Have You Heard The News? People Are Retreating from Social Platforms.
We live in a highly digital world - we are all plugged into our cell phones, we have digital billboards surrounding us, and constant stimuli. In a world of pixels and wifi - people are left looking for real, tangible connections. Yesterday on CBC Radio an interesting conversation piqued my curiosity. As the political climate of the world presents people with negativity - humankind tends to back off of social media, and more and more people are checking out completely.
As I work in marketing and consulting - this got me thinking:
"What if social media really died? Would I still be in business? What would it mean for my clients?"
While I don't foresee substantial evidence to suggest social platforms will ever be obsolete, they will change. Traditional marketing strategies have preyed upon people's weaknesses, pressing pain points and making people strive for a life they want resulting in consumerist mindset and constant striving. While profitable, it leaves consumers wanting. An authentic marketing strategy would look further - to motivate clients to actually improve their lives. As society changes and evolves, we can be proactive in marketing by finding out how to motivate our customers instead of how to manipulate them.
Challenges To The Health of Social Media
Mental Health and Well-Being
Excessive Facebook use has been linked to depression and lower overall decrease in satisfaction. This is something traditional marketers have preyed on. There is a lot in it for businesses to create a commercial need for consumerism online. We compare ourselves to others online - and that can lead to feelings of inadequacy and a compulsiveness to check feeds without the satisfaction of reward.
Instead of preying on people's need to fill a void, be helpful. Provide ideas, solutions, and inspiration. The tone of your posts will be refreshing. With so much negativity online - you can Be The Change You Wish to See in the [Network]." - Gandhish
Imposter Syndrome is a real problem facing many social media users. According to Caltech, "Imposter syndrome can be defined as a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of intellectual fraudulence." In addition to promoting comparison, social media can leave people feeling inadequate and phoney.
Reassure your customers. We all strive to feel we are enough, that truth lies within. Do you believe in the people with whom you work? Send out positive messages and you will attract the people you're looking for.
With terrorist attacks and elections, we are predisposed to racist and political opinions of the people in our sphere of social influence - whether we want to be or not. Videos auto-play and images are shared without a second thought. This can be infuriating and cause irritation between even family and close friends.
Stay out of the political debates unless you can be helpful in some way. Is there a disaster that requires posting well wishes or organizing a fundraiser - go for it. However, as a rule of thumb, if something has to do with an election or an angry rant - keep it off of your business page.
An Authentic Approach to Social Media Marketing
Taking an authentic approach to social media basically means caring about who you are in business for, what is going on in their lives, that they are people, and how to communicate with them. In addition, it has to do with the reason you got into business - your vision and mission. When those ideas align your social media will make a deep impact on members attending the social sites - and if they retreat you will still have a relevant strategy to reach them - whether the internet explodes and crashes - or not.
Remember that marketing is about reaching people.
If you want to reach more people with your marketing, make sure you understand who you are talking to.