After a full year of tweeting (woo hoo!) under my belt, I realize that new media is like old media. If you stop communicating with your loyal users and potential audience, they move on. My definition of marketing is connecting people with products and services they want or need. If the connection goes dead, people hang up.
I have consulting clients who ask me to “just get this (product/info) to the Mommy-bloggers.” Or “we’ll find an intern for our social media.” Others believe that the new media is the old broadcast media: all messages flowing from company to consumer.
New media has swept the communications world because it ushered in conversation. No longer can companies talk at their customers. People have been empowered. They want to talk back and have a conversation with brands and the people behind the brand name. They want to tell their friends and circle of followers what they think. And most importantly, consumers now have the means to engage in all these forms of communication at their fingertips, in their own homes.
The internet and proliferation of hardware, both stationery and mobile, have given consumers the power to influence 24/7. And they’re using it. Not only are consumers gathering information on the net, they’re using the two-way street to reach others of like minds and make their mark in their areas of interest. No longer does the “average consumer” (was there ever such a thing?) wait for published reviews or look to advertising messages to mold their opinions–they’re interacting with those experts and in turn publishing their own views to friends and followers.
The conversations are happening. Having a great product or service was never enough. The difference now is that new media is controlled by the audience, as opposed to the old media model that was controlled by the advertiser who paid to broadcast the brand message in one direction.
How can you succeed in today’s new unpaid, non-broadcast media?
1. Have a strategy. Like old media, if you don’t know where you’re going, you probably won’t know when you get there.
2. Designate new media responsibility in your company to people who:
- are conversant with social media and have time (this is why interns are hired for social media–but they lack the other criteria)
- have authority
- have the right voice of your brand
3. Have honest and respectful conversations with your audience.
4. Be consistent. Don’t hang up on the opportunity to get feedback, correct errors and turn brand loyalists into evangelists.
Sage Advice Marketing Consulting, LLC, together with VOCOCreative, LLC (a savvy, boutique agency whose principals have specialized in new media for the past decade) will be offering customized workshops on turning “Buyers to Brand Evangelists™” Companies who want to mobilize their most passionate customers by using new media tools will be given a current status report, coached through setting strategy and have at least three actionable tactics tailored to their brand at the conclusion of the session. Contact us today to get started!