in this age bracket are active on social media. However, if your product is targeting a younger audience, then social media is definitely the way to go. Approximately 89% of people in the 18-29 age brackets are active on social media.
Social media is generally fast, spontaneous and responses are not confined to business hours. If your business is not properly structured to manage its social media presence, these benefits of social media could work against your business and brand. A failure to allocate sufficient resources to manage and oversee your social media presence could result in brand damage, brand hijacking and infringement issues.
From a legal perspective, each form of media has its own risks and legal implications. Whether you undertake the traditional form or follow the trend, you still need to make sure your promotions are not misleading or deceptive, do not infringe the intellectual property rights of third parties and comply with any applicable government regulations on labelling etc.