Social Brands Just Don’t Sprout Overnight

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Ever notice how once you discover something it starts showing up all around you? It seems like for some brands social media has all of a sudden blossomed into this new and incredible marketing medium. I suggest that all brands become active in social media, however I encourage my clients to take the time to understand that social media is not like other advertising mediums.

Comfortable is convenient, it is also safe. No matter the industry you are in technology sprouts new and better ways to produce results. In marketing or advertising new mediums don’t often sprout overnight. Therefore when something new like social media comes around it takes time to understand. Walk, and don’t run into social media for this reason.

“Let me assert my firm belief, that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” - Franklin Roosevelt

Click below to play the audio clip of President Roosevelt’s infamous quote:

Fear is just an obstacle to overcome, and it should not hold a brand back. It is perfectly reasonable to fear something that you don’t understand. I wouldn’t invest time or resources into something that I wasn’t comfortable with, would you?

This makes me recall a conversation I had with a CEO of a restaurant chain about 4 years ago. I was not yet at this time a social media “ambassador” like I am today, but I certainly understood the importance of being present where your customers are.

“I don’t care to know what someone ate for breakfast… and that Facebook was fine for his wife or daughter but not for his brand.”, he said.

“Sir your brand serves breakfast. Do you care what your customers eat for breakfast?”, was my only response. 

This example is not a knock on the CEO or CEOs in general. I share this conversation often because until key decisions makers for brands have a chance to play around and explore a medium as a user, how can anyone expect them to get on-board and invest marketing dollars? Think back a little over a decade ago, did every brand have a website? Change takes time.

How do brands overcome the fear of social media?

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Hire or work with someone who gets it. Someone who is passionate about the medium and can see the potential for your brand. Consider seeking out agencies or individuals who themselves are active and passionate about social. Be cautious of individuals or agencies that fake it, just to sell the latest service or buzzword.

Not every brand or industry is set up to be successful in social media. The restaurant industry in particular is set up perfectly for social media success. In fact, the RIZMY awards actually showcases the best social and digital brands in the Restaurant & Hospitality industry. Keep in mind that no matter the size of your restaurant or how many units you have, social media is customizable and scalable.

The benefits are many, but before you can sprout social media success you first have to sow the seeds.

How should brands get started in social media?

  1. Build Your Network – Create profiles and invest in resources both people and technology
  2. Grow Your Network – Build relationships with current fans first and then find new ones
  3. Create a Strategy and Plan – Be committed to the process because this is a marathon and not a sprint
  4. Create Specific Content – Appreciate the nuances of each social network
  5. Share and Be Active – Consistency is vital, consider tools like Hootsuite and BundlePost to economize your time
  6. Be Prepared To Respond – This is a two-way conversation, which requires you to listen and to respond

Just like how brands take time to grow, so too does social media success. A seed requires soil, water and sunlight to sprout… social media requires an understanding, dedication and patience. I promise you that if you give social media an opportunity, you will sprout marketing success.

This article “Social Brands Just Don’t Sprout Overnight” first appeared on BrandEd

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David Schwartz
David is a Brand Strategist focused on building relevant brands, while creating valuable consumer relationships to promote engagement. By utilizing the popularity of digital and mobile media, along with the social web he helps companies understand the power of controlling their content. David started his career working for MTV in New York, he then proceeded to Atlanta to work with the likes of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and the Home Depot. From his time working with companies of all sizes he has learned that a strong brand is the key to long term success by turning customers into brand advocates. Now living in Nashville with his wife and two children, David works with companies of all sizes teaching and consulting on best practices for building a brand in the digital age.
David Schwartz

@brand_education

Helping Brands transition to a digital world by building a foundation w/Social Media & Blogging. Your Brand isn't going anywhere, neither is the web. @1ad_dad
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