Like many 20-somethings, I’m a social media junky–except I don’t actively post on social media. I’m more of an endless scroller if you will. I’ve worked in a marketing setting since 2017 and even though my goal was not to be a digital marketer (I want to be the next Julia Quinn!), I have learned a lot in my role as a content creator for our clients. One of which is that there has definitely been a boost in social media, but as more of us in the game have started to realize, all good things must come to an end if we don’t learn to adapt. The rise and fall of social media as we know it is upon us. Get ready with me.
Social Media Is OVER
Okay, that was a bit dramatic. Social media is in no way going anywhere–it’s just changing. TikTok creator @loudang, a social media marketer and digital strategist, shared their thoughts on the industry of social media marketing and what to expect.
“Capitalism is manifesting in the digital world in a very similar way that it manifests and shows up in the physical world. When it comes to brands and businesses and corporations interacting online, very little is built sustainably and very little is built to last. It’s all about instant gratification and instant conversation. It’s all paid, paid, paid promotion.”
They have a point, right? When we use social media for personal use, you can’t help but notice the bombardment of ads popping up in your timeline and feed. Look at what I’m seeing right now on my Instagram.
Corona has a new (or at least new to me) Limonado out and as someone who loves hard seltzer, (and may or may not have a Pinterest board full of fun summer drinks) this is right up my alley. Now, am I going to go out of my way to buy this? Probably not. But next time I’m at my preferred adult beverage establishment and I see this new drink, I may be tempted to give it a try.
These aren’t the only ads I’m getting. As someone with chronic illness, I’m constantly getting ads for CVS Pharmacy, adaptive wear for medical equipment, and sponsored ads by other chronic illness content creators who may or may not do things I’m interested in.
But here’s the problem: All these sponsored posts annoy the daylights out of me. I don’t feel connected to Corona. Nor do I want to DM every chronic illness account I find to be part of their circle.
It’s not just brands and influencers who are doing it either. I see it all the time with potential clients that are just pushing out content to be “active” on social media, but who don’t worry about creating a relationship with the audience. And this is where social media dies.
But, we can bring it back.
Relationships Matter IRL and Online
According to Sprout Social, 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them–not just passively use online platforms. In fact, consumers who want to connect with brands say these simple interactions actually cultivate customer loyalty and increase the brand’s bottom line–growth, sales, brand recognition, etc.
Sprout’s study went on to find that, “When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.”
But what are brands to do? With social media scheduling platforms, it’s easy to post multiple times a day without even being in front of your screen. However, we know as both industry professionals and consumers ourselves, monotonous posts just don’t cut it.
Creating an authentic relationship with your customer base is what will save social media and reinvigorate what social media was always meant to be: a way for people to connect.
Building Authentic Relationships Online as a Brand, Business, or Law Firm
Being real online almost seems fake, doesn’t it? In a society of Instagram-Baddies (I may act like your grandma, but I know the lingo y’all), and with photoshopped experiences, who can say what is or is not authentic. We know how hard it is to navigate trolls from real people but there are some key ways you can build authentic relationships online.
- Care about the customer. We all have that friend who talks about themselves way too much so you can hardly say what’s on your mind. Well, brands tend to be that friend, too. So flip the script! Make content about the customers’ needs, wants, problems, etc. You may be great, but no one wants some self-righteous, braggadocious phony behind a screen. Care about that customer you want–because if you don’t, your competitor will.
- You are part of a brand, but you are NOT the brand. There is something to be said about a company, firm, or business that doesn’t just show off their product or service. We always encourage clients to put themselves out there–be it a fun photo, a video, or just a candid picture of a day in the office. Customers love to see it, and we as your marketing team are always looking for ways to make you seem real. Plus, people trust people, not big names.
- Be consistent. I know I said just posting to post isn’t good enough, but coming up with a schedule where you can create and post quality content is key. The goal should always be quality, not quantity.
- Connect with the people! This should be obvious since the point of this section is on building authentic relationships, but for some people, it just isn’t. We know having engagement on social media may just seem like tallying likes and comments, but it’s so much more than that. If you want people to interact with your content, you need to be actively engaging with them, too.
- Believe in your brand and your content. In the modern world, we’re all pretty good at sniffing out phonies. But being fake isn’t just Photoshop, it’s when the people behind the brand aren’t buying into the messaging themselves. If you’re lacking in the engagement department, you should be encouraging your team to be active on social media and interacting with the brand’s content. If your employees aren’t doing it, why would strangers?
Social media is a game, right? We scroll, we post, and we move on. But what if we made our platforms into something real and sustainable? Something people ACTUALLY care about?
At ENX2 Marketing, we want that for your brand, company, firm, or business. Connect with us today to avoid being left behind in the social media tide.