Here is Why Social Marketing is such a Vital Part of Experiential Marketing

This past Tuesday I was watching the news on TV and learned about the horrific train derailment just outside of Philadelphia that killed 8 and injured hundreds. Now I do not mean to be insensitive making light of the chilling event to tell a social marketing story, but something extremely poignant played out. The various news stations could not get the story out. They did not have their team there yet. They were actually getting the story and bringing it to their viewers via social media monitoring of the public’s Twitter and Instagram posts.

That’s right, the public was their feed and source to re-share with their audience. Isn’t that exactly what marketers want to do to create the most effective and honest story telling of their brands? Get the audience to experience the brand, share the experience, and then amplify the information.

Marketers need to look at human behavior. They need to leverage what people naturally do as opposed to creating a story that does not resonate with their audience. Marketers cannot shove interruptive advertisement down the throat of their audience. Marketers need to create experiences that their audience want to share.

experiential marketing plus social marketing

Yes, experiential marketing includes events that everyone wants to share with their friend. Those are the big hits. But a brand cannot put on a Coachella-like event every week. Brand’s most successful marketing efforts come from developing and implementing a continuous series of small customer experiences. This can be as simple as stellar customer service or friendly and helpful engagement.

If we go back to the point I made about understanding audience behavior, you will release that people do not share mediocre or average stuff. They share extremes. Like the cases of the train derailment. People shared this because it was horrific. Your audience will share horrible experiences they have with your brand. But they will also share outstanding experiences with your brand. So marketers (and the entire company organization) must strive to create awesome customer experiences. They must then strategize ways to incentivize people to share these experiences.

You see social marketing is not so much about a brand posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat … (the list can go on forever). It is more about activating a happy and compelled audience to share your brand on the audiences’ preferred social platform. Social marketing is about motivating positive word-of-mouth marketing from their audience. That is power, because their word and accolades are far more believable then claims coming from the brand itself.

In order to accomplish this persuasive word-of-mouth marketing, brands must focus on the entire user experience. This is how experiential marketing must grow. Experiential marketing must focus on ALL the little customer experiences and not just a grand event.

Experiential marketing and social marketing can be a brand’s most effective integrated discipline. Give your audience amazing continuous experience and motivate them to share it with their audience.

Make It Happen,
Social Steve



Filed under brand marketing, brands, experiential marketing, marketing, social marketing, Social Steve, SocialSteve

8 responses to “Here is Why Social Marketing is such a Vital Part of Experiential Marketing

  1. Mike Poynton

    I don’t know about this one, Steve. People naturally are drawn to horrible accidents (“….There’s a gapers delay on Lake Shore Drive with a tractor trailer jumping the median and hitting an oncoming school bus.”) They want to share that stuff because of what I call the, “There by the grace of God go I”-factor. It gets a rise out of people and makes them feel important. So, I guess from that standpoint, I agree. But I’m not really sure comparing catastrophic train wrecks, plane crashes, earth quakes, floods, etc. with anything else is apples-to-apples. I think in the case of the train crash, the stations were simply using social channels as a means of gathering information in the absence of a reporter on site. They used CB radio channels in the 1970’s and early 1980’s. In my humble opinion, there’s a big difference between evesdropping for more info and building and amplifying brand advocacy and loyalty.

    • Mike – thanks for contributing. Yes, I agree with your point that people share catastrophic events to a much larger degree than brand related stuff. I do not mean to say they are apples-to-apples. But the sharing nature demonstrates and symbol of what can be if you deliver a great experience.

  2. My take on the story was that it illustrates that people share extremes, horrific things but also happy things that impact them. Shock in the case of trainwrecks and horrific disasters on one end of the extreme, but also positive experiences such as I read this morning in Peter Shankman’s post about Lenscrafters facilitating an appointment and new glasses because he had left his at home in NY (was working in Chicago that day).
    What I inferred was that as marketers we have to attempt to create effective word-of-mouth (or word-of-social-media) experiences that engages the target audience so they might become brand ambassadors.

  3. I really enjoyed this article and the statement ‘Brand’s most successful marketing efforts come from developing and implementing a continuous series of small customer experiences. ‘ In my brand experiences, it is the consistency of little positive actions that create consumer loyalty and sharing. The only thing extreme about delivering small customer experiences consistently is that it is extremely difficult to do.

    • John – you are correct … difficult to do. But the payoff is great success so it is worthy the hard work to make it happen. Difficult, but not impossible. Thanks for contributing!

  4. Jim Matorin

    Interesting thread of comments. What happened here in Philly was terrible and yes news is different than marketing. Re: The marketing experience, I think overall marketers have been doing a better job thanks to the advent of the collaborative tools of Web 2.0 since they are listening and have recognized the new boom in social visual media, thus are creating content for their consumers to share since we are weening a whole generation that receives information/experience via visual.

  5. Excellent article. Thanks for sharing nice information about experiential marketing.

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