How to use the few to get to the many: what marketing science means for effective social strategy

Gareth Price
The Social Partners

Social media marketing has long existed in a bubble of its own making; isolating itself from the rest of the advertising industry in the language it used, the way it was practised, and the means by which it measured success.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter were purported to provide an opportunity to market to consumers in ways that didn't previously exist.

Whereas old broadcast media "shouted" messages at unwilling consumers who had no choice but to listen or change channels to avoid them, social media offered a new way of doing things.

Consumers could opt in to receive content solely from the brands they liked and wanted to hear from. Rather than pushing messages at them, the pair could engage in a genuine two-way conversation. For their part, brands would reward willing participants with unique offers and preferential treatment in return for their attention and loyalty. Customer retention was the ultimate goal.