Focus on Social… Not Media

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Have you noticed how so many brands treat social media like every other advertising platform?

Do you hover over the ‘skip ad’ button, ignoring the sales promo while waiting to get to the content you actually want to see?

The world has changed and traditional advertising is no longer working.

So why do some many brands think the way to use social media is to post paid adverts saying ‘buy my stuff’?

Think about it. If you were at a dinner party and people kept interrupting your conversations saying ‘buy my stuff, buy my stuff’ would you stick around?

If it was my party and one of the guests was doing that I think I’d have to politely ask them to stop and if they continued I’d ask them to leave before they scared away the other guests. Yet, this is EXACTLY what the majority of brands do on social media.

Their mistake is focusing on the word ‘media’ instead of realising that the key word is actually ‘social’.

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are a SOCIAL experience. Your audience does not want to be sold too on these platforms, just like you do not want pushy sales people coming into your homes and refusing to leave until you ‘sign here’.

The way to successfully use social media is to have a conversation with you audience. Before you share content, sit back and spectate – watch the discussions that are already taking place and only join the conversation when you have something valuable to say.

Add Value

When you do post to social media, share content that adds value for your audience. For example, solve a common problem, answer a frequently asked question or share your own experience so that it can benefit others.

In February 2011, I was frantically trying to piece together a Little Tikes Cozy Coupe (one of those bright red and yellow plastic cars) as a present for my daughter’s 2nd birthday. I studied the instructions, but they just were not making any sense.

I’d left the assembly of the car until the night before her birthday, so in desperation I grabbed my phone and searched YouTube for ‘how to build a cozy coupe’. A number of videos came up in the results and watched a few of them. This included a video that specifically focused on the assembly step I was struggling with.

The creator of this video had saved the day and gained a raving fan – I told my friends with children of a similar age to watch the video if they ever get a Cozy Coupe for their kids.

Word of Mouth

Is there any better way to get business then from a satisfied customer giving a ‘word of mouth’ referral?

According to a report by McKinsey & Company, ‘word of mouth’ is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.

Focusing on ‘social’ is the new ‘word of mouth’.