What Is Discrete Social Media Marketing?

The strategy marketers are employing to influence consumers’ buying decisions is changing. 

At Digital Radar, we eat, breathe and dream about social media marketing (and tacos). Over the last few months, we have started noticing a trend. We’re officially dubbing this trend “discrete social media marketing”. What is discrete social media marketing? Great question… 

Discrete Social Media Marketing is the strategy and practice of engaging consumers through hyper-personalized content in non-traditional social networks in an effort to influence thought, consumer behavior and purchasing decisions.

In the beginning… 

Historically, brands were at the mercy of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as an example, to reach their audience. As savvy as marketers have become, engaging their respective audiences in timely and hyper-personalized conversations has been a challenge. Why? One word… community. One-to-one interactions are limiting the message and conversation potential. While many marketers have worked to build a community, and some have had success, it’s come at a hefty price. Time, money and resources are commodities that most marketers are losing and not gaining. 

It’s getting crowded in here! 

In 2010, there were slightly less than 1 billion users active on social media. In 2018, there are over 2.5 billion and by 2021 there will be over 3 billion active users on social media… That’s tripling the social media adoption rate in 10 years. People… that’s a shit-ton of eyeballs. Here’s the thing, companies like Amazon have been competing for consumers’ attention in a crowded space… Social media real estate is crowded. With the average social media user consuming more than 3,000 pieces of branded content a day, the solution at the time has been heavy social ad spending.

What’s a marketer to do? 

Social media platforms like Facebook are increasingly becoming a pay-to-play space, these platforms are crowded with content, reach is declining, etc. etc. The headwinds are strong, no doubt. The turbulent changes in the social media marketing space have had many marketers asking “what do I do know?”. 

It's not a secret that companies like Amazon analyze and use data it collects when a consumer is using their app or online - like browsing and purchase history. For example, it's how a consumer sees ads for products on Facebook related to products or items they were just looking at on Amazon. This all happens via retargeting strategies. 

This is where the game changer of discrete social media marketing comes into play. Here's a real notification our team received recently from Amazon. As you can tell, the algorithm  believes this individual may be interested in Home & Garden related topics

Digital Radar - Discrete Social Media Marketing Blog

This notification from Amazon’s native shopping app is a discrete way to move consumers back into the purchasing funnel. At first glance, it’s not apparent that Amazon is trying to sell from notifications like this. The path to re-engage the consumer and put them back in the purchasing funnel is disguised as a community of posts related to topics the consumer may be interested in. This community is called Spark, by Amazon. Here’s the beauty… there’s no real signing-up, or intensive process to undergo to be a part of this ‘community’. A user is simply there… in the space of what Amazon thinks a particular user may be interested in. Users will see real content from real people posting about their favorite tricks of the trade, product reviews, questions and answers, and oh yeah… the opportunity to purchase products.

Why is this so important?

When a consumer sees content related to their purchasing behavior in Amazon’s Spark community and they’re connecting with other individuals and at the same time being influenced to make a purchase - again, keyword here is “discretely” Amazon is reaping the rewards. They’re controlling the eyeballs, and where the eyeballs are the money follows.

To discretely infiltrate a consumer's subconscious and influence purchasing behaviors is the new gold rush…  it’s a goldmine in an #inception type of way… Think about it, Amazon is not having to compete with other brands and distractions on traditional social media platforms. 

We here at Digital Radar think a consumer's personal space is becoming increasingly less private and at the same time it is becoming more personal. Here’s what we mean. Less private in the terms of nearly everything a consumer does digitally is tracked, quantified. More personal in terms of using machine learning to optimize hyper-personalized content automatically. 

With companies like Amazon pushing out content and notifications based on a users shopping habits and interest, plus the personalization of connecting someone to what other shoppers are buying or interested in is a discrete way to get an audience to open the app, browse, read, and learn. With the goal to potentially, make a purchase or influence a friend who may be interested in the content/product they are looking at.

Just like Amazon's Spark community,  Apple's paid music subscription also shows the music taste/habits of other people you are connected with. Companies are taking notice that to really influence a person, their closest friends are a great place to start due to the authenticity and trust already established within that group.

If you're at all skeptical... take a look at this insight from Stackla - they recently published research which indicated an overwhelming majority of consumers (81%) say that they're influenced by their friend's social media post!

Digital Radar Marketing Agency | Discrete Social Media Marketing Blog - Power of Social Media Influence

Not only are consumer's influenced to make purchasing decisions from their closest friends, but even a stranger’s social content rates as more authentic than branded content! If your mind isn't blown away right now... check. your. pulse, make sure you're still breathing. This concept is at the very core of what discrete social media marketing is. 

Let's bring it all together...

When companies like Amazon use their native apps and platforms, consumer data, and build a community off of it, you have the recipe to gain and retain a lion share of the eyeballs (and of course... their wallets). 

Ready to learn more? Sign up for our upcoming webinar on March 14th where we take a deeper dive into exploring, what is discrete social media marketing.

Watch the webinar

We'll further explore discrete social media marketing and how you can leverage it for your business.