With over 2.5 billion social media users across the world, social media is seen as an integral medium that businesses and marketers feel must be utilized to reach customers. However, not all organizations on social media are experiencing success with thousands of followers and patrons among their social media accounts. This situation sheds light on the current landscape of social media and how many businesses are improperly approaching social media with an ill-advised strategy.
The idea of social media is almost a little too enticing for businesses to pursue, and how could it be ignored when almost every marketing agency and business blog is raving about how important it is to have a social media footprint. However, the underlying issue here that businesses face, is how they they operate in the realm of social media. The majority of businesses approach social media as another tool to help their businesses grow without understanding the makeup of how flourishing social media accounts work. Thus creating business accounts that clearly show a disconnect and lack of understanding for how social media functions.
In this article, we are going to talk about the core brand personality themes that are flowing through the veins of social media and how your business might need to rethink your strategy when approaching brand voice as well as social media personality.
When trying to dissect social media, it is imperative to grasp the "social" aspect of social media. Social media is just that, a form of media where millions of individuals can congregate and communicate with others of like mind or interest. So what is at each user's core? Personality. They are after all just people and just like people they exhibit different personalities and show interest in different subjects which are then uploaded to their various social media platforms.
Individuals have a much easier time growing a following organically on social media than a business because an individual can post media to hundreds of thousands to millions of users who can relate on some level and in turn will follow and support this individual. This is why it is much easier for individuals to see substantial growth in their ROI on social media because their audience see's the individual's personality traits before they see a potential sales pitch. There are hundreds of social media accounts whose content creator was an ordinary person until they posted a variation of new, different, or unique media that resonated with a specific personality audience. This new found audience is now far more trusting and willing to be "influenced."
Many of these social media personalities will capitalize on their new found position and following by becoming an influencer who is paid by a business to sponsor products. Businesses utilize influencers because followers are far more trusting of an Internet personality they follow then any business period. This concept relies heavily on the marketing term known as word of mouth and its various spectrums. On one end you have a peer who recommends going to a restaurant that they enjoyed and on the other end you have a personality that is clearly being used as a conduit to push a brand's product or service to an impressionable audience.
The Balancing Act of Brand Personality:
Business are immediately set back upon entering the realm of social media due to the algorithms of social media websites which are designed to make businesses pay in order to grow a following. This can be a tricky balance rope that business walk on with social media but once again validates the point that social media isn't catered for organic businesses but for individuals. I have talked in a previous blog about how the social media landscape is purposely designed to throttle a business's reach unless they pay. Though, social media is not designed to throttle the growth and reach of personalities who can make substantial returns from their followers.
What businesses fail to understand is how they give off a disingenuous vibe that is against grain to the nature of social media. According to Forbes, over 84% of Millennials on social media hate being sold to in the traditional forms of media. They don't want to be told, "Hey buy now 50% off!!!!" Millennials want the business and products to feel inclusive and matching of their own ideals and personalities. When businesses offer a product or service whose target market is primarily on social media, organizations who adopt a personality to match to their target market will see much larger ROIs than a business who is simply using social media as another medium for advertising.
Brands can create personalities that mirror their target market to help eliminate the barrier between a customer and a business. Many of the media coordinators who run a brand's social media footprint should convey this "brand personality" through all aspects of the brand's media. The content produced, the response management and the customer service should all fit to the same customer personality the brand is trying to reach. By creating a personality, the business can more effectively communicate and spread it's message to current and prospective customers.
Does Your Brand Belong Here?
Seriously, is your target market primarily on social media? Many, marketing blogs and business conference rooms become too absorbed in having to be "in on" the next big advertising medium. Would it make sense if you are in on the next big thing if you have no reason being there? Millennials are considered to be from 1981 to 1996 which means those born in the 80s are pushing to that 40 year old barrier. So, let's be realistic, the demographic of 40, 50, and 60+ are a completely different demographic than the teens and young adults in their 20s and 30s on social media.
People change and so do their priorities as they get older. Of course, there are the outliers that never grow up but far more often than not people change as they age and you would be doing your business a great disservice if you think a 20 year old is on the same wavelength of a 45 year old. Take a hard look at your business's products or services to see who they are for. Maybe your business relies more on connecting with other professionals in B2B, than spend effort on LinkedIn and not so much on Instagram. Or maybe your products are designed to serve a functional purpose that isn't flashy but has a large market. Can you please tell me how a loan agency, a tax filing business or even a grocery store is cool, flashy and fun? These businesses and the many like it are designed to fill the needs to specific target markets that have different priorities than posting media online to share with their friends.
On the Horizon:
Businesses spend thousands of dollars pursing lofty social media goals without realizing they are pursing unrealistic goals that have no correlation towards their target market. But I can already hear you saying to yourself, "there are plenty of brands on social media with significant followings." This is true but don't forget about what I said earlier, many brands spend a large portion of their budget on promotions and paid influencers on social media in the hopes of building a larger audience. It is an unfortunate truth that much of advertising revolves around high prices and the businesses with deeper pockets will ultimately have more coverage than small mom and pop businesses and the same applies to social media.
Social media is an incredible tool for business but it is not the end all be all for every business. Don't get caught up in all the hoopla, of course if your brand belongs in the realm of social media than by all means. However, after doing an in depth review about your business and target market, then decide if all the time and money required to partake in social media business is worth ROI.
Our team will conduct a social media marketing audit for free. Contact us today for more information regarding our social media services (951) 479-5411.