Social Media Strategy header image

I love the image at the top of this post. Without using any words, it really tells the whole story, doesn’t it? Rapid change. Connectivity. It’s all there. The people who appear in the 2005 photo are essentially the same as those who appear below in 2013: both groups have the desire to connect and to share. The only difference is that the second group has the tools to do it.

Running a Social Media Strategy? A Few Things You Should Know.

If you’re reading this article, chances are your company either (a) has a social media strategy or (b) wants to implement one. I’m sharing the above picture and commentary because it suggests a few key things about social media, strategy, and human behavior:

  1. People don’t care about platforms. Facebook and Twitter are two means to the same end. Ultimately, one is not objectively and universally better than the other.
  2. People don’t care about your message. They care about feeling a connection.
  3. People aren’t interested in your business. They’re interested in other people.

Let’s break down a few of these statements about social media users.

#1 How Social Media Users Choose a Platform…

Social media users choose their platform(s) based on where their friends are – not where your company is. Obvious, right? Yet, you’d be surprised how many businesses invest countless dollars and hours into platforms that their supposed “fan-base” couldn’t care less about. Whether you’re just starting out or refreshing your social media strategy, remember that what all users have in common is a desire to share and connect. But where they go for this end can vary greatly. Do your research!

#2 Social Media Users Are Not Here for Your Message.

You have a great message, I’m sure. But you’re not the only one with a voice. On Facebook alone, there are over 15 million businesses trying to push a message to social media users. It’s no wonder we’re all so good at tuning out the noise. If you want to cut through, you have to prioritize an authentic connection with the audience over your message. Once you’re able to build that rapport of authenticity, then you have the opportunity to deliver your message.

First comes trust. Then the connection. And then the message.

#3 People Care Most About Other People.

Lastly, social media users care more about their friends than your brand’s profile. In fact, 57% of people who “Like” your Facebook page admit that they only do it to receive discounts and promotions. Most social media users don’t care about the babble rolling off your brand page. Instead, they’re on Facebook – or any social media platform – because their friends are. Brands are almost always secondary.

Of course, your brand doesn’t have to be secondary. If you can pull of the delicate art of being a human brand, then your company could have that treasured slot as “friend” – not “advertiser” – on social media.

Does your social media strategy reflect a passion for people or for technology/platforms? How have you learned from your mistakes?

Photo source: NBC News, AP