21 Jan Always look on the bright side of social comms
If you Google ‘social media’, you’ll find a raft of articles about how it’s damaging to mental health, making us anti-social, turning us into insular zombies and stopping us from going and playing outside. In truth, social media is simply a convenient thing to blame for a number of problems, which are strikingly familiar to the issues said to be caused by television in the 70s and 80s – but as social media is now part of almost every aspect of our lives, the accusations levelled at it are likely to stick around.
Not great news for brands using social media, right?
Well, yes and no…
Social media can be perceived as being very negative, thanks to internet trolls, hate speech, body shaming and any number of other examples. Many ordinary people can find themselves being sucked into quite negative speech patterns that aren’t usually like them. For brands that want to break through this perception, however, it’s simply a matter of choosing your language carefully and sticking with a positive intent. This doesn’t mean every tweet is fluffy, saccharine or full of hearts and flowers, but recognise that the words we choose can drastically alter the perception, such as:
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Images are really important to any brand on social media, but picking the wrong one can derail an entire campaign. Avon’s Naked Truth tweet recently got singled out by body positive celeb Jameela Jamil for body shaming – you can see how they’ve attempted to be positive with the headline, but then turned that around in order to sell the product.
And yet EVERYONE has dimples on their thighs, I do, you do, and the CLOWNS at @Avon_UK certainly do. Stop shaming women about age, gravity and cellulite. They’re inevitable, completely normal things. To make us fear them and try to “fix”them, is to literally set us up for failure pic.twitter.com/78kqu3nHeE
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) January 19, 2019
It’s not just about your product either, people want to buy from brands they love and increasingly that’s becoming as much about the product as it is about its environmental impact. We wrote last year about using social media to highlight your green credentials, it’s another way to bring positivity to your feeds, whilst building brand loyalty.
Make your brand a worthwhile follow
Perhaps the big problem for brands on social is that many people are shifting their profiles to be more family and friends oriented. Facebook in particular has a problem with people unfollowing brands or pages that are just ‘background noise’ on social – we found some very interesting stats recently
Posting content that p**ses people off? #FridayFact
— On Fire Marketing (@OnFire_Social) January 18, 2019
Put simply, don’t post content that’s only going to p**s your fans off! But do you actually know what would irritate your audience? In order to stop your fans from hitting that unfollow button, you need to make yourself a worthwhile follow, an exception to the rule. I follow the milk alternative Oatly on Facebook simply because its posts are literary genius (take a look, but we take no responsibility for any tea that sprays over your computer screen!).
The generally accepted rule of social media marketing has been that 20% of your posts should be direct promotion, the rest should be informative or educational content (think the BBC). Realistically this doesn’t work for every business, perhaps we need to think of it as a guide rather than a rule? In reality, the vast majority of Oatly’s self-aware posts are directly promoting its product, but due to the brand tone of voice and the images used, it doesn’t actually feel that way.
There are no hard and fast rules for marketing on social media, every brand is different and therefore every strategy needs to be different too. But considering how to make a positive impact on your audience and selling products via positive means rather than negative ones will no doubt differentiate your content from others and help to sustain success on social channels, in turn building a loyal and engaged audience.