Friday, 6 March 2015

Social Media is Different

This is more of a memo to those on the client side.

I get it. We get it. Social media is scary. It’s fast-paced, risky and unpredictable. You just want to have nice organised initiatives with clear goals, and obvious start and end points.

But social media doesn’t fit those rules. And we all have to learn that. Because effective social media is never going to fit into neat calendars with pointed dates and transitional movements from campaign to campaign. Because it’s social. And it doesn’t need your content. You have to prove to people why they should like, comment, share and subscribe.

There’s a well-known joke that using social media for free means that the people using it are the product for sale. There’s a lot of truth to that. But we’re a living product and we do determine our behaviour.

And social media is, well, social. Brands which post at particular times and respond in particular ways don’t tend to be that popular. Because good social media doesn’t just mean knowing your audience, it means understanding them and empathising with them. Having a genuine conversation with them.

So enough with the Turing test, brand approved, signed-off, squared-off model. Social media is about the genuine – so let it be a real conversation.

You might find that people like you more as people than as a company.

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