Leave Them Wanting More Socially - Not Less
November 27, 2012
There's a big difference in doing social and being social.
You see brands do the former every day with common tactics, such as pushing out predictable, gratuitous posts – sometimes to every social platform they use, and that's a real treat. You not only bored me on Facebook – now I have to see it on Twitter, too!
Other ways you see brands doing social are those random questions that lead to nothing actionable, useful, or entertaining, asking us to "Like or Share if we agree," or just talking in that condescending brand tone and not speaking in a human voice.
But your fans see right through you socially.
Just a few years ago, jumping into the social space didn't require much skill or thought, and perhaps that's why we still see common thinking from brands big and small. They are just doing social.
Being social, on the other hand, happens when brands offer the "liquid stuff" – the good stuff – content that provokes a meaningful exchange for fans, and brings value to the brand.
It's that unexpected coolness that pops up in your live feeds and evokes contagious emotion. Like this from Dave Grohl on Election Day. Rather than "download this or buy tickets to that" types of posts, Grohl is always just simply showing his fans he "one of them."
This is the stuff that resonates.
But, there's a special mindset required in order to be social.
Perhaps Jonah Bloom, Executive Director/Content Strategy at KBS+ Content Labs put it best when he recently spoke about brand content:
"The key thing about good content is that it requires that you think about it first and foremost from the point of view of the consumer and what they want to hear, rather than from the point of view of the brand and what it wants to say."
Bloom is right.
It's no longer what we as brands think is interesting or what we want to say. In the social space, it's what your fans deem worthy. And the best part about learning what they want is nothing like the vague and mysterious guessing game that the PPM or diary methodology can sometimes be. With the ratings, it's often very grey.
Socially, it's black and white.
If fans don't react to your content, odds are they were either put off or bored by your approach. Many times your content is fine, but because brands spend so much time doing social, the content is lost in the approach.
It's all about being social.
And by the way, the danger in thinking it's OK if fans don't do anything with your content ("Hey, at least they saw the post") is that you are saying that it's acceptable to have passive social fans. But a mediocre post is as brand erosive as a bad break. Over time, the audience becomes fatigued and they drift away.
People no longer want to sit back and consume you. They want to participate and share. And to do that, they'll go elsewhere.
In 2013, your social content will require more effort than most brands invest in the space right now.
And here's why. It's a serious traffic jam out there in the social sphere and it's only going to get more cluttered. Consider this:
- On Facebook alone, Mark Zuckerberg estimates about 2.5 billion pieces of content are flowing through his platform each day.
- Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said last month they process 500 million tweets per day.
- Instagram's latest blog claims 5 million photos are uploaded each day.
- YouTube's blog boasts 500 years of YouTube video are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos per minute are shared on Twitter.
We're at the tip of this open and connected world. We have to take our social approach more seriously moving into the New Year.
It should no longer be about "mastering social media" because it's not about the platforms – it's about YOU and how you approach being social.
When your brand's social assets start emulating the appearance of your own fans' personal posts and dialogue, when the core value of your social team is that "every person counts" so that everyone gets a response, when you focus more on impact and less on "likes," you will then be on the road toward becoming a true social brand.
You will have earned anticipation on the part of your fans - the ultimate social reputation.
You'll leave them wanting more.
My mission is to help radio achieve these goals. Let's work together in 2013 to make it happen.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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