Jeff Fromm: Social Media Marketing is Dead

Jeff Fromm: Social Media Marketing is Dead

How one can sustain brand success in a unique and meaningful way

Jeff Fromm, FutureCast
  • 20 august 2014

In a Millennial-inspired Participation Economy, social media marketing is dead. Now, I didn’t say social media is dead– just the idea that social media marketing and its effectiveness live in tomorrow-land.

Marketers are often pegged with questions related to the future of social media such as: Is Facebook still relevant? What’s the next social platform? Which is most powerful: a like, share, retweet, favorite?

While these are all fair questions, attempting to grade the social landscape in this manner is counterproductive and missing the greater point.


Yes, millennials are heavy social media users and 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of new digital, social and mobile tools. What drives social media activation for Millennials; however, is content excellence. Your approach to content is what will make or break your marketing communication efforts in the future. Social media is simply one way to activate your content strategy.

Re-Imagine Creative Excellence within a Content Excellence Framework
For the past 40 plus years, the great brands of yesterday were focused on creative excellence. They “heated, beated and treated” their communications to craft the perfect message then pushed those messages out via various shotgun methodologies, hoping to build brand awareness and regard for their cherished product.

Awareness and regard alone will not correlate in any way to extra-ordinary and sustainable financial performance.

Think of content as an opportunity for your brand voice living everywhere you are not. We used to think of advertising as a means of communicating a message to a certain audience. But, traditional advertising messages are limited to their medium. People experience brands in fluid ways and we can no longer simply rely on creative advertising to make an impact. Content is about the message AND the context.

Your content strategy should be about activating and engaging your digital community in ways that traditional advertising never could.

Focus on creating content that is “Shareworthy”.

Millennials also have a major peer affirmation theme and they share what interests them not what big companies want them to share.

The idea of content being “shareworthy” is nothing new.  Marketers used to encourage sharing by word-of-mouth while today we talk about word-of-mouse.  The “share” is no anomaly; we’ve just shifted from a mindset of advertising ideas to ideas worth advertising.  Treating content in that manner ensures your messaging is meaningful to your audience.

Remember the Seinfeld “Break Up” Episode? George says, “It’s not you; it’s me.”  The “It’s not you; it’s me” principle is key.  Sharing is rooted in peer affirmation and how I feel about myself when I share content with my friends, family and random strangers.  The great brands of tomorrow will inspire sharing rather than pushing out social media messages because millennials share content that adds to THEIR story and bypass content that doesn’t.

Uniqueness & Meaningfulness Will Drive Sustained Brand Success

In the future, the most successful brands will get consumers who are active participants to create more content on behalf of the brand — at their time and expense — than the brand creates for its own benefit. The key to this content is maintaining a certain uniqueness and meaningfulness.

The most unique and meaningful brands will absolutely have the highest probability of sustained economic performance.  Uniqueness will be a proxy for brand pricing authority and meaningfulness will be a proxy for sales volume potential.

The highest performing brands will have a high ratio where uniqueness and meaningfulness are the numerator and awareness and regard are the denominator.

5 Implications for Brand Strategy Professionals:

  1. Build a Content Excellence strategy first.
  2. Think about content and social media as different players.  Integration will drive performance.  Social media marketing isn’t a strategy.
  3. Inspiration is your brand responsibility.
  4. Useful is the new cool.  Your content should be functional and inspiring.
  5. Participation increases brand value.  Find ways for your most avid brand fans to join the movement.

Greg Vodicka contributed to this post. Image via Digital Information World

Jeff Fromm, aka the “Millenial Marketing Guy,” is a former EVP at Barkley who currently serves as a marketing strategy consultant, president of FutureCast and a contributor to Forbes. You can check out his Millienial Marketing blog here.


Fitness Advocate: Paving The Future of Workouts With Audio

Fitness & Sport
Work Today

Community Builder: How to Hack Slack

Claire Wasserman, Founder of Ladies Get Paid, describes how she's using an internal team communication tool to build a network of thousands

Food Today

This Beer Was Brewed Just For Scotch Drinkers

Highland Park Scotch Whisky & Sixpoint Brewery have teamed up to create two limited-edition pairings for New York City boilermakers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Mobile Today

Let An AI Librarian Help Sort Your Digital Bookmarks

A new app uses machine learning to help organize your virtual life

Mobile Today

Pizza Hut Tattoo Lets You Place An Order From Your Body

The latest gimmick from the fast-food chain is a tattoo-like sticker that lets customers get delivery with a simple tap on their arm

Related Expert

Paula Scher

Graphic Design, Branding, Print Design, Design

Travel Today

Reinvented Bicycle Inspired By Supercar Design

The yellow bike based on a Lamborghini has sharp edges and an aluminum alloy frame

Health Today

Health Platform Gives Perspective On Your Weekly Habits

Gyroscope is a new wellness app that works by amalgamating data about your life into beautifully designed visuals

Beauty Today

Korean Beauty Brand Uses VR To Let Customers Pick Their Ingredients

Innisfree created a unique experience for its Shanghai Disneyland customers with a virtual reality trip to select what goes into their purchase


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 20, 2016

Wearable Tech Expert: Designing Technology To Empower Connection To Ourselves

Billie Whitehouse, Founder of Wearable Experiments, shares her new vision for the quantified self

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Arts & Culture Today

3D-Printed Creations Resemble Floating Paper Outlines

Japanese design firm Nendo's exhibition features works that look like sheets of material being folded, torn, and crumpled

Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

In its second year, Global Grad Show brings together 145 cracks at a more sustainable, connected and empowered way of living

Technology october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online

Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Gaming & Play october 21, 2016

Nintendo’s New Console Pushes For Portable Gaming

The Switch allows gamers to seamlessly play on the go by themselves or with friends

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

No search results found.