Why Social Media Marketing Won’t Save Your Brand

Yip, that’s right. Social media marketing isn’t some magic cure-all muti, it isn’t a new mystical realm that’ll make your brand experience exponential growth, and it cannot be explained in five steps on Memeburn. Most importantly, placing your brand in the hands of some fresh-out-of-marketing-college kids, just because they grew up with social media, is not the most intelligent marketing move you can make.

Social media can be described honestly in three words: very young platform. Many people struggle to believe that it’s young because it’s become so pervasive in such a short space of time. My mom uses Facebook. This is the same woman who sent me an SMS asking me to explain the difference between airtime and data. Its age, however, is not the reason it won’t save your brand. The fact that it’s nothing more than a platform is the reason it won’t save your brand.

The only thing that can save a brand, especially in the digital age, is memorable, honest marketing. Communications that engage with consumers, communications that are sincere, communications that users want to share with each other. In short, clever, strategically sound and creatively brilliant advertising will save your brand. Social media knowledge alone will not produce this kind of marketing. It requires a skilled team of through-the-line thinkers who understand brand strategy and know how to solve problems creatively.

Social media marketing can be described honestly in three words: very young platform. 

Believing that a Facebook campaign dreamed up by a “social media guru” is going to take your brand from zero to hero, is the equivalent of believing that a magazine ad written by a journalist is going to increase sales. Both of these are merely platforms, and understanding how they work is vastly different to understanding how to use them effectively for purposeful marketing.

New digital platforms have had two major effects on the world of marketing, firstly they’ve created unnecessary panic amongst brands, and secondly they’ve created new positions, which are being filled by fly-by-night “experts.” They may have a sound grasp of the digital realm, but they don’t always have a clear understanding of what makes good marketing (let alone social media marketing). Marketing, at its core, hasn’t changed, the world has changed and as such marketers need to adapt the way they communicate. The goal is still exactly the same, and strong creative, combined with clever strategy is still the only way to reach that goal.