Well, 2009, we bid you adieu. This past year has been many things for us as an agency. We’ve survived a recession, gained some new clients, and celebrated our 20th anniversary as a force in the industry. We’ve also continued to think outside of the box, living and breathing creativity.
Now that this hectic year is over, we’re taking a moment of reflection, thinking about the things we learned (or re-learned) in 2009 and applying them to our future in 2010, which we welcome with open arms. So now that 2010 is officially here, we wanted to countdown 5 of the most essential lessons that our clients learned this year. (OK, so maybe we learned a couple things too)
5. Interaction and Participation: Actually Do It.
Both interaction and participation are important for social media to really work. It doesn’t help just to sign up for a Facebook account. Yeah, that may mean that you are technically using on social media, but it doesn’t mean you are using it the right way. To gain all the benefits of social media, you’ve got to be ready to participate, plug in, and converse with others. That is just the way it is. You’ve got to give to get.
Comcast is a great example. They have taken the time to embrace social media, allowing it to help their company connect with its consumers
4. Tools & Strategy that Work.
Lately, we have noticed a lot of social media obsession. Basically, we have experienced a lot of this: “I want a Facebook!” or “Can you create a Twitter page for me?” We call it Facebook-itis and Twitter-itis, and it is a serious, serious affliction.
You know that saying “there is a time and place for everything”? Well, this rings true here. Yes, Twitter and Facebook are powerful tools and can work, but they aren’t always the right option for our clients. We have developed our ability to assess clients individually, giving them the social media tools that match their specific strengths and that they need to achieve their goals. Sometimes this will include Facebook and Twitter, sometimes it won’t. Either way, we have learned to remain focused on tailoring social media strategy that is specific to each of our clients.
3. Campaign Integration
In 2009, we learned a lot about integration. Social media tools are great, but rarely stand on their own. We knew this was important, but after taking a look at some pretty integrated campaigns (like this one), we came to appreciate integration in that it must go across all platforms, whether that be between social media tools or fully integrated strategies, from creative to marketing to social media. In 2010, we are sure to see more campaign integration, which makes us happy.
2. Relationships = End All, Be All
Social media is about listening to people. Conversation monitoring and participation is at the center of this emerging industry, and we have really learned to listen this year. We now have a tool that allows us to gather discussions from all social media based on the keywords and parameters that we set. That means our clients can gather and sort through larger amounts of relevant conversations, and use them to expand their footprint and find their target audiences.
Take the Comcast example (again). You have a problem with them? Router not working? Tweeting about it will help get your problem solved. They may even tweet step-by-step directions at you. We call that strategic tweeting; fielding and solving consumer complaints has gotten the Comcast brand name pretty far in the minds of consumers on Twitter.
1. Social Media is Legit: It’s the Real Deal, Folks!
We wouldn’t say it’s something we learned, because we knew it all along. But we are thrilled that some of the largest companies are embracing and verifying it; social media is more than a trend and a hot topic. It has officially arrived as a moveable force in the advertising industry. New technologies, like Google Wave, have been created to take advantage of social media. Big time companies like Starbucks or Wachovia are embracing it as part of their marketing strategy. Even the government has acknowledged its influence. Take Obama’s Twitter page or his recent public address on YouTube as an example of this. The FTC also took a part by creating laws and consequences for misuse, which talked about here.
So overall, we feel great. We love what we do and are excited for a very social 2010. Happy New Year!