With Google+ still going strong and dominating the conversations in the social media world despite still being in beta, questions have popped up here and there regarding the longevity of Facebook. This is nothing new really, speculations around the burst of the social media bubble are constantly present. MySpace was sold last week too for a fraction of the price that it was once worth in 2007 at its peak.The question “could this happen to Facebook?” is quite valid isn’t it? Same applies to Twitter, YouTube etc of course too.
Technology Speculator wrote in one of its articles that once MySpace had an implied value of US$40/ user whereas Facebook currently leads the social media pack with US$146/users.
That is a lot of money and investors would be devastated if the social media/Facebook bubble burst but it is likely that Facebook meets the same fate as MySpace at some point.
So how can you future proof your social media presence?
As Umair writes in his article The Best Investment for the Harvard Business Review, the “best investment you can make isn’t gold. It’s the people you love, the dreams you have, and living a life that matters.”
This is exactly the investment you need to make to get your brand across the line and succeed in social media:
1) RESOURCE: Invest in your people- they shape and build your brand everyday and your brand would be nothing without the dedicated people behind it. Social media is not a stand alone project for the junior marketing staff- it affects the whole company so train and involve them.
2) STRATEGY: Follow your vision- what is your brand’s essence and gets you out of bed every morning? Communicate this vision as part of your social media content plan
3) COMMUNITY: Live a life that matters- increasing sales does rarely matter and seldom makes one happy so invest in a good product/ service which helps people, enriches their life, empowers them, etc. Buyers will thank you by being a loyal community around your brand and by spreading the word about your fantastic product/service
The best thing about this strategy is that it is independent of social networks. It does not matter which social media network is the flavor of the month- your brand’s strategy can sit on Facebook, Google+ or whatever else they want to throw at you! The tool should not matter in your social media presence, because really, it is just a chat with your consumers. Does it really matter where this chat is taking place? Definitely not, it is much more important you know how to converse with your audience.
I know that some of the elements of this approach may be counter intuitive for some businesses but the tide is turning and it gets harder and harder to ignore social media. Consumers are more and more educated, want to know what and who is behind a brand and on top of it interact and engage with brands.
Here is a good example: American Apparel– strong vision, awesome product and investment in people. The result? American Apparel on Facebook has over 532,000 fans and American Apparel on Twitter has over 368,000 followers.
They also have a great site and recently released a series of videos about their factory in L.A. to give you some great insights into the behind the scenes at American Apparel. Here is one of them: