In The Guardian last week, Suzanne Moore wrote that she no longer has time for her children because she’s too busy fielding emails and text messages and filling in surveys from the companies that deliver her shopping, manage her money and supply the energy to her home.
‘This creeping interactive culture exists partly because of less face-to-face communication. But it is taking the form of intrusive and fake missives that appear to assume we are in a state of quasi-sexual excitement over that most mundane transaction, paying a gas bill,’ she complains.
While her frustration is understandable, we have to accept our willing participation in this ‘creeping interactive culture.’ Arianna Huffington calls it the iparadox, by which she means that we i.e. consumers, are so engrossed in our online lives that we miss out on real life.
Now Coca-Cola has launched a new advertising campaign that mocks our obsession with our tech devices and suggests that we pay more attention to our offline lives, the people around us and the food in front of our noses by wearing what they’re calling The Social Media Guard. It’s a cone shaped shield worn around the neck that prevents the wearer from looking down at their mobiles.
There’s a balance to be struck here between what consumers want and the need for brands to communicate with its audience in an interactive forum. While most consumers will stay loyal to a brand that provides quality or a reliable service, is it necessary for brand marketers to continuously to intrude into their customers’ lives?
Social media technology has allowed marketers to reinvent relationship marketing but like any relationship, if personal boundaries are disregarded, feelings are going to get hurt and someone’s going to get dumped. The following are some signs that you’re veering towards that scenario:
You haven’t established social brand guidelines:
The brands that have the most success with social media have a clear strategy in place that works in line with the business’s overall goals. The social brand strategy must work in tandem with these goals.
As part of the social brand strategy, the answers to these questions should be clear:
- Who is responsible for updating your social profiles
- How frequently your social profiles will be updated
- What types of content you’ll post about
- How you’ll use imagery in your posts
- What type of “voice” you’ll use when posting
You have an erratic posting schedule:
Posting too often is just as bad as not posting often enough. If posts don’t appear regularly, your brand followers slowly get out of the habit of checking in with the brand’s page or account. By the same token, if posts are too frequent, brand followers can feel harassed and cancel their link to the brand account.
You announce rather than engage:
The key to a successful social media campaign is its ability to engage its audience. Unlike old forms of advertising on television or radio that had to grab customer attention, social media advertising must grab their attention and inspire a response or conversation.
You ignore or delete negative comments:
No matter how good your brand is, there is always going to be someone that has something negative to say. Apologies and candid explanations of what went wrong will tell your customers that your brand is accountable and transparent.
You aren’t tracking return on investment:
Social media can take up a lot of time and while inspiring conversations is fundamental in today’s business environment, unless those conversations are translating into sales, it’s a waste of your time. One of the great advantages of social media is that it facilitates tracking, which allows you to gauge the value of your efforts and its effect on your bottom line. In turn, this allows you to see what’s working and what isn’t and ensures that you’re spending your social media time wisely.
Social media technology has allowed marketers to reinvent relationship marketing.
Due to its interactive nature, social media technology has allowed marketers to reinvent relationship marketing.
The brands that have the most success with social media have a clear strategy.
We’ve been tracking the performance of various brand online and we notice that the brands that have the most success with social media have a clear strategy.
If posts are too frequent, brand followers can feel harassed.
We need to limit our posts to three times a day because we’ve noticed that if posts are too frequent, brand followers can feel harassed.
Inspire a response or conversation.
Effective social media campaigns inspire a response or conversation.
Those conversations are translating into sales.
We’re really happy with social media performance for the first quarter of this year because those online conversations are translating into sales.
Top 5 Tips for Social Media Etiquette
- Provide Value
- Don’t Hide from Negativity, Harness It
- Track ROI
- Be Nice, Accountable and Honest