I’m an album guy.
Whenever I listen to music, I start at track 1 and listen until the end. I rarely start a new album unless I finish the one I’m listening to. Back when people still bought digital music, I would always buy the whole album. I like seeing playcounts that are all the same.
(Insert something here about my OCD tendencies…)
For whatever reason, I’ve always appreciated artists and musicians based on their body of work (an album, a career), not 4 minutes.
What does this have to do with marketing? Well, when it comes to social engagement, I’m an “album” guy as well.
I’m a bigger fan of brands that make more of an ongoing, holistic commitment to social (even if it’s not as flashy) than the “one hit wonders.” Companies like Jet Blue, Best Buy, Zappos, Warby Parker. Brands that have made social part of their DNA and use it to grow their businesses.
In my opinion, too much emphasis and attention is placed on the social “hits”—the perfectly timed tweets that slingshot around the world—and not enough on the “albums”—the body of work. Last year’s Super Bowl set this in motion (I’m looking at you Oreos), and it’s been reinforced ever since during big, mass relevant events like the Oscars and Grammy’s (hello Arby’s). Heck, the agency I work for created the most re-tweeted tweet of all time:
Don’t get me wrong, responding in real time with something relevant and impactful is impressive—brands that are able to do this well have taken the time to put the people and processes in place to make it happen and are at a state of readiness that many companies envy.
But we shouldn’t lose sight of the proverbial forest for the trees. Social strategies should drive sustainable growth, not just spikes in engagement that flame out as quickly as they came. We realize short term gains by taking the long view and using social to help us deliver broader business outcomes.
Said another way, producing “hits” happens because of a commitment to making great “albums.” It should be a result, a consequence—not an end or a goal.