Most of the digital strategists, who’ve read this post by Brian Bolard, stopped asking this question, why social media posts on the brand pages gets so little number of likes and comments organically?
The social media world has converged to one and only one thing ” More Money = More Reach = More Engagement ”
What about More customers?
Last I checked, marketing was all about gaining newer customers (loyalty?? What’s that?).
I am sure, for most of you (especially if you are a client who has spent a lot of money in acquiring those fans), the bugging question is “why did those people liked your page in first place?”
As a digital practitioner, I’ve made some personal observations (more of a point of view really) about social media and digital.
One of the observations was around the utilisation of social media platforms as an advertising medium.
Fundamentally, social space was not supposed to be intruded by ads. One of the reasons, as to why Twitter didn’t started monetisation of their platform for a long time. (Read : Is data mining the future of twitter’s monetisation strategy?)
The reality is that nobody likes ads in social media. Or let me put it even more bluntly.
People do not join Facebook to like BRAND PAGES!
They join to connect, converse & stay engaged with the “people” in “their lives”. Brand pages or businesses are an aberration if they are not relevant to the environment.
Lets deep dive a little more into this.
Social Media Fans vs Customer?
If I put this question to top Fortune 500 Companies CMO’s, whether they are looking for more fans or more customers from their social media pages, I am sure, just like anyone else, they would take few moments to understand the difference.
What’s the difference between these words?
Turns out it’s not just a difference of definitions, but also of mindset and therefore, changes your entire social media strategy.
When you think of the word “customer,” you envision someone, cash in hand, ready to buy your product. If you take it one step further and think of a loyal customer, then it’s someone who repeatedly buys from you and perhaps even refers your business.
Scott Ginsberg of the Womma blog defines them so:
“A customer is someone who comes to a store to buy a lamp and never comes back. Fans crave experiences unlike any others.”
The word customer originated in the 1540s and meant “a person with whom one has dealings.”
The word fan originated much later in 1889. It meant “devotee” or “ardent admirer” and was primarily used to describe baseball enthusiasts and as a short form of fanatic.
Since first being used in a sports connotation, the word fan has now expanded to encompass many other industries. Musicians have fans. Movie stars have fans. And today, thanks to the Facebook lexicon, businesses have fans too.
Finding Real Social Media Fans For Your Brand
In 2008, former Wired magazine editor Kevin Kelly wrote an insightful and very popular blog post called “1,000 True Fans.”
Copyblogger goes on to further extrapolate on this concept and discusses 20 steps to finding your true fans by teaching and promoting your knowledge.
Clearly, they are also pointing you in one direction, creating valuable information in a smart package which builds context, connect and relevance with your audience.
Content Marketing is no more ‘just’ the King, it is the entire kingdom
Clearly, the rise of social media platform is not because people are consuming more advertising, but because they are consuming more content.
Imagine it like a coffee shop. Those who love to drink coffee often have their favourite cafes or go-to joints.
They frequently visit a chosen venue because it’s a great place to hang out.
A lot of them even know the owners of the place and other frequent visitors, who, like them, regularly drop in to socialise.
But without the rich aromas and great tasting coffee that the place serve, would they still go there if there was nothing to drink?
Social media marketing is pretty much like that coffee shop, so long as you (brand) would keep serving your audience real and meaningful content (coffee) , you’ve got a great hangout place for your audience.
But more often than not, brands tend to focus on securing their presence in the race to catch up with competitors. They get the coffee shop in the form of a Facebook, Twitter or YouTube presence, but forget what they’re serving (advertising).