It’s no hidden secret that every brand should be visible on social media. But, is it enough to just be present on social media or is there more to it? Ding ding ding! There is more to it. Many brands have a traditional promotional mix including: advertising, personal selling, public relations, publicity, direct marketing, and sales promotions. A social media strategy should exist within a brand’s traditional promotional strategy (Mahoney & Tang, 2016).
Orkut was a Google owned social networking site predominantly used in Brazil from 2004 until 2014. Orkut was designed for users to meet new and old friends and belong to communities (Mahoney & Tang, 2016). Initially, Orkut was available by invitation only and was used in three ways: social, professional, and personal (Karch, 2019). In Brazil, outdoor advertising was banned, so they had to really dive deep into their social media strategy to keep users active on the platform.
A social media strategy should follow a seven-step action plan:
- Target Audience
- Social Media Choice
- Activity Plan
Goals are objectives that can be monetary or on a larger scale, such as sustainability. The goal of Orkut was for users to find communities through keyword search, including titles, description, and browsing through other users’ memberships (Mahoney & Tang, 2016).
Brands should identify a larger target audience to reach through mass media messages, a smaller niche audience to target through diffusion and community social media messages, and individual users to create lifelong brand advocates (Mahoney & Tang, 2016). The target audience for Orkut was predominantly technology workers and students.
The social media choice is determined through research not assumption on what your target audience is using. Brazilians engage with brands that utilize online videos. Unfortunately, Orkut was not properly equipped to running videos or allowing users to upload and share videos (Mahoney & Tang, 2016). This failure was one of the reasons for Orkut’s demise in 2014.
Compared to traditional promotions, social media promotions are much cheaper. Brands need to determine what their resources are for constructing and running a social media strategy. This could include promoting via social media platforms or hiring others to help share the brand narrative (Mahoney & Tang, 2016). Orkut put privacy at the forefront but did not prioritize resources into the functionality of the networking site to take on more growth and cultural changes of the users.
Although not a glamorous side of social media marketing, having policies is essential to protect users information. One initial policy of Orkut was the invite-only membership which creating an exclusive feel to the social networking site. Orkut always put the privacy of members first, but they could not stop the fake profiles delivering spam, a virus in 2010 that collected personal information from user’s, and accusations from Brazil that the platform was crawling with pedophiles (O’Toole, 2014). These unfortunate issues were some of the main reasons why Orkut was shut down.
While implementing a social media strategy, a brand must monitor and measure user behavior and effects (Mahoney & Tang, 2016). Orkut fell short of monitoring their networking site and failed to protect users from privacy and spam. Consumers moved on from the site after their needs weren’t met with video and picture usage.
Lastly, a social media strategy requires an activity plan or a clear time frame when the campaign, project, and monitoring all take place (Mahoney & Tang, 2016). Using a content calendar will help organize your strategy (Mahoney & Tang, 2016). Timelines and benchmarks to measure success are also important components of the activity plan.
Is your brand seeing 20/20 with its social media strategy or is the road a little blurry? There is still time to fine tune your strategy so that you are successful and don’t crash and burn like Orkut.
Karch, M. (2019, December 17). What Was Orkut? Retrieved from https://www.lifewire.com/orkut-social-network-google-review-1616875
Mahoney, L. M., & Tang, T. (2016). Strategic Social Media: From Marketing to Social Change. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
O’Toole, J. (2014, June 30). Remember Orkut? No? That’s why Google killed it. Retrieved from https://money.cnn.com/2014/06/30/technology/social/google-orkut/index.html