Social media platforms have given marketers a lot of tools and new ways to both reach and connect with customers on a deeper, more on-going basis than ever before. And some brands have used this as an opportunity to push the boundaries and constantly reevaluate how they use the tools, reach customers and interact with them while others take the status quo.
Too often social media marketing is viewed as just another channel that needs to be addressed, managed and then left alone. Marketers see what their competitors are doing and want to copy them. They hear about a new feature from a platform and want to add it. They think that as long as they’re keeping up, that’s good enough. They’ve become complacent.
Platforms Make Us Lazy
Part of the complacency is because of all the platforms. Features come and go. Platforms rise and fall. It’s often a full-time job just to keep up let alone do something different.
Marketers now have numerous social platforms at their disposal, and many of these platforms offer standard, cookie-cutter brand opportunities. We respond by taking them at face value. We input the appropriate information, we add the necessary content and we update accordingly. All of this is done without asking how we can do more.
This isn’t the case with all brands. Some brands push what a platform can and can’t do. If a platform can’t do what they want, they create the experience they’re going for elsewhere.
Things like profile photos, about sections and ongoing content are necessary, but any brand would be hard pressed to use these templates to stand out from the crowd. Most brands are one of many following the same template but for some reason, expecting different results.
A Social Idea and a Hacker Attitude
Successful social campaigns start with a social idea--an experience that can be shared between consumers across platforms. A social idea is platform agnostic. It’s an experience consumers will have with the brand and share via social channels. That idea should drive the platform choice and execution, not vice versa.
We also need to get back the sense of wonder that initially came with social media. We now ask what needs to be done versus questioning what can be done. That’s a hacker attitude. A templated approach allows you to get the job done, but taking it to the next level and to truly address business objectives often requires breaking the template and bending platforms to your will.
The standards have been set, and too many of us have become complacent. It’s time to go back to where we started and start breaking things again.