jan’s thoughts

Quit if You Do Social Media Like Everyone Else

What a radical headline for someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time on Facebook.

Every now and then, I scroll through my Facebook timeline. And it’s tough to find something truly remarkable. I’m not talking about my friend feeds. I love breakfast musli pictures!

This is about random collections of hashtags on stock photos.

About purposeless, gibbering “brands” that try to frame themselves as purpose-led organisations.

About brands that abuse social media to pretend they care about customer service. (”Hey, please DM your order number so I can look into this.”)

About bloated social media budgets executed by an army of interns, semi-managed by confused marketing managers who try to chase “the next big thing”™ in between manic outbreaks of spreadsheet desperation.

Social media - but to what end?

I often ask myself why hardly anybody seems to put real thought into social media.

It sits there in our toolbox, among all the other pretty things we picked up in our marketer curriculum. A seemingly easy answer to all our clients’ problems.

And I think that attitude is the real problem, not social media itself. It’s a me-too thing: marketers quickly jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing social.

Tell me about the last time you saw real genius in social media!

Tell me about your marketing meeting, when you talked about more than vanity metrics! When you came up with a campaign strategy that made a real impact on your business. Where engagement and reach didn’t set the benchmark for your strategy.

If you do social media, do it well and with purpose

Doing social media well is a hell lot of work. This is simply true. It’s never easy to create something that stands out.

You don’t need costly follower management tools. You need to invest in creativity.

It’s not enough to hire interns who invent fancy hashtags and autopost thought-provoking pictures. You either chip in a good heap of (your own) personality or recruit a proper team who create cool stuff.

I really mean cool stuff here (and I want to avoid the word content). Nobody needs another news aggregator / human spam machine.

People do good, not companies.

People make media social (and apparently Glasgow), not companies.

It’s not a stupid cliché: Think beyond promoting your business.

What do you give people in return for their attention?

A clammy yet friendly handshake or something that really makes a difference to them?

Find out how your presence on social media can make people’s lives a bit better. Or stop using up all the bytes and pixels.