Carlos Gil - The End of Marketing

Gil explains that no matter how easy it is to reach potential customers, the key relationship between brand and consumer still needs the human touch. We need to put ‘social’ back into social media and claim brand relevancy in a world where algorithms dominate and consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to be engaged with.

In the new era of social media, traditional marketing is dead.

Brands across the globe are having to continuously stay ahead of the game and refresh themselves in order to remain relevant. In an era where an influencer receives more daily impressions than Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola combined, is traditional marketing has taken a bit of a knock in today’s digital world, social media has now become a way of life.

The obvious, traditional approach is to make a load of ads, in print and online, which forcefully tell people to “Buy it now.” But that sort of aggressive messaging turns people off: nobody likes a hard sell.

What that means is, your goal shouldn’t be to “market.” It should be to get people talking to each other about your brand. The truth is, people buy from other people. And social media is an unbelievably good way to get them to do this.

Traditional marketing is always talking, never listening. Social media can be more effective because it’s more flexible, more personal – in essence, more social, as the name suggests.

You are now competing with the everyday user of social media. Everybody is fighting for attention and it is limited. If you take Instagram for example, each time you refresh the page, there’s a number of new posts. So, what makes your content unique enough to stop the scroll?

Gil describes social media as a noisy digital ocean of brands and people who are attention hungry. Everybody is currently just trying to stay above water to be seen.

In order for a brand to stay in business and digitally relevant, it’s important to find ways to connect with people on a human level because AI is getting ready to disrupt everything we know! Technology is changing everything fast. But what makes social media so powerful will always be the human touch

In order to keep ahead of your competitors and beat the bots, it’s all about following basic principles. On the surface, it seems really basic but most brands don’t follow them. They are:

  • Be real – this means taking a risk, not being afraid to align your narrative to a larger cultural issue. Many brands are too afraid to be authentic for fear of offending someone. Your personality is key when it comes to connecting with your community, never forget that. Make your voice stand out by being human and getting engagement

  • Celebrate success – social listening and building brand advocacy with customers comes from reviews, etc. Brands need to acknowledge and celebrate the good feedback, but also accept and work on the negative

  • Don’t oversell – weave in your service or product into day to day practice but it’s important to encourage conversation and let your brand’s personality shine through, rather than chasing after vanity metrics

  • Social media personalities can help your brand – but only if they’re brilliant, relatable storytellers

  • Futureproof your business by being where your customers are.

  • Your most powerful advocates are the ones you already have – your employees and customers

The four pillars of social media strategy

Gil suggests that there are four pillars to a social media strategy; community, content, consistency and conversion.

Your community is made up of the people who consume your content, support your brand and are advocates of your business. It could be that your community is very small, but it’s important that you engage with them as without them, you’re just speaking to yourself! Those who enthusiastically engage with your content will influence their own inner circles, and before you know it your community is growing.

Gil stresses the importance of quality content and how this will help your brand stay visible. Are you simply selling to your followers? That won’t work. Stop selling and start socialising with posts that ignite conversation and make users want to share. It is here where you can utilise user-generated content; does your page allow reviews to be left? This is a great marketing tool because, as Gil says, ‘people buy from people’ and we couldn’t agree more! Even bad reviews can be turned into a positive, – it’s how you respond and create that all-important connection.

He also speaks about the need to be consistent with your content, – your community will disengage if you are posting sporadically. They like to know that you’re there and feel like they’re part of something.

Converting social media users into customers is easier than you might think. Start by looking at your posts, do they lead to a conversation? Getting users talking will lead to clicks, so instead of just posting about your service, get the community involved.

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