Social Media’s Currency

Sep 13, 2010 | Social Media Communities

Commercials are all about entertainment. They have to be. Advertisers only have 30 seconds to be recognized otherwise they are lost in the clutter.

In mass media platforms like TV and radio, entertainment is the currency of advertisers. The Old Spice commercials featuring Isaiah Mustafa clearly demonstrated this. The campaign was extremely successful, because it was highly entertaining.

TV watchers made a point of watching “the Old Spice Guy.” The commercial even went viral on the web. “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” spot has been watched close to 20 million times on YouTube. People are going out of their way to watch advertorials from a soap company. Why? Because they’re entertaining.

Brands don’t entertain with social media

Users don’t sit back and let Facebook “wash over them” like they do with TV. They’re engaged. They’re participating. They’re commenting back.

Users “Like” brands on Facebook and “Follow” brands on Twitter. In both cases users are giving brands permission to share information with them. It doesn’t mean these users are going to the brands’ Facebook Pages, rather they’re consuming their messages and content in their personal feeds. They are allowing brands to share relevant content with them.

Social media’s currency is communications. This is a fundamental shift. Brands don’t have to entertain audiences in social media like they do in mass media. Rather, they have to be present, engaged and constantly producing content.

The “4 B’s” of social media currency

Social media is all about communications. It’s about a dialogue with your market. To grow your brand in social media your communications must:

Be Present. You have to be there. When a customer comments or complains on Twitter, they are looking for someone to respond. If your brand doesn’t reply, someone else will.

Be Responsive. Google Instant now provides search results as we type. We’re conditioned to expect instantaneous results. When a user makes a comment or posts a question they want instant feedback. We’re talking response times in minutes if not seconds. If your brand doesn’t respond fast enough, they’ll go elsewhere.

Be Consistent. Communications is all about content. You have to be producing interesting content relevant for your audience on a regular basis. The most successful bloggers post daily. The most successful tweeters participate hourly. Each platform has its own content expectations. Make the commitment, and be consistent.

Be Authentic. Half the fun of social media is learning about the people behind the brands. Be prepared to share and show the real people, the real values and the real passions that drive your business.

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Jeremy Miller

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