Does My Brand Need To Be On Social Media?

Does My Brand Need To Be On Social Media?

This probably comes off like a dumb question in the modern area. “Should my brand be on social media?” sounds like a debate the industry would have settled in 2014, concluding with a resounding “Yes!” 

At Slate and Main, we’re not so sure. At least, not sure that the conclusion is that easy. The 2014 consensus has been challenged by many events, including data hacks, drops in institutional trust, demographic changes, political polarization, and, of course, the 2016-17 pivot to video. 

Rather than religitiate all that, though, let’s look at a simple strategy flow to determining your brands’ place on social media. 

B2C

As far as marketing is about attracting eyeballs (and to a certain extent it is, especially in terms of video advertising), using social media for business can be a goldmine for the business to customer model. Digital ad placements have made exposure cheaper and more targeted, influencer marketing has done much of the same, and having a contact and PR resource in the form of a Facebook or Twitter page creates a stronger sense of accessibility. All good, right? 

The main pratfall of the B2C brand on social is authenticity. As a company, you know your main goal is to move product. As a potential customer, your target audience knows your main goal is to move product. The present popular disposition of consumers (in part because of the events mentioned above) can be easily tipped into becoming resentful over this. Opining about the nature of this dynamic is all well and good, but that doesn’t help with the over goal, the aforementioned moving of product. 

You need more authenticity. For more on that, check out our 2019 video marketing guide, which does a deep dive on the options available to the modern marketer in fostering authenticity in B2C social media relationships, as well as what the best social media for business might be for you.

Wherever you end up, do us all a favor: don’t be the brand that memes. No one looks cool trying that hard.        

B2B 

B2B marketing, and by extension B2B social media, is less conventional. The first thing to come to mind is, obviously, LinkedIn, the self-described social network for business. After a long and difficult battle for relevance, this platform has established itself as the best means of using the digital space to bring companies together. But this misses the essence of the medium, and also overlooks one of LinkedIn’s most glaring errors: people doing work are doing work, not crowdsourcing social media, reducing the majority of the site’s activity down to marketers and sales associates talking past each other. Oof. 

 This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use LinkedIn, just keep a realistic perspective. 

Rather than seeing social media as a chance for businesses to rub up against each other, conceptualize businesses as groups of people set inside a certain demographic. Your product or service may theoretically provide value to businesses, but you first have to prove that value to actual people. This means coming to terms with these people, either through direct advertising or content marketing. It may also mean forgoing presenting your brand as a talking logo. Get on social media, get connected with the need-to-know people, and promote directly from there. 

Business is relationships, relationships are between people, and if you turn your marketing budget loose on that, you’ll find success. 

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If you’re already set to start your social media campaign but need help getting off the ground, check out our Research Page for our yearly guides, our Podcast Page for weekly news, and our Vlogs for more topical videos. If you’re looking for even more information, drop us a call.

Jessica Nafe