If you’ve been reading my past posts, you come to realize the significance and importance that come with social media as a means to optimize your presence online, increase engagement and last but not least, maximize profits.
Let me posit a scenario for you: Coca-Cola decides to sack its advertising department, cut all connections with outside ad agencies and put the onus on brand promotion to a small social media team. Would social media be enough to spread the word and still make a mega profit?
Shocked? Angry? The Instagram account @world_record_egg has 6.8 million followers from one photo. That’s worth something, believe it or not.
Selling sponsored or branded content is how social media influencers make bread. Someone with the same number of numbers and post engagement as @world_record_egg could make hundreds of thousands if not a million dollars per posts or even more if you commit to a campaign. Social media is certainly a gold mine if you’re lucky enough to command that many.
Yet it’s not the be all and end all.
Back to Coke. Even if Coca Cola stopped all advertising outside of social media, that pivot wouldn’t last more than a single week, tops. Want to know why? Because if Coke focuses on social media, that means Pepsi has free range to advertise on billboards, TV spots, celebrity endorsements and tons of targeted ads on your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok feeds.
Social media and advertising in general is not about product announcements. It’ not about pushing the latest Kingdom Hearts game or the latest Samsung. It’s about selling you the brand, the lifestyle associated with it and the feelings and past experiences that you associate that brand with. In 2016 Pokémon Sun and Moon was released and part of their advertising push was utilizing childhood memory to get old-time fans who bought the originals on the Game Boy to buy the latest (then) title.
It was successful; selling 24.16 million copies and earning 1.194 billion dollars.
To millions of adults, Pokémon harkens to a simpler time with no responsibilities where they played as a ten year old boy and girl out on an adventure, beat the bad guys with their team of Pokémon and save the world.
If you’re reading this, you’re stuck at home so humor me and play a game with yourself. Here are some sentences, and you think of something that you associate with them.
- You’re planning to travel abroad.
- You need a drink.
- You’re going to binge-watch a new show.
- Your partner cheated on you and you need some music to soothe your shattered soul.
- You are buying food for your dog.
- You slipped on a wet floor with no sign and need to contact an attorney to pursue litigation.
- You are ordering a cake for your friend’s birthday.
- You need some inspiration and plan on visiting the local art museum.
- You are stuck at home and want to buy a game that is time-consuming enough to get you through this social distancing season.
- You’re applying for a gym membership.
Not everyone is on social media and not everyone cares to engage with paid posts on social media. I doubt your cousin is going to share a post about the newest Audi. Do people even care what your cousin thinks?
Traditional advertising (billboards, TV, print) hits everyone.
So posting on social media isn’t enough because it won’t invade your way of life. It won’t make you think of a brand every day, regularly. And that just will not do.