Many brands bring an advertising campaign mindset to social media. A campaign has a start date and an end date. One campaign ends to make way for another.
Yet success at social media requires sustained involvement. Social media doesn’t start and end with a “Like”. It grows over time. There can be individual campaigns as part of a social media platform, yet the baseline must be strong and continuous.
Treating social media as a campaign is as ridiculous as treating a call center as a campaign. When done well, social media is an indelibly linked part of the brand experience. Instead of “campaign”, try substituting the word “commitment”. Instead of planning a social media campaign, make a social media commitment.
In my marketing experience, I’ve rarely seen one campaign endure longer than a year or 18 months. Often, a new campaign is introduced with the arrival of a new brand team, a new agency, or a new planning year. Yet, it’s the same consumer and the same brand. In social media, invest in the long haul.
One of the things I’ve liked about my various Marketoonist projects is the long-term continuity. With one client, we’ve published a cartoon a week, every week, for the last 2.5 years. The strength of the connection grows over time.
Aside from a campaign mindset, many brands fail to consider the actual role of brand communication in their consumers’ lives. Andrew Blakeley conducted an interesting “Find us on Facebook” experiment recently after hearing his boss say: “This morning my yoghurt told me to find it on Facebook. It didn’t tell me why, it just told me to find it. Why on Earth would I want to find a yoghurt on Facebook? It’s a yoghurt!”
Andrew vowed to become a “Social Consumer” for one week and to “Like” every brand that asked him.
“My week as a social consumer left me tired and confused. It left my Facebook newsfeed crammed with nonsense, to the point that I could scroll entire pages without seeing my friends. It left me feeling a bit sad for the digital marketers and agencies who were building great content that wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. If you’re reading this and you work in advertising, or you’re a marketer working for a brand – next time you think about telling your consumers to find you on Facebook, consider telling them why.”
Before crafting a social media plan, first become a “social consumer” yourself. What would you personally welcome in your newsfeed? The experiment will shape what you create.