How Social Media is enforcing companies to value their Value Proposition
By David Quaid, SEO Director at Primary Position
“We’re rapidly becoming “Generation Now” – we want news, information, data and fun – now. Right now, right this very minute. We can’t wait. News on the hour every hour doesn’t work – we need it as it happens. If you can’t be good and be quick you’re going to get in the way.”
This isn’t the next generation – it’s a rapidly growing phenomenon panning across them. It’s ubiquitous across the working age group – so many more people work in IT than 15 years ago. So many more people work via computers than 10 years ago. Certainly, a younger generation is more prevalent on Facebook but Twitter and certainly LinkedIn have users who are more mature, well educated, networking types that have found a faster way to share information, knowledge, opportunities and create real relationships. These people want to create more opportunities – and you need people to do that. Social Networking is just another way of meeting people the same way you do in real life – except their attention span is gone. It’s almost as though Digital Media encourages attention deficit disorder.
That’s why there’s never been a stronger reason to have a crystal clear understanding of your value proposition than now. Twitter, with its famous 140 character limit (smaller than SMS) makes the elevator pitch rule seem like an extra long version of the ‘Lord of the Rings’.
Having a punchy, online value proposition is not about clever tag lines or being smart – it’s about getting the right message across to people in the shortest amount of time. It’s about respecting their time and their needs – cutting through the big, broad message to get the heart of what they need to hear. It will either be “What” or “Why”. If you get either wrong, chances are it will be seen as self promotion or spam. Spam is just another word for “inconvenient” content – irrelevant and at the wrong time.
Are you pushing or listening?
Marketing is frequently seen as something we “push” on people – in radio, in billboards and in papers. We tell people a story, we want them to remember. We create a demand – we want them to want us. Push advertising is very easy on Twitter for big brands (think Apple, Microsoft, and Dell) because they create demand with a lot of momentum and their social media. Companies and brands that don’t benefit from the momentum created by other media cannot use Social Media to push a message. It just won’t go. In “Pull” marketing (where consumers with a need literally “pull” content with them) you need to engage. And you need to give a very valid, understandable and compelling reason to do so.
You don’t have a 5 minute radio pitch, you don’t have time to send a business plan, and you really don’t even have the time it takes between here and the ninth floor to get your pitch across. You have now and you have to be quick. Otherwise you’ll be irrelevant or overtaken.