Let’s just start this blog by saying we’re a social media agency. We spend our days deep in the digital world – tweeting, posting, liking, sharing and commenting! But that doesn’t mean to say we can completely defend it.
When the World Wide Web was first made public in 1991, no one could predict just how much it would change the world. Skip 28 years later and the internet is absolutely vital to modern life, in fact, it’s hard for many of us to imagine life without it. But has it changed the world for the better or for the worst? Many people are still deciding, but what we do know is that rates of anxiety and depression in young people have increased by 70% over the last 25 years (NHS). It’s time to have the debate.
This isn’t just a coincidence. Ironic as it is, it turns out being digitally connected to people all day every day can actually make people feel pretty lonely. Social media is designed to be addictive, every like or comment gives us a little hit of dopamine which reinforces our behaviours and keeps us coming back for more. So much so that the average Briton now checks their phone every 12 minutes!
So with all the negative press about social media and mental health, is it time that brands and businesses threw in the social media towel?
Recently, Lush caused a storm when they announced they were leaving their 569,000 Instagram and 423,143 Facebook followers by deleting their social accounts. But they’re not the first company to go rogue, Tesla and SpaceX famously deleted their Facebook pages following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and many other brands are turning their back on the Zuckerberg empire.
So Is this the start of the social media apocalypse?
If so, why now? Lush reasoned that “social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed“.
We're switching up social.
Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed. pic.twitter.com/nJUzG0lham
— LUSH UK (@LushLtd) April 8, 2019
If you’re struggling to get seen then it’s time to shake up your strategy. How?
As social media content creators we must be mindful of how these platforms can affect people, so make sure you’re offering added value and building on positivity by offering tips, advice and genuine elements which will enrich the experience of the viewer.
Not all meaningful conversations have to be paid for. Instead of churning out endless sales posts, try focussing on engagement. Social media is a two-way street – the more you put in the more you get out. Engagement should be a huge part of your social media strategy, so ensure you’re getting involved in online conversations, interacting with customers and giving them a real insight into your brand.
Try thinking outside the box with influencers. With 82% of consumers ‘highly likely’ to follow a recommendation from a micro-influencer, why not use these to push your brand, instead of pushing it yourself? Change up your strategy to focus on influencer marketing, and use these online celebrities to showcase your brand and the lifestyle you’re trying to push. The social-proof that comes from influencer marketing is gold dust, and if your brand is struggling to cut through the noise online then this should be your focus.
Think about shaking up your socials from one-way marketing tools to channels for you to drive change. Get behind causes or organisations that align with your brand and use these platforms to showcase your brand purpose. Social media is an incredible way to reach the masses so how about using this for social good.
These channels are the perfect way to tell your brand story so don’t be afraid to lift the lid and show your customers the ways that purpose runs through your business core. This might be showcasing your ethical supply chain, meeting your sustainable suppliers or highlighting the causes and charities that you support. And remember, video is king. With 72% of people claiming they would rather use video to learn about a product or service (Wyzowl, 2018), ensuring you have social-first video content in your marketing strategy is an absolute must.
Tailor your content
Perhaps the most important aspect to remember when it comes to social content is making sure that you tailor your content to ensure it’s relevant to your audience. This is the part where many brands fall down. If you’re pushing content that doesn’t resonate with or inspire your audience then are you surprised they’re switching off? With social media changing and evolving on a daily basis, it can be hard to stay relevant. But if you’re not committed to keeping up, then why should the tech-savvy millennial engage with your brand?
In short, keep it real. If you’re struggling to get noticed on social media then it’s all on you. Try shaking up your strategy to show your customers who you really are, and most importantly, make them feel valued.
Social media is always changing, so make sure you’re keeping up!