Bend the Trend: Social Media Marketing

The Question:

In my first blog post, I made reference to the ‘social media wave’ and how overwhelming it can be for an individual to participate.  We see ourselves as a single entity and given the vastness of the social media world, it is a challenge to establish a place for ourselves and/or our brands.  Perhaps the questions we ask ourselves in validating our social media presence are too mechanical.  For example, many will examine and scrutinize the ‘what’ and ‘why’ questions.  What can I provide to the audience? Or why would anyone listen to me? Because there are millions of people that can and do provide the same end results as you.  So what’s different?

Source: https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou#B07qK7c5wcIKZdyJ.97

The Bend:

Strategically speaking, audience members don’t connect with content because since can get that from anywhere.  They connect with you.  Social media is a leverage (bullet #2) that allows you to individualise your content so you can make it your own.   So your character and intentions must shine through your content for it to be authentic.  That very authenticity is what will allow a strong connection between you and your audience (bullet #1).  This very notion defies old school marketing tactics that have been taught since it is heavily product and/or content focused.  This would be perfectly fine…if we were in the 90’s.  Companies are now forced to have relationships with their customers in order to keep their business…they have to care about helping people, not just making money.  This means that content today must include a relationship with the audience and should never be taken for granted.  Here is an example of what AMEX is doing to foster better relationships with their customers (bullet #3).

There are obviously rules of engagement when trying to market your brand, product or service.   This video does a decent job of highlighting some of the elements to keep in mind when engaging in social media marketing.

The Decision:

So what are you going to do?  Although it can be challenging at times, it is important to stay the course.  Loving what you do will get you through those moments of doubt or when you forget your ‘why’.  If the love for what you’re doing can be weaved into your content, success is assured for you at some point.  Just Decide and Believe.

 

facebook The world needs what you’ve got, so manifest it here http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gT9

Twitter The world needs what you’ve got, so manifest it here #lifepedaldown http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gT9

 

“Hit the ‘Subscribe’ button…thanks!” – Big Brother

Is it just me or is every single “Youtuber” on the planet asking me to subscribe to their channel?  I understand why they are doing it but my goodness…please, put down the iPhone camera and exhale!  In their relentless pursuit for wealth accumulation, some individuals are convinced that starting a Youtube channel will take them to the promised land.  And in many cases, it has.  My problem is, once I click on that ‘Subscribe’ button, I am greeted with every Youtube video ever made by that channel, all the related Youtube videos I might like associated with that channel and all the spam email that goes with it.

It feels like an electronic information junkyard.  How do we defeat the marketing overload phenomena? Social media certainly has its place in our lives, our businesses and can be effective as we all know.  So is there anything we can do to remain active in social media all the while avoid being overloaded or overloading our audience with marketing madness?  In my search, I stumbled on an article in The Guardian titled “Content overload on the web is a turn-off: here’s how to manage it.”.  The article speaks to the challenges faced by publishers who are trying to stay alive let alone relevant.

One of the interesting points made in the article is the fact that a publisher obviously needs to advertise so they will engage in banner ads and content marketing for which they receive revenue.  However, it is those very advertising tactics that may drive the intended audience away negating the whole objective of the activity.  What would you do if you were a publisher faced with this problem?

Social Media Marketing Balance (click for larger version)

 

facebook  Walk the fine line media marketing rope here http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gI4

Twitter  Walk the fine line media marketing rope here #nosafetynet http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gI4

Reference:

https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/may/18/content-overload-turn-off-audiences-brands-publishers

Facebook Happiness is…Real?

Is it just me or are there a significant number of people on Facebook who seem a little too happy?  So I decided to explore this a little further and found this article titled,

“This is why you shouldn’t take people’s Facebook lives seriously”

The article also contains a link to a video that demonstrates what may happen when someone lives from “post to post”.

 

The article speaks to the fact that those individuals that post information about what many of us would describe as the “perfect life” are only posting what would appear attractive to the audience. The less attractive stuff, doesn’t get posted.  Which is interesting because the poster is making an assumption on behalf of the audience by selecting what they believe is attractive to their audience. Although logic dictates that there is no benefit in pretending in life as the truth will reveal itself yet many people still decide to show only part of the truth.  Now we obviously cannot control what aspects of people’s lives are posted on social media but we can control our reaction.  For all intents and purposes, if we removed the social media aspect from the equation, would the same result perpetuate itself?  I believe so.  “Hiding the skeletons” so to speak is nothing new.

