Things I’ve Learned from Lately #12

“Things I’ve Learned from Lately” is a regular compilation of articles that have made me a smarter social media marketer. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too.

Operating in Real-Time – Jeff Hasen writes in Digiday about how we live in real-time now more than ever. Consumers don’t care about what happened yesterday, in the morning or even one hour ago. We want to know what’s happening right now. Marketers are now challenged to meet this expectation by delivering real-time venues and opportunities to consumers.

Key Takeaway: A brand’s commitment to leveraging social media is also a commitment to market in the real-time—a team being responsive, nimble and empowered to act without going through red tape. You’re not ready for social if you aren’t ready for real-time.

Visuals Key to Engagement on Twitter – eMarketer released a new article citing the correlation between the rise of visual-based social networks and photo sharing on Twitter. Images are leading the charge with 36% of links shared on Twitter being visual content.

Key Takeaway: Visual content is expected on Twitter (and everywhere else). Brands that stick to tweets that simply contain copy, no matter how witty and interesting, will fall short if they don’t balance it with visual content.

Where’s the Social? – Tara Hunt writes in Harvard Business Review writes about how marketers, in many ways, have missed the point of social media by not working to make people’s lives better.

Key Takeaway: An organization that works to make people’s lives better through social media channels requires more than a social media presence. It requires an attitude, an empowered staff and a dedication to improving customer relationships versus just getting another sale. For some brands, that isn’t the goal, so they shouldn’t pretend it is. Consumers see right through it. Marketers that do dedicate themselves to that mindset and live it, however, are seeing success.

More Does Not Always Mean MoreDigiday shares some results from a study by Spredfast that found that the more posts a brand makes, the more the engagement.

Key Takeaway: A study like this needs to be understood through the lens of your brand. My personal opinion is that the study’s findings suggest you should post way too much. Quantity of posts without quality will only bring diminishing returns over time as a brand annoys its followers to the point of unfollowing, unliking and unsubscribing. Consumers are using social channels to connect with other people, not necessarily brands. If a brand doesn’t have anything that brings value to that experience, it isn’t worth saying.