The primary focus of marketing promotion used to be to create compelling advertising campaigns that would grab the consumer’s attention and drive awareness. Once potential customers were aware of the product, direct sales and retail promotions could then close the deal. Today, effective promotional campaigns are less likely to lead to a sale and more likely to result in an Internet search, where consumers’ behavior can be tracked and then in many cases retargeted by competitors. Simply building awareness and walking away is more likely nowadays to enrich our competition rather than ourselves.

Successful brands are becoming platforms and need to do more than just drive consumers to a purchase; they have to inspire them to participate. That means that the Company has to think less in terms of USP’s (Unique Selling Propositions), and GRP’s (Gross Rating Points) and more in terms of how do we connect with the consumer on a more personal level. Focus groups are giving way to accelerators and creation to co-creation.

In the digital age, brands are no longer mere corporate assets to be leveraged, but communities of belief and purpose.

Some brands are not widely known, others have trouble converting awareness to sales and still others need to encourage consumer advocacy. While every business needs all three, it’s important to focus on one primary objective, or your strategy will degrade into a muddled mess.

Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.

Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access. Increased communication for organizations fosters brand awareness and often, improved customer service. Additionally, social media serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organizations to implement marketing campaigns.

Social networking websites allow individuals to interact with one another and build relationships. When products or companies join those sites, people can interact with the product or company. That interaction feels personal to users because of their previous experiences with social networking site interactions. Through social networking sites, products and/or companies are able to have conversations and interactions with individual followers. This personal interaction can instill a feeling of loyalty into followers and potential customers. Also, by choosing whom to follow on these sites, products can reach a number of very narrow target audiences with different messaging. Social networking sites and blogs allow individual followers to “retweet” or “repost” comments made by the product being promoted. By repeating the message, all of the user’s connections are able to see the message, therefore reaching more people.

Social networking sites act as word of mouth. Because the information about the product is being put out there and is getting repeated, more traffic is brought to the product and the company. Social networking sites also include a vast amount of data about what products and services prospective clients might be interested in. Through the use of new Semantic Analysis technologies, the company can detect buying signals, such as content shared by people and questions posted online. Understanding those buying signals will help a company’s marketers run micro-targeted campaigns.

Social media is the most widely used form of marketing media utilized today. It can be used to gain regional, national and international exposure to a brand and gain loyal supporters of your products and vision. It is by far the easiest and fastest way to keep loyal followers informed about every aspect of the business. However without the right team pointing you in the right direction and helping you maximize opportunities for your brand this strategy can also fail.

Why not ask Flashpoint, the company that has been leading the field in Social Media for years to help you ensure that your Social Media strategy gets you the results you need?