Social Media...The Insight into How People Engage with Your Brand Story

Social media

Brands are facing a new competitive landscape in which self-definition, core values and purpose will increasingly define their ability to reach customers that only allow what is meaningful in their lives to pass through their filter.
— Simon Mainwaring


Recently I picked up a communication from a large marketing company complaining that Social Media (SM) is ruining marketing. 

“Social Media has made marketers lazy”
“Social Media it matters more about quantity not quality”
“Social Media may not exist in ten years from now” 
“The connection economy is a myth”

This traditional marketing company was using an old fashioned scare campaign.  It then went on to further build a case that direct mail outs, telemarketing and market research are the tried and tested best ways to reach your consumer.  Ummm only if your “consumer” likes telemarketers, a letter box full of junk and market researchers that said changing the Glad Wrap cutter  was a great idea.

In today’s market you cannot rely on 20th  century thinking (20th century was so last millennium) and consumers are actually called people. People care and value relationships especially the relationship they have with your brand.

According to some, by the time today’s generation turn 17 they will have been exposed to around 200,000 individual marketing messages. The human brain also has the ability to effectively block out 95% of information it is presented with at any one time. So when generating content for SM how do you cut through cynicism and blind spots? 

1.      Say what you mean and mean what you say

SM users can spot a fake a mile away. You cannot manufacture realness. Just like any relationship in your life, the relationship your brand forms with followers needs to be based on honesty, mutual respect and understanding.

2.      Be loved not liked

It is pretty easy to get likes and good reviews, for just a few hundred dollars you can be the most liked page on almost any SM platform there is.  Being liked is a transactional proposition, it’s click and forget. People who take the time to give feedback or provide comment on your SM are taking time to engage with you. These are high value followers engage and nurture them!!

3.      Be something to somebody

Brand experience is the tangible link to your brand. Inform, inspire and entertain followers beyond the four walls of what your brand is doing. People love ‘why’ your brand is doing something not just ‘what’ it is doing.

4.      Say no to mass marketing

Mass or undifferentiated marketing works by assuming all consumers have similar tastes and treats all consumers the same way. Your followers are not robots or the end destination of your brand story, they are the start. Have the courage to share your story and then get out of the way and listen as your followers incorporate it into their own experience.

5.      Understand the totality of your experience

Have the courage to follow your followers and to listen so you can engage with understanding just how they use your product or service in their lives.

6.      Set the right tonality of your experience

This is the spirit of brand and it needs to be in line with both the definition of your brand and the marketing of your brand. If the tonality and totality of the experience are in harmony you will generate an emotional connection and attract high value followers (that then become customers and provide raving fan endorsement). Get this wrong and you will be memorable for the wrong reasons. There is no point being innovative, engaging and loved on SM if when your followers turn up for the product or service and are then lost due to a bad customer experience.

7.      No fluff and no gimmicks be why not what

People are not stupid so don’t treat them like they are. A modern consumer has already decided what they want; you need to be why they want it.

Social media is a communication tool that is unique. It offers you a way to see how people engage with your brand story in their lives and should be nurtured like any relationship. I don’t think marketers and business moguls have universally accepted yet that SM is actually a tool of the people.  In the not too distant future SM will provide the tool that enables people to bring about responsible capitalism and real social change that will eventually see companies balance profit and purpose…… or it may continue down the dark path as a place inhabited only by cat memes!

Our featured guest blogger

Richard Moroney
Richard Moroney

Richard Moroney is currently General Creative at Colonial Brewing Company, Margaret River. He has a 22 year career in hospitality and business leadership progressing  from being a casual store-man/ Karaoke DJ in Bunbury through to various management positions within the ALH Group, before eventually becoming a Director of Brewing for a start up IPO in 2006 in Fremantle. Returning to the South West of WA in late 2009, he accepted a position at Colonial Brewing Company, successfully rebuilding the brand and culture of the business.  In addition to Colonial, Richard is the Captain of his local volunteer bushfire brigade and executive member of the Margaret River chamber of commerce and industry.  Currently Richard is living in Margaret River with his wife Amber and children Sonny and Matilda and spends his spare time chasing a very wayward family Dog named Dasher.