Do you think anyone knew who Elvis Presley was before 1954? Nope. At least, no one outside of Memphis, Tennessee knew of him. But, as soon as he plugged his sound into Sun Records and radio stations began playing “That’s All Right,” he was heard. Elvis had the content, but he still needed a path to being heard.
You can bet he sang and performed before then. Just like you can publish all the content you want on your blog or website. But it wasn’t until the communications mechanisms of the day went to work that anyone heard Elvis. The same it true for content marketing.
A non-profit executive recently posed the question, “Why social media?” We regularly heard that type of skepticism from brands 5-6 years ago, but when I hear it today it surprises me. Thankfully, brands have matured to the point that, according to Gartner, social marketing is now the second biggest expense for digital marketers behind online advertising. However with this question coming from a non-profit executive, I understood the lingering skepticism.
My answer was short and simple, I asked, “where are people spending their time in today’s fractured media landscape? Television? Newspapers? Radio? The park? The mall? The answer is yes. But it’s also yes … and … Because they’re doing all that – arguably less than 10 years ago – but they’re doing so while also on a mobile device and on the web.”
And people aren’t not just hanging out on AOL’s homepage anymore. They’re on sites that allow them to take the offline social connections we remember from childhood days of playing outside into the online space.
Why social media?
Today we tend to connect with our family and friends on social media – not at the park or the mall.
But there’s much more explanation needed to fully answer our question, “Why Social Media?”
When you get right down to it, we use social media because it serves as the conduit for content. Whether it’s the META application of your content marketing, carrying your communications messaging to consumers, or the tactical execution (a Tweet, Facebook post, video or infographic), social media provides the wiring that gets you to customers, and them back to you.
Let me assure you of this, in today’s internet-first consumer marketplace, without content, you do not exist. It’s how people find you, share you and advocate for you.
Why social media? Without it, there’s no conduit to show others you exist.
The truth of the matter is that on today’s web, if you build it, they will not come.
Those days are over. Today it’s an environment where if you build it, then promote the hell out of it, they might come. Social media is how you can take your content marketing – a blog post, a webinar, a white paper, a video, a contest, hosted event – and deliver it to a relevant and willing audience.
If it’s good enough, they’ll share it, you’ll drive interest, traffic or sales, and all will be well with the world.
Why social media?
Because, without it you’ll just be singing in the shower.