Social media has firmly established itself as a primary marketing channel for brands in the modern age. Companies of all sizes will often maintain a presence on each of the major social media networks and entire teams can be dedicated to making sure they get that presence just right. One trend that has emerged from this focus has been a general shift from social media as a tool for broadcasting messages to a more interactive platform for communicating with customers. To explore this phenomenon in greater depth, we’ve turned to the work of Jesse Willms. The career of the successful e-commerce entrepreneur provides a great jumping-off point for a look at online marketing in general.
Previous Social Media Model
To understand the impact of new shifts in social media activity, and the insights of Jesse Willms, let’s first look at how social media has often been used previously. From its early days, social media has thrived off its ability to create viral messaging. This type of messaging can take place when a particular social media post or piece of content gains widespread interest and is shared by users to others in their networks. In doing so, these users can increase the reach of a particular message and, through that, the reach of the brand itself.
This concept of “going viral” has long been a coveted high watermark to reach for social media brands. If a brand could achieve this type of widespread sharing, the philosophy has gone, then the added visibility has the potential to turn into growth for the customer base. As such, plenty of effort has been allocated to the creation of content that may have the potential to go viral. Posts have been sometimes meticulously crafted by marketing and social media teams to try to determine what might capture the imagination of users on social media and, ultimately, increase the brand’s online presence.
Jesse Willms and the New Social Media Model
Somewhere along the way, however, the way we use social media has changed and the above model has become somewhat outdated. At least, that’s what may be concluded from the work of some online marketing experts like Jesse Willms. We can witness this shift through the manner in which many users now interact with brands online. Rather than merely sharing content from the brand if it appeals to their tastes, users will now often reach out to brands directly and hold them accountable as a face of the brand.
This can often be publicly seen in the comments section of a brand’s social media post. Where these comments may have previously been focused on a particular piece of content, thereby allowing a brand to control its own narrative, nowadays a post’s comment section can be an open space where customers will ask questions of the brand about a number of ranging topics. These topics may or may not have anything to do with the post, but they do indicate that customers are seeing the brand as a legitimate part of the company’s overall business.
We can see an understanding of this concept reflected in the work of Jesse Willms, who first came to public prominence for his highly successful use of targeted marketing in the early days of search-engine fueled ad campaigns. His leveraging of that technology reflected his ability to see his work from the perspective of his customers and cater his efforts to what would be most beneficial for them. This same ethos is now alive in the manner in which he approaches social media, where he now incorporates a philosophy that is reflective of the new need for responsive feedback from brands.
How Feedback Manifests
The type of feedback exhibited by Jesse Willms is characteristic of the larger shift of brands, in general, to respond to the new types of incoming messages from social media users. This messaging often requires brands to be more responsive to these messages and think even more critically about the face they present to the world through social media. In some cases, this can mean a reimagining of a brand’s online presence that incorporates elements of both viral messaging and responsive customer service.
As one can imagine, this type of shift can be difficult and can necessitate large social media teams where each member of the team has a unique specialization. It’s not uncommon for these teams to coordinate efforts through a single social media account, with multiple team members responding to customer concerns and working to create a unified brand voice. This practice has become even more commonplace as online retail has grown and even more of the world’s purchasing transactions take place through an online outlet.
Jesse Willms Showcases Implementation
While this type of social media responsiveness can sometimes appear to be the exclusive purview of large brands, this same model can be beneficial to brands of all sizes. Jesse Willms has spoken previously on the importance of internalizing the lessons exhibited by large brands, even if you are an entrepreneur just starting out on your business journey. By doing so, a novice business owner can exhibit sound business principles right from their start and can hope to place their endeavor on more solid footing.
In the realm of social media, this can mean implementing proactive policies that take into account the evolving desires and needs of customers in the space. While entrepreneurs may find it difficult to implement this on the same scale as a larger brand, they can often still take a smaller approach that mimics this impact. This can mean setting aside time to respond to customer messages, critically think about outgoing posts, and generally craft a social media strategy that balances viral messaging with customer responsiveness.
While social media has now firmly established itself as a key channel for modern brand marketing, its nature has subtly shifted over time. Though this area was once the domain of a predominantly broadcast-based messaging system, it has now evolved to incorporate more of a back and forth dialogue between brands and consumers. The work of Jesse Willms has reflected this shift, which can be seen in the way he’s moved from previous forms of advertising to a strategy that incorporates more brand responsiveness. If you are an entrepreneur entering into the online marketing space, consider incorporating this philosophy into your own work to strengthen your brand’s foundation.