Social Media Fluff: The Honeymoon Is Over

social media honeymoonIt’s been a fun ride, social media. We dashed down the aisle after barely knowing one another, and have spent the past few years in a blissful state on the beach, lapping up libations made of kitten memes and ‘Keep Calm And Carry On’ posters.

But alas, the honeymoon is OVER.

It’s back to reality for us lovebirds, and the forecast is looking a little dismal for the unicorn riders and rainbow huggers.

What Memes Would Look Like In Real Life

What changed? The consumer.

We stuffed so much sickly, sweet gobbledygook down their throats — loads of insta-quotes, and “YOU CAN DO IT” fodder — that the stars in their eyes burst for being too full and snapped them back to reality.

I mean, would YOU trust some brand that was feeding you lines of crap all week when it came time to buy?

Imagine walking into Nordstroms to buy a pair of shoes and getting accosted by a salesperson who throws glitter in your face, hands you a basket of kittens, and tells you to keep calm and carry on while shopping.

Meanwhile over the loudspeaker you hear things like:

“Sometimes you have to be your own hero.”

“Every pro was once an amateur. Every expert was once a beginner. So dream big and start now.”

“If you are waiting for the right time, it’s now.”

(I didn’t even have to scroll on my feeds to find this crap – sad!)

I don’t know about you, but I’d run screaming from Nordstroms, never to return. I don’t care if they’re my favorite store. I don’t care if they have fantastic customer service.

The cockamamy quotes, and other ridiculous garbage:

  • Have nothing to do with their brand
  • Do nothing to instill trust between consumers and their brand
  • Is all hype and social media fluff; is nothing real or meaningful
  • And actually makes me question their authority

The Tipping Point

My story above exemplifies what consumers are now experiencing online. They aren’t buying the fake “lessons” and they’ve gone back to scrutinizing brands’ every move.

With so much nonsensical and non-informative content pollution filling our steams, it’s no wonder many experts feel consumers are suffering from content shock.

The tipping point: Evidence is now required for trust.

We need to be more believable, be more human, and start helping our communities more.

Jay Baer may have said it best with:

“Smart marketing is about help not hype.”

Is Creating Content Worth It?

Of course it is. Consumers have insatiable appetites. We need information to make decisions. To help us. To make sense of things.

But as digital publishers, we need to be able to scale our efforts; to make them actionable.

We need tech standards; rules and guidelines. We need to understand what the consumer is asking for when it comes to TRUSTING and BUYING FROM our brand.

Because if we’re only using social media to tell people to keep calm and hug a kitten, what’s the point?! 

We need to test and learn when it comes to the content our consumers want most (and no, likes and shares of memes don’t count.) Meaning, what’s the return on investment of that published piece of content? How’s it helping? How’s it selling? How’s garnering trust for you/your company/your brand?

Brands are only as strong as their conversations.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you having conversations?
  • Are your conversations strong? Or weak?
  • Are your conversations helping or hyping?
  • Are your conversations painting the picture of what you do/how you help/why you’re trustworthy?

If we want to find a solution for content shock, we’ve got to start creating innovative content that provides an experience for the customer.

And that goes way beyond the regurgitation of someone else’s words and ideas.

See you in the social sphere!

photo credit: daniel pozo via photopin cc

Brooke Ballard
Like many of you, Chief Digital Strategist and Founder of B Squared Media, Brooke Ballard, has seen a fundamental shift in business due to social media. How do businesses take advantage of this? Where do they start? Is social media for everyone? In-the-trenches online media experience helps B Squared Media answer these questions for companies seeking to formulate successful social strategies. Using tactics developed in her yearlong honors thesis study, Brooke helps bright and innovative entities develop social strategies around content, community, conversation, collaboration, and conversion. Simply put: Think Conversation, Not Campaign.™ Click here to subscribe to my mailing list
Brooke Ballard

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