How Marketing With Social Media Can Help You Tell the Future

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Being able to accurately predict social trends is the holy grail of marketing.  It’s the holy marty mcfly
grail sitting on top of the arc of the covenant, tucked neatly inside the belly of Nessie, stowed inside the Millennium Falcon, buried deep in a hangar (that doesn’t exist) at Area 51 – of marketing.

Social Media platforms are changing constantly, because the way people communicate changes constantly.  Studies are consistently showing that social sites that favor images are growing in popularity with users.  Social Medians are spending more time on image heavy sites per visit.  More importantly though, they engage with the site.  And most importantly, they’re sharing.  People are much more likely to share images than text.  This increases the connection between the two friends and insures that those posts show up in their feeds more often.  Chad Ratliffe, CEO at ZeeBlu, a firm that specializes in digital marketing in Santa Barbara, refers to social media as, “a place for engagement”.

The takeaway from this really, is the buzzword “engagement”.  “Friends”, not pages is the mantra here.  People interact with friends far more often than they interact with pages.  Reaching the public in a more unassuming way is key to successfully engaging with people on social media.  Marketers should be striving to engage with Social Medians, not sell to them.  So as social media sites go through growing pains, and new ones pop up, the ability to predict which ones will strike chords with users is increasingly important.

But don’t fret, there is a failsafe way to predict the future – create it yourself.  Sounds easy right?  Yeah well, maybe not, but…  Once upon a time, trends moved at the speed of molasses through society.  That is until the age of the internet.  Now new ideas rocket through the world instantly.  That’s a game changer for marketing.  Ideas don’t linger long enough for marketers to react to trends, it’s predict or die out there.

Okay so time to dish, right?  Where’s the crystal ball? Here it goes…(drum roll)…look into the past, duh.  It’s all right there.  At the moment people are eating up the 80’s like a three layer dip on Super Bowl Sunday.  Huge companies like Taco Bell, Radio Shack, and Microsoft are all mining the 80’s for nostalgia and comedy.  Because their main target customers are millennials, who were not even alive in the 80’s, it’s not all just about nostalgia.  It’s also the future – Back to the Future.

If you’ve spent one second on social media lately you know what I’m talking about.  Do self-lacing shoes ring a bell?  Since Back to the Future II was released in 1989 the world has been on the edge of their seat waiting for 2015 to see if we’d all be wearing self-lacing shoes.  Well guess what, social media asked, and it shall receive.  Referencing the shoes that Marty Mcfly made famous in the 80’s, Tinker Hatfield (Air Jordan guru for Nike), said “Are we gonna see power laces in 2015? To that, I say YES!”.

The moral of the story is that history not only repeats itself, but it repeats the things that we want repeated.  Social Media acts as a sort of call to action to society.  If it’s asked for enough, it shall pass.  Lets look at another example inspired by Back to the Future – the HUVr board hoax.

4-Tony-Hawk-hoover

For twenty-four hours, the world thought that HUVr boards actually existed.  Facebook was ringing off the hook with posts about the science fiction come to life.  They even created a believable website.  So don’t forget to consider your local audience with web design in Santa Barbara.  That’s social proof, and it’s why things like that are perfect social media marketing stunts.  I mean, Doc Brown himself was there – it must be true!  Well, it wasn’t.  And the government’s not watching you through your TV – yet.

But I digress, it was a  marketing campaign.  For what?  I don’t know.  Neither does anybody else for that matter.  Considering the fact that Funny or Die followed it up with an emotional admission of guilt by Christopher Lloyd, we can be sure to expect this to come up again.  But when, where, and why? Maybe the next Back to the Future movie?  Maybe the next incarnation of Tony Hawk’s video game?  Or, maybe the whole thing was funded by Nike. You know; in an attempt to keep the world’s most famous – er – only self lacing shoes square in social media’s cross hairs.  Your guess is as good as mine.

But you don’t have the money to create internet hoaxes to build interest in a product that you’re releasing years down the road?  No problem.  Social Media Marketing in Santa Barbara is still powerful tool.  Big companies like Nike, and Taco Bell are doing the heavy lifting.  All you have to do is be active on social media – engage.  Watch the trends, see what people are talking about, wearing, doing.  Be proactive and not reactive.  Take chances, and don’t be afraid to repeat the mistakes of the 80’s.  Especially if they were funny – like mullets.

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