You can’t deny it: social media does lack the grandeur held by an emotive, sweeping TV advert; lacks the visual ‘punch’ of a colossal billboard passed by hundreds of thousands of people every day. Which I presume, is why so many people question its relative value as a marketing investment; especially considering the ROI debate continues to rumble on.
However, social media is rapidly becoming part of an integrated digital subculture that underpins our lives as consumers. Our daily routines are now stitched together by a variety of different digital devices. I walk to work in the morning and browse Twitter. I ‘check in’ to a coffee shop on Foursquare. I tag friends at a restaurant on Facebook in the evening. Social media is a way of life, offering touch-points throughout the day.
And it’s this ‘digital drip-feed’ that makes social media so effective.
Today sees the launch of the UK version of ‘Facebook Deals’, with Starbucks, Mazda and Argos all signed up from the off. The premise is simple: ‘check-in’ and receive discounts, offers and deals. This symbiotic relationship offers brands a glut of digital buzz, whilst consumers benefit from some great promotions, leading to retention brand advocacy.
I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t adore Guinness’ ‘horses’ advert. Yet on a day-to-day level, will that make me go out and drink a pint of Guinness? Probably not. However, if faced with two high street coffee shops and my mobile device offers me a coffee for £1 just for checking in, I know which one I’d choose.
So with Facebook deals set for lift off in the UK, it’s worth remembering that social media is SO important as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Cinematic, orchestral, art house adverts that tug at the soul may well get your brand some exposure.
It’s the digital drip-feed that converts them into paying customers however.
(CC image courtesy of GollyGForce on Flickr.)