Social Media is not what it was 10 years back. We need to grow up!

Statistics | Social Media Channels | clicksdaily

Almost 8 years back, when I started my career, I used to write articles for SEO back linking. It was soon before I realized that it was the worst job on planet earth. I remember being excited about getting to work & doing my research on various topics and outlining a storyline to write articles that no one would ever read.

Soon, I developed an interest towards social media and found it so “cool” that I wanted to do social media so bad.

That’s how my journey started to find my interests from SEO to social, from social to search and then running in every corner to find the big deal that was digital marketing.

In these 8 years, social media has laid the foundation of my knowledge & I find it to be the most complex piece of marketing that after so many years, is still so misunderstood & misused.

I’m here to clarify and share what truly makes a perfect social media strategy that gives fruitful results.

Choose What’s Relevant

source: chrissniderdesign.com

This is an overwhelming snapshot of statistics of most used social media channels as per this year.

A snapshot like this can make any marketer jump with joy. Why?

Because they knows that these stats can single handedly convince business teams to invest more on social media.

This is a very “he’s doing it, so I want to do it too” approach.

Social media marketing has existed for over a decade now and if brands want to be on every social channel simply because the channels exist, then it’s a big mistake.

All social media platforms are not appropriate for each brand. Some brands are meant to exist only on LinkedIn & Twitter. A few brands may resonate with audience of each size & type and take the multi-channel approach, but not all.

Be wise, don’t choose channels for the sake of it. Choose what is relevant for your audience and spend your time and money only on those selected channels.

Stop Wasting Time

Social media is a medium that allows so many entry points for businesses and individuals to market themselves and speak to their customers. Still, very few really hit the right spot.

A few years back there was a trend to create viral campaigns. Nobody tried to see the reason behind content getting viral, but they all wanted to create “viral” campaigns. It was one of the worst times of my career. I remember being briefed to “make this go viral”.

And then there was, “make me trend on Twitter.”

The latest is, “I need a chat bot.”

It’s not going to end here, there are going to be more of those & people would simply want to blindly follow suit. We’re not against doing new things, we’re against doing things for the sake of it.

Marketing individuals need to understand their brands, need to understand data, need to get a hang of the platforms relevant to their business and see what really makes sense for them. If viral, trend & bot all make sense. Then go for it.

But only, if it makes sense.

Don’t Automate Everything

It’s quite tempting to adapt solutions and tools that make our lives easier and quicker. A lot of campaigns we do are automated and scheduled. We’re not even posting content manually.

Sometimes, live blogging of an event is pre-planned and updates are scheduled to go up at intervals. How is it live blogging?

One of the main reasons why influencers create more interactions than brands themselves. I’ve been a customer of Vodafone my entire life, they are the best out of the lot. But every time I tweeted to them about anything, even if I liked their ad, they always sent out an automated response, “sorry for the inconvenience, we’ll get back to you soon.”

This really bothered me & once just to test it out, I tweeted to Vodafone saying, “lol”.

And. I got the same response!

I had a terrible experience with Google AdWords when I set an acquisition campaign on automatic optimization. I ended up burning my full day’s budget with only half the conversions.

I’ve started to notice the same with chat bots recently. Not everyone pays attention like KLM who do chat bots perfectly.

Most other brands are simply implementing chat bots because they don’t want to be left behind. They don’t customize and re-brand the existing tools. They simply automate processes and forget the minute details. This does more harm than the harm of being left behind.

Human intervention is important at every stage. Don’t go about automating everything. Study it, understand it and customize it to suit your brand/ business.

Don’t Shy from Being Bold

Everyone is a fan of individuals and brands who take a stand. Even if the side a brand picks opposes your personal interest, you won’t hate a brand for being gullible.

Brands/companies carry a huge responsibility & they have a following like the following of any other leader. Any thought or any opinion that a company stands for changes the perception of the consumer.

This is the reason why all brands have a CSR wing and they are mandated to run social activities which shows that they add some value back to the society.

What we’re talking about here goes way beyond a CSR activity.

Recently Amazon India, fired one of their celebrity influencers, because she tweeted in favour of a topic that got some officials angry.

On the other hand, Ola Cabs India, stood for the rights of their driver and showed that they’re not biased to any religion.

source: Twitter | Ola Cabs

A brand’s social media presence makes consumers come closer to them. Consumers use social media to complaint, to complement, to share and spread the word about you. Your consumers and customers are your brand custodians. If need arises and you see an opportunity to be bold, or to drive un unbiased opinion, then you must go for it.

To have a sustainable growth & consistent conversions from social media you need to start acting smartly. Spending too much time and money that adds up to meaningless engagements will only be short lived if you’re looking to drive business.