Fashionably Late vs. Not Showing Up for the Social Media Party

Social media marketing is like a party.  There’s just not getting around it.  Like any party, there are certain types of people you can count on finding in the crowd.  You know what I’m talking about: the guy or girl who can’t help but talk about everything they’re doing or have accomplished, the one guy who just sits in the corner (why does that guy go to parties?), then there’s the super hyper dude or chick that talks so fast that you can’t even digest what’s being said let alone comprehend what the heck they’re talking bout.  There are some other usual suspects as well, but you probably get the point by now.

So how is social media marketing like a party?  Well, first of all you have “The Planners”.  The Planners are the innovators of social media marketing.  They saw the potential social media had to offer, embraced it and set the stage or party for our purposes.  If it wasn’t for The Planners, the rest of us might have had to overcome even more barriers when it was time for us to pitch the idea of using social media to connect with our members to the front office suite.

Now let’s talk about the unique group of characters you usually run into at the party.

The self-absorbed partygoer:  Nobody likes this dude as much as he likes himself.  The same goes for brands that only want to talk about how awesome they are with every Facebook update or tweet.  We get it, you really like yourself and you’re either really successful or you’re not and you want us to believe that you are.  Either way, no one approaches this type of person at the party.  It’s usually the exact opposite.  This person hounds you down until you strongly consider getting a restraining order (or clicking the unlike or unfollow buttons)

The Wallflower: Being shy is not a character flaw, but it will do you no good when it comes to social media marketing.  We all know about this person.  They lean against the wall continually looking the room over with their sad eyes just waiting for someone to approach them and talk.  Thing is, when someone does approach, they don’t know what to say because it’s such a rare occurrence.  In case you’re wondering, this character is the Facebook Fan Page or Twitter account that sits dormant.  Again, why even come to the party?

Hyper McHypster: How annoying is this guy?  He is so amped up he makes you nervous just by his proximity.  You don’t know what is going to come out of his mouth next, but you do know that it will most likely make no sense.  This guy has no self-filter and is just putting information out there.  It usually doesn’t take too long before you find an excuse like, I need to get a refill or I have to use the restroom to escape.  This guy is the brand that makes 5 Facebook posts every hour and blows up your newsfeed with insignificant information.  They also like to tweet their every move (i.e. I am now typing that I am typing).

So that’s three of the many characters you’re sure to find at the social media party, but what about how they got there?  Obviously, no one wants their social media presence to be like one of the aforementioned characters, but do you truly know what you want your presence to be?  Furthermore, are you at the party, on your way or going to pass?

Truth is, this party we’re talking about is like New Years Eve 1999 (without all the Y2K hoopla.)  Marketers far and wide are just now figuring out how to harness the power of social media and the communication channel is only going to get better with the constant changes and refinements that are made on a monthly and sometimes weekly basis.

Right now, if you’re considering launching a social media campaign you’d be considered fashionably late.  Remember, fashionably late was the cool thing to be in high school.  It’s not entirely bad now, but you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  What you DON’T want to be is the person that doesn’t show up for the party and hears about

all the fun everyone else had the following day.  Starting a social media campaign and going to a party are very similar.  You’ve got to put yourself (your brand) out there if you want to reap the rewards.  What reservations do you have about making your brand more social?

Without wax,

Bryce

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Being Human in an Online World

Being human, it’s not that hard.  Sadly, most of the time when we refer to being human we use it as an excuse for all the mistakes we make on a daily basis.  This post is not about the fallibility of the human condition, rather, it is about how important it is to let your “humanness” show through your use of social media.  Some of you reading this (if anyone actually is) may be casual users of social media.  You might get on for a couple hours a day to connect with friends or check up on brands you follow etc.  Others may be on one platform or another all day (guilty.)  No matter what you use social media for, the fact is that most brands and their marketer(s) have already set up their shop online and are trying to lure you in.  The problem is, many of them are taking a brand new distribution channel with more potential and possibility than any channel we have ever seen before and they continue to send out the same messages.

If you are anything like me, I don’t appreciate being talked at.  I do however, like being spoke to.  This is where the focus needs to shift.  Social media now affords us the opportunity to send out our branding message(s), but more importantly, it allows us to connect.  Even though we may be communicating through computer screens, we can now be more human than ever.  Let’s face it, one of the most important and powerful aspects of our human nature is our ability and desire to connect with one another on some level.  Think about the last time you met someone new, whether you realized it or not, I’m willing to bet you spent the first part of your conversation trying to figure out a connection between you and your new acquaintance.

If this is something that we do in everyday “real life” why is it so hard for some of us to figure out how to make our brands more human?  Why are some of us still only broadcasting our sales and specials in our Facebook Newsfeeds?  Why are some of us not responding to the inquiries of our “Fans”?  How is that being social?  More importantly, how is that being human?  Even more importantly, how could we ever think that these practices ever could be or would be good for our brand or our business.

We can’t and yet we still continue to operate in such a way.  Are you being social online?  If so, are you being human?  I think we all could ask ourselves these types of questions more often.  Unfortunately, if we’re honest with ourselves, I don’t think many of us will like the answers we find.

Without wax,

-Bryce