Is Vanity Your Brands Favorite Sin?
July 16, 2013
van·i·ty [van-i-tee] adjective noun
Excessive pride in one's appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit:
When a station boasts about how many "Likes" and "followers" it has or when an advertiser asks that same question because they want to place a buy, what's really being communicated is that they just don't know what's important when it comes to social media.
These numbers simply do not equate to creating brand impact nor do they measure the quality and depth of your fan relationships. They're vanity metrics – that's all they are.
In fact, even the number of subscribers in your email database is a flawed stat. Once again, it's not about the raw numbers of people who have found their way into your database – it's the amount of motivated relationships your station has nurtured.
But sadly, most brands don't think they need to work at garnering these true connections, so they don't – rack up "likes" and followers, push stuff out and wonder why so few respond.
A metric doesn't tell your brand's story socially - it goes deeper than vanity.
It's something that doesn't come easy and that can't be left in just anyone's hands. When all kinds of people are allowed to post on your social accounts, the end result are "random acts of social" because there is typically no perspective or depth to your communiques.
Without perspective there is no direction.
An analyst at Forrester Research, Sucharita Mulpuru put it best, "[Blatantly promoting stuff with Facebook status updates is] like trying to sell stuff to people while they're hanging out with their friends at the bar."
It's about affinity and when we contradict the interactive nature of social platforms by not being in the moment with our fans, responding to them and speaking their language, we become forgettable in the social space. And that makes it really hard to pull off cool movements with fans.
It is understandable the struggles brands have with social media. Traditionally, we've been taught that messaging is about casting a wide net and pushing out. But with social media platforms, that's just not the case.
It's about indirect conversation around the brand that pulls fans in.
And it starts with your tweets, posts, emails, etc... emulating the appearance of your fans' dialogue. Your conversation pieces should look and feel like their conversations – not yours.
When you work at fitting into their worlds, they will start feeling like you're one of them. And the hope is that they'll increase your social reach with more eyeballs to pinball back to the mothership – your station.
Put the focus on activating your brand's active social fan base.
Not the vanity metric.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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