social media awareness vs. mindshare for food and beverage marketing

the primary flaw of many social media marketing campaigns today is the simple fact that they focus on creating awareness for a company and its products and services—instead of focusing on creating mindshare.

awareness has been a primary goal of social media marketing for the last several years. it’s the first chapter of every marketing 101 curriculum. so what’s wrong with awareness? well, once you create it, you begin to lose it.

let's talks about understanding your awareness-to-purchase timeframe

social media marketers rely on a constant barrage of market visibility initiatives—advertisements, influencer marketing, stories, feed-posts, retargeted ads, and promotions of every shape and color are almost non-stop (with minor seasonal fluctuations). if you’re selling laundry detergent, the average social media user is likely going to have a need for detergent within the next two to three weeks. if they see your ads and posts regularly, they’ll hopefully be swayed to buy your product when they do need it in the next few weeks. the awareness-to- purchase timeframe is brief.

as the complexity of the product or service that you’re marketing on social media rises, the awareness-to-purchase timeframe expands. you see an ad for the latest iphone, and you want one, but it may be several weeks or even a few months before you decide to buy it (you may, for example, need more time to save up for it).

but in the world of technology social media marketing, the awareness-to-purchase timeframe (the true sales cycle) can easily be six to nine months or much longer. when you launch your social media marketing campaign, maybe along with an email or influencer marketing campaign, you’re relying on the sheer chance that you reach decision makers who happen to recognize that they need your solution—and need it soon. you cannot expect them to remember much about you nine months from now when they finally reach the conclusion that they need to purchase something. but that’s precisely what too many social media marketing campaigns rely on today.

awareness is relative to time

awareness is a measurement that’s relative to a specific point in time.

how aware someone is of your company, products and services depends on when you ask them. they may be fully aware of your brand a day or perhaps even a week after they’ve seen your facebook post, received and read your email, liked your tweet, viewed your story on instagram, or visited your website.

but chances are low that they’ll still be aware of your company nine months later when they’ve finally concluded that they really need a solution to the problem your product or service is designed to solve.

and that’s the flaw with most social media marketing campaigns: they don’t recognize that awareness is very fleeting. when your prospective customer reads your email, views your story, talks to your chatbot, or visits your youtube channel, their awareness of you peaks right away—and then immediately begins to decay. if the problem that your product or service solves happens to be a high-priority concern on their mind at that moment, you’re in luck. but if that business problem won’t become a high priority for that company for several months, the chance they’re thinking of you all those months later is not high.

under pressure to generate new sales leads, many companies today rush forward with ill- planned social media marketing campaigns that focus too much on awareness—and not on mindshare. the want to drive sales in the short-term without making the investment in their community for the long-term.

steps to avoid this mistake

understand the value difference between awareness (fleeting) and mindshare (long-term).

mindshare is awareness extended over time. to build mindshare among prospective customers on social media means that you’re extending the amount of time they are aware of your company and solutions (and the unique value that makes you ideally suited for their business, which is your value proposition). to focus your social media marketing efforts on building mindshare, they must be designed not only to find and qualify interested sales leads, but they must also establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with those other contacts that are not yet qualified or ready for sales discussions. that is accomplished through what we call “actually caring about people” — which is a process designed to establish and nurture relationships over time. Of course, we've been doing this long since before social media was around.

establishing awareness isn’t nearly as valuable as establishing mindshare. awareness begins to disintegrate the moment it exists. it's like the value of the new car the very second you drive it off the lot.

but, when you establish customer mindshare, you’ve not only created awareness, but you’ve extended that awareness over time by maintaining and nurturing that relationship with that prospective customer. in doing so, you no longer have to rely so heavily on the chance that your awareness happens to occur simultaneous to their recognized need for your product or service.

building mindshare is about increasing the likeliness the customer thinks of you first when they finally recognize the need for what you have to offer. so take a close look at your social media marketing campaign efforts. stop generating only awareness—and start generating mindshare.

use multiple reach vehicles.

examine your social media marketing plans and make sure you carefully spread your social media marketing efforts across multiple “reach vehicles.” you want to provide the means to reach your target markets and gain their attention and mindshare. relying solely on one reach vehicle repeatedly—facebook, for example—is typically not as effective as reaching your target audiences through multiple vehicles (e.g., facebook, YouTube, email, twitter, banner ads, newsletters, blogs, etc.).

make a secondary offer in your campaigns.

the primary call-to-action for most campaigns should focus on identifying and qualifying real, active sales opportunities. so the primary promotional offers should support this. however, it costs little or nothing to also include a secondary offer designed for those who are not quite ready to chat or commit to a live stream, for example. for those not-yet-qualified contacts, a secondary offer for a free newsletter, white paper, a promo code to be used later or an e-book as a primer allows the opportunity for you to establish a relationship with that contact.

establish and nurture relationships with your prospective customers.

ongoing e-newsletters, online webinars, live streams, free resources, and other tools should be created and launched on a scheduled basis to continue to build mindshare (awareness extended over time) with prospective customers. try to communicate at least every month to your list of contacts. give them a reason to come back to your website to find additional, useful (and free) resources. maybe they can download a white paper, or request participation in a webinar or tutorial. the primary goal here is to build up your mindshare within these contacts so when their priorities change and it becomes time to truly get serious about finding a solution to needs, you’re the first one they think of to contact.