THE CONTENT BALANCE
What Do Brands Want from Social Media?
As you may recall, last month we talked about what consumers want from social media, and what brands can do to make themselves welcome in the feed. (If you don’t recall, that’s totally cool. You can jog your memory here.) In a word, consumers want content.
Today, we’re going to talk about the other part of the balancing act: what brands want from an active social presence.
Marketing professionals might be shouting “Link clicks!” Or possibly “More reactions to our campaign!” Maybe “We need followers!” Owners, managers, and executives, on the other hand, are likely saying “ROI!” or “More leads for sales!”
And depending on your overall goals, any of those could be what you’re looking for. But there’s a larger, unifying theme to these specific metrics: they all need an engaged audience. Every exasperated teacher and parent of teenagers knows you can’t make people pay attention to you if they’re determined to ignore you, but as we continue to clutter up social media feeds with irrelevant ads, our audience becomes more and more determined to ignore those ads.
Does that mean we should stop advertising on social media? No.
Does that mean we should stop trying to get our ads in front of every last person with a Facebook account? Yes, yes it does.
Social media advertising has mass media capabilities, but we don’t recommend treating it as a mass medium. The social media giants of today were built as intimate, person-to-person platforms, so using them to distribute one-size-fits-all ads rarely goes well. Luckily enough, social media platforms have developed sophisticated methods to help you put your ads in front of exactly who you want—in some cases, they’ll even help you figure out who those people are. And when you narrow down that audience to talk to people who already think and care about the things your business does, those people are much more likely to engage and take action.
The social media giants of today were built as intimate, person-to-person platforms, so using them to distribute one-size-fits-all ads rarely goes well.
You probably have a good idea of who your ideal audience is, but you may not know exactly where to find them. Social media platforms with their eye on increasing advertising revenue (i.e. all of them) will do their best to convince you that their service is the best match for your business, so it’s a good idea to dig through some less partisan data to see where the people you want to reach actually spend their time.
Then it’s just a matter of putting it together. Ideal audience + high-quality content = better social media for both parties.