Scrambling For Timeline - Social Sensibility
April 3, 2012
There's a concept we talk about a lot here at Jacobs Media – the "rent" and "own" philosophy. You rent the social space – you own your digital space (along with your AM or FM franchise).
And the Facebook force of the "Timeline" design last Friday was further proof we not only don't own the space we spend a lot of time in – we will continue to hand over even more control of how our "Like" pages appear in the future to the "landlord," Mark Zuckerberg.
So isn't it smart then to ask the question: "How can this space that brands 'rent' strengthen the space they 'own'?"
The truth is that the answer comes from a higher level of thinking than what most brands are actually putting into this social space considering some of the cover photos launched last week.
The cover photo is actually about offering an authentic feel to the brand -not fancy images that look like repurposed direct mail pieces or mini outdoor billboards.
I don't want to get too caught up in cover photos because the truth is the percentage of people that actually visit a brand's "Like" page is dramatically low. Facebook revealed during their marketing conference earlier this year that the average reach for a brand on Facebook is 16% (you can conveniently pay Facebook to increase that reach.)
So with way less than 16% of your "Likes" even visiting your page (most interaction happens when your status updates appear in their Live Feeds) my focus isn't necessarily the cover photo alone but the thinking that's going on behind a brands' social presence.
True social brands care about their social behavior – for example, consider the approach taken by Hubbard's WTOP/Washington D.C.
WTOP is a true social brand in this case - offering something real, a peek behind the curtain.
A social brand offers discovery and puts care in the treatment of their everyday social activity. I know this gets confusing because right now everyone is saying "We are a social brand – our jocks post on Facebook four times a day during each show and we find the best posters and videos to share."
But being a social brand is less about random superficial chit-chat tactics and sending people off to YouTube to see the latest viral video – it's about serving and it's about strengthening the spaces you own.
Many times we see brands putting more effort into Facebook – at the expense of their own digital space (and sometimes rightfully so.) Compared to the way many radio station's "website admin" functions have been built, it's simply easier, faster, and more rewarding to post on Facebook (and other social platforms). Not to mention the more immediate gratification social offers.
But if you're not applying basic strategic fundamentals to your time spent on Facebook – you're voiding out the ability for social networks to benefit the "real estate" you own.
Mindless questions and no genuine audience movement (what we call "pinballing") only create dead ends. And the absence of visual brand stories are missed opportunities to compliment and increase the equity built through those speakers every day.
How our brands behave socially teaches fans how to treat us when we're on their turf. When your efforts have no sense of unexpected coolness, fans will start to glaze over the posts while others will teach themselves to ignore them.
Some will comment on the silly superficial stuff you post, and a few will even share your content. But is any of this meaningful and does it add value to the space you own?
If you're not spending time building a community-type feel to your social space, it is harder and nearly impossible to build social equity.
I invite you to be part of a conversation we're having at the Worldwide Radio Summit April 28th, "Community Is As Crucial As Content." We will share tangible takeaways on how social equity offers radio the opportunity to leverage fan relationships.
The idea is to use every area of social to enhance your brand authority and web metrics – not interfere with it.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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