In my last blog post, I mentioned that I was burned out on social media, and that was one reason why I haven’t uploaded any recent episodes of the Tim Adkins Does Digital podcast in which I talk about social media marketing.
It occurred to me that even as we speak, I’m trying to find a good paying job in social media marketing. And let’s be honest, all of us like hiring people who are excited and optimistic about their job.
Can I be optimistic and realistic at the same time? I’m banking on that.
Yes, I think social can be a dumpster fire. I also think it doesn’t need to be. We digital marketers still have a role to play on making social a better place, if not for everyone, than at least the people who love our businesses, our organizations, and dare I say it, our personal brands.
Here’s how I think we can do it.
Post Smarter, Not More
I know a business that used what they believed was a foolproof strategy to get more people to like their page. They automated their posts on Facebook to post every hour on the hour using a scheduling tool. They wanted to hire me to write several posts for them a day to shove into the conveyor, but scoffed at the suggestion that maybe they should “maybe not post quite so much”.
Businesses and organizations should understand that people’s social profiles are their own space, and they should give their users something that will be worthy of their time. Even if it’s a few seconds, something that makes someone smile, makes someone think, or informs them in some way goes a lot further than things like the same inspirational quote they’ve seen a thousand times or repeats of past posts because you need to hit a certain quota.
Make a little go a long way.
Be Different, Not Boring
Professional marketer David Brier is right when he says that the important thing to do in marketing is to rise above the noise. If you are not giving your fans and followers something interesting, they won’t remember you. Many businesses see what others in their field are doing and just want to do the same thing. Instead, we as marketers need to understand the whole point of marketing is to be remembered, and the way to be remembered is to stand out.
If you are doing the same thing as your competitors, you’re blending in with them —and no one wants a clone of the same service they can get elsewhere. It’s especially dangerous when the competitor or competitors you are mimicking are themselves mimicking others, or worse yet, have a terrible reputation.
Different is better, if for nothing else, to stand out in a crowded field of posts and videos and infographics and carousels and on and on and on.
The Competition Is Not What You Think
Many businesses and organizations believe that they are competing with others in their own field to gain customers and attention. The challenge is much larger than that.
If you are posting on social media, you are competing with everyone for attention.
Political posts. Vacation pictures. Sales pitches from get rich quick “entrepreneurs”. Ads for skin care. Videos of kittens. The list goes on. And on. And on.
When you are competing for attention from all those different places (and that’s not mentioning TV, Netflix, video games, and other places people go to spend time) you understand that just popping some sloppily written posts with a blurry or boring photo or wall of unreadable text just won’t cut it.
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone has things to do with their time, so keep it interesting, keep it brief, and don’t waste you followers’ time with things you yourself wouldn’t pay attention to when on your own social platform.
Social Media is Social
When social media first started out, it wasn’t the advertising behemoth that it has become year after year. However, the reason social media exists is the same as it always has been —to give us the opportunity to connect with one another.
Families share news here. Friends share laughs. People engage with other people. As marketers, it’s important to remember this is their space, not ours. By liking our profiles, they are inviting us into their sphere of attention.
Let’s not interrupt them with nonsense. They are allowing us into their space.
Let’s respect it.