Over the last few years, major brands have gone from social media skeptics to true believers, embracing Facebook as a new way to reach and interact with audiences. Big brands have a track record of being hesitant to embrace emerging media, and become major news stories when they finally adopt a presence on the next big thing. There can be a down side to waiting. Unfortunately for brands that are just hitting their social media stride, as Facebook celebrates its tenth birthday, there is already talk about its decline. Users are already shifting to new applications and ways of communicating that may or may not have any staying power. As audiences continue to migrate from one social media outlet to the next, brands shouldn’t be afraid to follow and step out into the new, unknown territory.
A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I come up with all sorts of cool hip ideas at Riggs Partners, as if because of my age I have a magic ability to use social media in the hippest way possible. My answer, in short, was “no.” Here’s why. The goals for connecting with people are the same no matter the medium. Whether it’s because of the way we communicate, or the way people listen, that part of the equation doesn’t seem like it is going to change any time soon.
A recent New York Times article noted that Aristotle had the recipe for viral media marketing figured out in 350 BC. Just as Aristotle’s methods of appealing to logic and emotion made his speeches more memorable and persuasive, modern social media, and any media for that matter, works the same way.
Having a strong brand position can be key to success, but as long as a brand stays true to its message, as new frontiers open up, brands shouldn’t be afraid to branch out into them. A quality message will be effective no matter if it is on Myspace or Snapchat. Advertisers should take solace in the fact that even in a noisy medium, where everyone has a voice, the cream of the messages will still rise to the top.