Are Brands Killing Social Media?


I think to be great in anything you need to stay ahead of the competition, know what is trending before it becomes common-place and be creative in your thought process. In my position as an industry advocate and analyst I hear and see a lot of things, most of it is just pontification by middle-aged white executives espousing the same shit they have for 30 years with a new coat of paint on it. Barf!

But sometimes, when the stars align I hear something that I think to myself, now that is a really dope idea! I read an article in Forbes by a great contributor Blake Morgan on Brands trying too hard on social media. I couldn’t agree more. Brands are usually directed by outside agencies and I think far too many of them don’t really understand how to build a community on social media. I will get angry emails and text from friends at agencies after they read this and I truly am empathetic but the truth is, digital specialists have done everything but build a huge community. FACT! Are there exceptions to this rule? Always.

I did a search this weekend on Google and found that most of the agencies that came up on my search for: digital strategy social media had less than 5,000 followers on most of their social media assets. So, by the process of elimination, if your brand wants 5,000 or less followers to interact with your expensive content, do what I did and flush your brand’s budget down the toilet! Whoooosh!!!!!!

Brands have to wake up! To build a community, you first need something meaningful to say. HINT:  That doesn’t mean a tagline from your campaign. I have spoken with enough social media stars to know one covenant that is always true for each of them, social media is a PEOPLE TO PEOPLE medium. Let me repeat that for those of you stuck in neutral, social media is engaging people with content that speaks to them. When brands shove content down people’s throats, only bad things happen. Consumers like to do just that, consume which means in a well thought out, bit by bit manor. Do it right and they will join your channel of choice, consumer more content and then here is the money shot, use their social media platforms to share the content they liked with their community.

So as you are scheduling your next development meeting to discuss what type of content you are creating and how you will disseminate it to your consumer, remember what a wise man once told you, content is shared in a community person to person so don’t try and strong arm them with your brand bravado!