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Marketing opinion

Dear marketer... Are you failing at social media?

Does no one want to like, share or retweet your content? If so, perhaps I can help.
As corporate South Africa wakes up to the benefits that social media can deliver, the landscape is fast becoming flooded with brand activity. Here is a list of the most common pitfalls, and how to avoid them.

Dear marketer... Are you failing at social media?
1. Your posts are too promotional...

I understand, you want content that is relevant to your brand and product offering - it's supposed to be a soft sell. And that's fine, because not everyone can get away with doing completely off-brand things like Denny's in America.

But really, asking me to "share this amazing special on toasters" with my friends is like asking a prisoner to share a copy of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with his cellmates.

Instead, diversify your content. You can call them content pillars, if you like, because they hold up your social media activities.

Promotional posts are but one example, what about thought leadership, customer feedback, humour, events, reference? A wealth of options exists; what is good for one brand might not be so hot for another.

Understand your audience - what content or media do they currently consume and share amongst their networks? Are they even active on the platforms we're using? Do they access these platforms from a PC or a mobile device?

2. You bought the hype, but all you're getting is BS

Did your agency tell you Facebook has millions of dormant accounts, and that organic engagement is getting even more difficult to achieve? Did they tell you that those promoted tweets you asked about will cost R150,000 or more?

There is no denying that social media CAN help you reach millions of potential customers across the globe, but that doesn't mean it WILL. So, just like any other form of paid media, it is wise to understand the cons too, not just the pro's.

3. What the hell are you even measuring?

I have seen companies buying clicks on Facebook, instead of Likes (This is usually the agency's fault, sadly). And to be honest, the notion of "buying likes" as a measurement of success on the platform is total hogwash.

Your social media strategy should have clearly defined objectives, which support your overall business objectives. After all, this strategy should compliment, and be the logical evolution of your overarching marketing communications strategy.

For instance, a common marketing objective is to grow the customer base. In this instance 10,000 likes on your Facebook page means nothing, especially if they're mostly comprised of promotion stalkers who only decided to like your page in case they get freebies.

A real objective would be to understand how many leads social media has brought you. If, for instance, your objective is brand awareness, then you should be measuring your share of voice in the social media space - and that doesn't mean number of likes, it means number (and quality) of conversations around your brand.

4. Become a friggin' grizzly bear!

It's a strange analogy, I know, but allow me to explain. You see, social media started as a place where people could connect and share "real-life" experiences. It didn't start because corporations secretly devised a devious plot to ensnare hapless consumers (or maybe it did, who knows)

In any event, people are like salmon; they go upstream to spawn, and that's where the bears catch them. People go onto social platforms to share things that happen offline, and sometimes online too.

Not all brands can be the source of cool and amazing things that happen on the interwebs, but you can be damn sure that people know where to go to find you - and the coolness that you bring to the table. That's where the magic starts to happen.

About Keanan Reis

Keanan Reis is a communication consultant who develops solutions around New and Traditional Media, internal and external stakeholders. He is currently the Head of Strategy and MD for Ambigram Solutions. Contact details: website | email
Evan-Lee Courie
Evan-Lee Courie
Great read!
Posted on 29 Jan 2014 10:46
Amber Amber
Amber Amber
Buzz Consulting – helping businesses with their digital strategy, multi-channel marketing, eCommerce, training and development, social media, email marketing and their website.
Posted on 30 Jan 2014 07:07
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