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Work or Play?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Everyone knows the difference. Work is a struggle and play is fun. So if a brand thinks about all of its marketing initiatives, project plans would be work and social media would be play. Right? Social media is a different initiative, one that confused many (actually most) brands when it first came on the scene. This platform isn’t where brands talk about product specs and a brand history. But if not, then is social media work or simply just play?

When social media was introduced there was a quick learning curve as to what would be accepted in this format and what simply wouldn’t stand a chance. After some trial and error, brands discovered that social media was more about creating a community and a two-way dialogue then talking about products and services and all that boring brand stuff. And it’s worked. Brands are gaining “likes” and engagement is growing, but what does this all mean for a brand?

At the end of the day this play needs to get back to work. As much it's important that a community is built and conversations are continued, a brand needs to grow to succeed. So the question is whether this content actually benefits the brand. And does the customer make this connection? Social media is a great way for brands to try something new and creative and allow them to play, but it also needs to work for a brand’s future. Sure, the goals for social media should be different than, say, traditional advertising, but it shouldn’t be so departed from the brand that there is no connection.

Work or play; at the end of the day, the answer should be the brand’s overall goals. Social media is a fun platform, but there needs to be a connection back to the brand’s values, characteristics, and ultimately its products and services. This doesn’t mean that brands need to revert back to what they learned through advertising and simply broadcast what they use in traditional media. Instead, brands need to be creative, have some fun, and figure out how to connect the brand’s goals in this still-new marketing platform.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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