When it comes to Social Media, here’s why most Brand Leaders still don’t get it

BBI Learning LogoEvery day we read about how Social Media is completely changing the landscape of marketing.  That’s a huge Statement.  Is it changing that much?  Has it changed you?  Or are you one of those Brand Leaders that keeps trying to figure out “HOW THE HELL DO I DO THIS?”  I think the statement really should say “Every day, we see traditional Brand Leaders still confused by Social Media with no clue what to do”.  Thank god we are past the “Like us on Facebook” stage and thank god we have stopped doing websites on how to cleanse a wound.   The next stage is to stop saying your brand is on Twitter when you have 57 followers and you send out a tweet every 3 weeks.

Brand Leaders have to recognize the change in the marketing model. For generations, they talked AT the consumer, but now they have to talk WITH the consumer.  In the old school, Brand Leaders were trained to try to INTERRUPT the consumer in a busy part of their day and then YELL at them over and over again.  It was all about AWARENESS-PURCHASE-LOYALTY where Awareness leads to conversion to Purchase which then the brand experience leads to Loyalty.  The new school of marketing is all about LOYALTY-AWARENESS-PURCHASE where the most loyal users will be the ones driving Awareness and the influence of the conversion to purchase.  It’s no longer about yelling at strangers on TV.  Instead, you have to engage your most loyal consumers, and they become the medium for reaching new users as they WHISPER advice to their friends.

The modern Brand Leader gets the power of being a loved brand.  When your brand is loved, demand becomes desire, needs become cravings and thinking is replaced by feeling.  Consumers become outspoken fans ready to speak out and battle competitive users.  Next time you want to leave a cocktail party but can’t convince your spouse to go, find an Apple user and tell them that Android is way better.  It will create such a fight that your spouse will drag your ass out of that party very fast.  Now, that’s brand loyalty.  

This connection between beloved brands and their consumer becomes a source of power for that brand to use.  In today’s world of Brands, the most Loved are the most powerful.  Brands like Starbucks, Google and Whole Foods aren’t using TV advertising, but instead they are taking their brand experience to social media and influencing their most loyal brand lovers to spread the word.  People post a picture of their Pumpkin Latte on Facebook and now 137 people now want one. 

The old school thinking is what gets measured gets done.  Old School media has always been about efficiency and the ROI (Return on Investment).  But New School media is about Impact and ROE (Return on Effort).  The influence of social media is like the new “invisible hand” that you know is there, but can’t always measure.  Yes, TV is and always will be the most efficient medium. It’s easy to stick with what you know and has a whole system of measurements.  But TV is an announcement medium, not an influence medium.  TV is best used for broad awareness and new news.  But it’s not as good at influencing as social media.   There are loved brands who still spend 95% of their ad budget on TV.   Yet, their TV ads tell us nothing new and fail to move the brand forward. The better spend would be take all that stored energy within their most loyal users and get them to influence their network of friends.  Your most loyal consumers become the medium for attracting new users.  

For Brand Leaders to get it, they should be living in the space of social media.  It’s a great chance for Brand Leaders to get in the shoes of your consumer, see how they live, hear what’s important to them, use their rich language and feel what they think about your brand.  Be active and be engaged.  You’d better hurry up though, because pretty soon what we see in front of us as new school media will be old pretty soon.  And then you’ll be completely out of it.

Take a Walk in their shoes of your consumers


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email-Logo copyABOUT BELOVED BRANDS INC.:  At Beloved Brands, we are only focused on making brands better and making brand leaders better.Our motivation is that we love knowing we were part of helping someone to unleash their full potential.  We promise to challenge you to Think Different.  We believe the thinking that got you here, will not get you where you want to go.  grOur President and Chief Marketing Officer, Graham Robertson is a brand leader at heart, who loves everything about brands.  He comes with 20 years of experience at companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer Consumer, General Mills and Coke, where he was always able to find and drive growth.  Graham has won numerous new product and advertising awards. Graham brings his experience to your table, strong on leadership and facilitation at very high levels and training of Brand Leaders around the world.  To reach out directly, email me at graham.robertson@beloved-brands.com or follow on Twitter @grayrobertson1


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8 thoughts on “When it comes to Social Media, here’s why most Brand Leaders still don’t get it

  1. Glad to see you embrace social media, Graham.

    I’m still an advocate of integrated media, where the consumer is (had always been) the world’s most important medium.

    It’s not a question of TV vs Social Media. It can be TV x Social Media.

    And by the way, even though I am an advocate of Word-of-Mouse, I am a greater advocate of Word-of-Mouth. Life still happens beyond the Internet.

    On the aspect of measurement, I have found this measure very useful: Cost per prosumer.

    Where “prosumer” is defined as someone who champions a brand enough to create a new tribe member. Interestingly, to be a prosumer you don’t have to be a consumer.

    To track “cost per prosumer” you have to have a system that’s designed not only to track sales but one that treats every consumer as an individual … and potentially the brand’s best medium.

  2. Right on the mark! All channels have their particular strengths which inherently adds value to the Brand if approached cohesively. The new Brand Leader must integrate all of the channels available to be more effective.

  3. Very interesting article, but I have to agree with Sumit. Social Media is a great way to market a brand and drive consumer awareness but it is not and should not be the only way, ever. If that were the case you are leaving out hoards of people who like some brands, don’t get and don’t want to get the whole social media marketing thing. My brand marketing model is integrated marketing within (not implanted in a commercial) a film, TV, game Show, etc. THEN, tweet, talk, blog, and post about it. That way you’re catching the social media consumers after you’ve attracted the non-social media consumers and the first attraction, the integration, lives on forever in film, TV, re-runs, pay per view, DVD’s and on and on. After the tweet or blog is lost in oblivion the integration just keeps popping up to remind consumers and keep the brand in the forefront of their minds.

  4. HI Sumit and Anne. I hope you’re not reading this article in a way that advocates not using traditional mediums. I would suggest you go through the presentation link and see where the social media fits within the overall context. Yes, this is an article about social media, but it’s only one component of the 5 types of media: paid, earned, digital, social and home.

  5. Thanks for your insightful post. Having worked as a marketer in a couple different Fortune 500 companies, I have learned that change comes hard for many corporate marketing veterans. They have built strong relationships with their counterparts selling them mass advertising and often resist even investigating how content marketing and social media might be used to retain existing customers and build brand loyalty.

  6. You are right. Everyday we are seeing the changes has been done the landscape of marketing especially in social media. The old traditional method changing ever. Very insightful article must follow to keep branding on the social networks.

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