The web is going through a butterfly -like transformation. During the dot com days the Internet was all about that –.com, or .net, or .whatever. What many people may not have realized is that Friendster has changed all that forever – and Freindster isn’t even around anymore. The first social network took the technology of the web and started wrapping it in a subtle cocoon.
After several years of wrapping the butterfly has finally started to emerge and that butterfly looks like a human being. (Not in a crazy Hunter S. Thompson trippy sort of way, just metaphorically speaking). The caterpillar of the web was content and transactions – Yahoo, Amazon, and other sites we searched and surfed. Up until Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and all the boutique social media properties came along the web was all about content. That you had to find.
With the web going through a metamorphosis centered around people content finds you. News seeks you out. Things come to your site to get bought. It’s a fundamental shift in the usage of the Internet.
This is happening to mimic the real world. Last time you bought a car you probably asked other friends what they thought of it, or if they had heard about it. Then maybe you searched for best price on the Internet. Now the shift is to going to a car site and having something recommended to you, based on your wants, likes, and behaviors.
If you have a brand you need to embrace this shift, it’s simple and very, very powerful. You have to associate with individuals. If your brand is a product or experience associating with individuals is super easy to do and will have a more profound effect on your business than any form of marketing you’ve ever done. You do it by gluing your brand to someone’s digital voice.
Associating your brand to digital word of mouth is easy if your brand touches people – literally. If you have events, or a venue where people are present then you need to bring their social graph to them. You need to expand the Internet beyond their phone, tablet or laptop and make it appear in real time for them. You need to capture the moment and share it with their friends – and you’ll be handsomely rewarded.
At the moment a fan is most enjoying your brand is when you need to capture it and share it with their social network. Using a social media experiences driven by RFID or NFC is the easiest way to do this.
Creating one-of-a-kind photos that can be triggered in real time and then uploaded to a fans’ timeline (with your logo in the corner of course) is an inexpensive yet incredibly powerful way to build brand equity – through that person’s social network amplification.
Check out some of the social media case studies that show how brands like Facebook, Southwest Airlines , Lexus and Harley-Davidson have benefitted from bringing social media to the real world.