This is the time of year when we reflect on the past, and look to the future. Through the end of January 2013 (2013!) we'll be sharing guest blog posts our the annual Predictions & Reflections series. We asked some of our smartest guest writers to reflect on the past year and look to the upcoming year. This post is by Matt Jacobs. As a Director on the Connections Planning team at AMP Agency, Matt spearheads cross-channel strategy development and ideation to create integrated marketing solutions for a range of Fortune 500 brands. Matt has broad marketing experience spanning roles in business development, planning and program execution for clients such as John Hancock, Staples, TJX, Hasbro and the Food Bank For New York City.
Let me start with a confession: I’m a marketing nerd. As others sat around on New Year’s Eve discussing their resolutions and predicting the next Mayan-sized apocalyptic occurrence, I eagerly rattled off proof points for 2012 being the “Year of Social.”And while I admit that I’ll probably make the same case for 2013 in twelve months time (and I probably could have made an equally impassioned “Year of Mobile” argument), 2012 was a pretty epic year for social media.
Cue the short end-of-year social media montage: Facebook hit a billion monthly users in September; Pinterest and Instagram joined the big leagues; MySpace started its latest comeback attempt; World records were set on Twitter during the Olympics only to be trumped by the Presidential Elections; Gangnam Style happened.
So, as we head in to the 2013, what long standing “way of doing things” must be rethought? I think it is how brands think about social.
At AMP Agency, we don’t treat social media as a vertical business unit. We believe that it must be considered, and likely implemented, across all brand campaigns as part of a larger connections plan. But on the brand-side, we know too well that social sometimes still lacks a home, or even worse, has a home that has been built on an island detached from all other traditional and non-traditional advertising.
2013 is the year that social becomes truly integrated into not only the marketing mix, but into all marketing tactics. When developing a brief, don’t just ask “what do we need the target to take away,” but also ask “why would the target share this?” It is no longer enough to simply create a positive brand experience (a challenge in its own right). It’s now about creating positive, shareable brand experiences for consumers while simultaneously helping to facilitate the social sharing of those experiences.
A brand’s potential audience has been multiplied by the average size of their consumers' social networks. As evidenced by the 2.5 billion pieces of content being shared daily on Facebook*, the potential reach of all brand campaigns has truly become exponential when social is integrated into executions.
Now the hard part – which won’t change year over year - make something shareable.