“The internet will become ‘like electricity’- less visible, yet more deeply embedded in people’s lives for good or ill” – Lee Rainie
It’s 2017 and we live in the age of ‘always-on’ in terms of connectedness. It’s no secret that social media has changed our societal structures and behaviors. It has been hailed the single most powerful medium in our lives.
There’s a social media platform for anything you can and can’t think of. Many of the users are leveraging the social capital at their disposal to advocate for the things they are fiercely passionate about. The social media matrix has created a large-scale captive audience of networked individualism comprising micro communities: their lifestyles, passions and communities of learning. Brands that can influence and manage their e-reputations, leverage their digital audiences across multiple channels and encourage evangelism on their behalf will emerge victorious in the evolving competitive ecosystem.
The Feed is King
This ‘always-on’ existence is important because of the fact that social networks were created to connect people. They have wedged themselves between customers and businesses democratizing and inverting the influence pyramid. In this new ecosystem, the feed is king! Social media news feeds are the principal system of content consumption. Therefore, influence mainly travels from peer to peer inside social networks. Content alone isn’t enough! Brands need to prioritize story-telling and cross channel consistency.
Need more convincing?
Source: Sprout Social
Social networks are layered and influence brand awareness through an element of trust. When a brand is recommended by a connection, the trust element enables the brand to be considered a good consumer choice. Social media is essentially network evangelism and like anything else, it works best with strategy and coordination. The digital economy is driven by the economy of attention and the foremost task of companies now is attention allocation. All of the people staring at screens and switching from screen to screen equates to a brand’s need to create purposeful social experiences through continuous narratives. Social media allows them to listen to the customers from within the places where they spend most of their time. Brands need to expand the audience’s peripheral vision both through physical and digital efforts. Several brands have done just that and you can see how on our coverage of digital projects.
Digital Agencies to the Rescue
Brands should be sitting aloft somewhere rubbing their hands together nefariously, laughing while lighting flashes periodically in the background. This is great news for their bottom lines! However, some are still on the fence because social media platforms still aren’t seen for what they are: important learning sites and conversation nodes that leverage direct interaction with customers.
Why should companies be investing in digital agencies to manage their online presence across all social media? Because social media is literally the one thing to rule us all, the one thing to find us (consumers), the one thing to bring us all (to purchase) and in the internet (digital economy) bind us.