Think of your favorite traditional advertising agency.  Now go to their website.  Chances are, they are not marketing themselves as just “traditional” anymore.  Agencies are throwing out words like “non-traditional,” “digital,” and “interactive.”  Well, what do these words even mean, and really, what’s the point?

When a new business is building their brand, what is the first thing they want?  Well, “back in the day,” they may have wanted an ad in the newspaper, or possibly a radio spot (I’m only guessing – I was born in 1990).  And now?  New businesses want a Facebook page before anything else.  I’m not joking.

So what’s the deal?  Why is everyone so obsessed with Facebook?  I think agencies are delving into interactive campaigns for the same reasons that businesses are resorting to Facebook as their primary means of communication with consumers.  It’s all about consumer experience.

Brand interaction is paramount in this industry.  It always has been, but it is now more than ever.  Facebook provides a way for us to not just learn about brands, but to communicate and interact.  Facebook is consumer reviews.  Facebook is more information about a product, service, or brand.  Facebook is customer service.  Facebook is a means for customers to complain, rant, rave, and share their opinions of products with friends, family, and the world.

It’s important to harness those authentic reactions and interactions on any and every social media platform.  By developing a brand presence in social media, we encourage real people to get the word out on their own.  The more exciting, innovative and eye-catching, the better our results will be.  Facebook isn’t just wall posts and comments anymore.  We can build games and apps, host contests and giveaways, and encourage consumers to upload their own content.  Facebook pages start as company sites, but evolve as the brunt of the social workload is handed off to consumers.  Social media takes a lot of initial effort and investment from the brand itself, but once an effective site is implemented, the consumers do all the work.

It’s time to start cashing in on social media.  Social media is sitting on the throne, at least for now, in the advertising kingdom.  As advertisers, we need to identify the new opportunities that are being generated in social media.  Instead of pushing customers to merely purchase a brand, let’s get them to interact with it.