We first heard the news on WhatsApp. And before thinking twice, we took to Twitter, scrolled down through CNC News before finding the LoopTT news link. After that we hopped over to Facebook to read the comments in the hopes that someone had commented with an update on the situation.
We first learned of an impending address from the Prime Minister again by way of social media and though we tuned in to the live address, the link courtesy CNC was up within the hour and we could have read it all again, via Facebook.
Ahoy! There’s a challenge at the end, read on!
Today, it’s not just the millennials who are gleaning their news from social feeds, but your mother and even maybe your grandparents too, uncles, aunts and especially your family ‘in foreign.’ They in fact always seem to know what happens here in T&T before we ourselves do. When El Pecos suffered that tragic explosion in Maraval earlier this year, it was our team from Miami (knowing our Pecos fixation despite most things tasting, well, mostly the same) who messaged us to be sure we were ok.
According to US statistics, over 28% of people glean their news from social sites today – a record shattering increase to bring it just below the 29% of people who still glean news from actual newspapers. Now we know that the statistics for T&T would be different – as we know how much we love to hold up traffic as we decide which papers to buy from the vendor weaving his/her way through four lanes of traffic to watch us count the ‘bobs’ from our car cup holder. But the reality is, that even people who get their first draft of news from actual news sources do in fact get secondary, expanded or updated information from social sites. Doh even talk about mobile use of social apps and breaking news – mainstream news simply can’t compete!
Yet today, we still have clients who would happily spend in excess of TT$10,000 for one press ad placement – a fleeting hit of colour and text as the reader glosses through the dailies while also thumbing through messages on their smartphone. Why? Cuz that’s what you have to do, especially if you are any type of public company. It’s tradition more than anything.
A press ad may be seen at best and even if it is, it may, if you’re lucky, be remembered. Most times, a few calls will result from it and perhaps a website visit or two. You can be guaranteed that many people will also take a casual search of Facebook to see whether you have a presence there, especially if you don’t have a website. Having either nowadays signals a little more credibility to potential clients and provides a way to see, interact and learn more. It’s kind of like when you want to see a product off of the shelf in Pennywise but have to go through the Pennywise counter staff. Most people just look from far and get a basic idea – that’s what a press ad experience on its own is like. Having a social media presence is like having a friendly and interested Pennywise employee help you learn more. Your customer can experience and get a feel for your product, service or place which is then likely to result in a sale, more than again, just staring from a distance.
Point is, that with more and more people looking to Facebook in particular for information or insight, why aren’t you on it? DO you have a Page for your business? Do you update it? DO you respond to your messages or respond to comments (negative AND positive) Do you take time to chat with your followers? Do you take time to retweet their interests and spot check on how you can improve your services or products. Do you take time to brand your Pages to reflect your brand?
We have personally visited restaurants, purchased from stores and even supported ideas, events and more just from seeing it appear on our social feeds. We even donated services free of charge to charitable endeavours simply because we liked what we saw on their social media updates. To the business owners of T&T, as you look to crunch the numbers down while still cranking out some advertising to thrive in trying times ahead – think of it this way – a press ad/campaign can easily cover 2-3 months of social media coverage, reaching easily 5000+ people, often more than once and actually result in direct, two-way conversation with well over half of that number of customers or potential clients on a regular basis – leading to real sales with real people. If you have a great database of clients, you can easily convert that into actual sales for a fraction of the cost of the press ad. You can deliver a new customer service interface and learn more about your market for the fraction of the cost of a press ad simply through direct messaging on social platforms. The best part, you can also still post your press ad on social sites itself where it will be seen anyway. (be sure to minimise text on the image if you want to promote it via Facebook advertising) Want to update it, a quick refresh and you can post it up again!
Now – The Challenge!
Chances are you stumbled across this article via a social media feed, and if you did – we have a challenge for you. If you own a company or a brand and are seeking to learn more or expand your social media coverage, we challenge you to cancel just one press ad this month and give us a call. If you show us you previously advertised in the press but are willing to cancel just one of your press ads in the month of January, we will exceed the value of that press ad with our social media services.
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org – include your name, contact info, social pages (if any) and a copy of your last press ad (no more than 6 months old!)
Happy New Year!