CNBC published an article in 2017 titled “Using Facebook makes you feel depressed”.  Surely, that is not the intended purpose of any social media platform.  The article goes on to state: “Exposure to the carefully curated images from others’ lives leads to negative self-comparison, and the sheer quantity of social media interaction may detract from more meaningful real-life experiences,”.   We can all agree that social media has a place in our lives.   As I mentioned in my previous blog entry, this isn’t something that can be ignored.  If you have ever been in a long distance relationship, you will very quickly understand that there is no substitute for physical presence.  So here is my question for you the readers, has social media reduced the value of time spent cultivating real-life relationships? friendships? and/or experiences?

Interestingly enough, I work very closely with the whole social media arena here in the government and perhaps my heart has been hardened with the times but there are some instances where I have difficulty understanding the expected return on the emotional investment some people are making based on a “like” or a post.  I question why anyone would give someone else that kind of control.  Then it dawns on me…perhaps that is all they have and they just want someone to reach out.

facebook   You’re here, you matter…choose happiness  http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gB4

Twitter  You’re here, you matter…choose happiness at #decidenow http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gB4

References:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/12/study-using-facebook-makes-you-feel-depressed.html

Social Media Wave vs. Social Media Life Jacket

Social Media Wave vs. Social Media Life Jacket

Introduction

So people of COM0011, how often do you check your phone? or for some of you, how often do you not check your phone would perhaps be a more accurate question?  About a week ago, my younger brother stopped by my place to get some work done on his car.  When he arrived, I happened to working on my own car.  I was  completing the installation of a power steering fluid cooling unit and was met with a few stubborn fitment issues.    My brother showed little interest in helping me as he was captivated by Peyton Manning’s comedy performance at the Espy Awards that he was watching on Youtube via his mobile phone.   Noticing my frustration, he says “I would help you but i don’t think I would be of any use…”.  It is clear that he revels in the social media wave since this is not the first time he has done this.

The Wave

It really is astounding the speed with which we access, receive and disseminate information today.  Living in the “right now” world can be overwhelming to say the least.  Whether people choose to embark on the social media train or not, the wave is here and is showing no signs of slowing down.  In 2014, the Globe and Mail reported that the average mobile user checks his/her phone over 100 times a day and Facebook 14 times a day.  I immediately thought to myself who do i know has the time to check there Facebook account 14 times a day?  And that was 3 years ago!

As of March 31, 2017, Facebook had 1.28 billion daily users of which 85.8% are outside Canada and the US.  Insert the “If I had a dollar for every Facebook user…” statement here.  Instagram was launched on October 6, 2010.  Fast forward to just under 7 years later where the number of Instagram users has climbed to around 700 million.  It is not so much the growth, but the speed of the growth that makes the social media wave so prolific.

If properly leveraged, this represents an amazing opportunity to connect in ways that were not previously possible.  The recent spats that occured on several United Airline flights are an excellent example of how much leverage social media can have in raising awareness and creating a “social movement”.

The Life Jacket

When addressing a social media audience that is as vast as it is diverse, there is certainly an element of risk involved.  Due to the technology at our disposal, the information moves in real-time. Once the information is out there for the public to consume, it will be very difficult to retract.  Of course, individuals are free to not participate in social media and protect themselves from anyone who may attempt to incriminate them.  In theory, this may be deemed correct.   However, some newer employers will utilize an individual’s social media activity to evaluate a potential candidate.   And should those individuals decide not to engage in social media, their result may be the same as those who use social media irresponsibly resulting in a missed opportunity.  Employers hire people who are willing to engage with others.  By not partcipating in the social media movement, what is a candidate saying to a future employer?  To certain degree, potential employees must keep their reputation afloat while protecting themselves from being inundated with unecessary information or participating in damaging activities from the media wave.  Navigate carefully.

The challenges remains in striking a balance between the content posted and the desired reaction.  Since a user has no direct control over the latter, he/she can only control the former.  Granted, some platforms will allow a user to regulate who will have access to view their content but the protection levels vary significantly from one platform to the next.  Going back to my future employer example above, if a user decides to protect their content where the audience is restricted, would the employer get to decide what level or amount of social media is acceptable?

facebook Think you’re on the cutting edge of your social media surf board? show me here http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gmR

 

Twitter Think you’re on the cutting edge of your social media surf board? #watchUgot http://wp.me/p3QRy0-gmR

 

References:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/careers-leadership/social-media-have-changed-how-we-communicate-ideas/article19385666/

Company Info

Instagram’s growth speeds up as it hits 700 million users