I was just watching a Hellman’s commercial. Yes, mayo…one of my favorite condiments actually.
Their marketing made a big deal about their mayo being made with cage-free eggs.
Which is great, right?
How else would we want our thick, creamy mayo made, but with eggs from happy and healthy chickens?!
But it got me thinking.
Our society often takes a natural process, automates it to make it faster and cheaper, then everyone find out, complains and wishes things were back the way they were before…even if they have to pay a little more for it.
The same goes for:
- Fresh Fruit and Vegetables: Many people now prefer local grown over mass produced items transported long distances. Not only does local grown produce often have more nutritional value, it’s fresher and supports the local economy.
- Products from Sustainable Resources: Once we loved cheap, mass produced wood furniture, until we discovered that stripping land of the natural vegetation caused mud slides and destroyed villages. Now we prefer furniture, and other items, made from sustainable sources.
- Fresh Fish: What about wild caught salmon vs. farm raised?
- Or outsourcing jobs to India and China vs. Made in the USA?
A similar thing has happened in social media.
At the beginning, brands saw social media as another platform they could maximize for marketing and advertising, and as a way to sell more stuff.
Then they realized how much time, knowledge and energy it took to actually do it right.
So hundreds of software applications were created around social media to facilitate automation, with the idea being you could market 24/7 without even being there.
But then things went to the other extreme. The audience felt it was fake. It lacked that personal touch.
Where were the people behind the brand?
It’s easy to create poor automated content without thought, when you won’t be there online to see the fall out live in person.
Even Facebook figured it out.
If your Facebook Page posts weren’t interesting or receiving interaction, then Facebook just stopped bothering showing your posts to your fans. They even started to penalize posts from some of the popular automation software.
Their message was clear: show up, participate in the community, share and engage with your community in a way that they find valuable…or else pay to play.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-automation at all. It definitely has a useful place, and can help drive sales, as well as reduce marketing costs.
Smart people use automation to free up time for real engagement.
People long to be part of a like-minded community, to interact with the thought leader who started the group, as well as the members. They want to engage and support each other in ways that are lacking through many social media channels.
So consider finding a community you can join and contribute too, or create your own group based around your industry or passion.
(FYI – if you’re not passionate about your industry, don’t bother creating a group around your area of expertise…).
Let’s take back control and make social media a “cage-free” zone:
- Minimize your social media automation
- Get out there consistently and interact with people
- Stop selling – start educating and entertaining your audience
- Provide real value that your community will benefit from and thank you for
- Engage and start real conversations online
If you’re new to social media, well, you know you need to get started…but you haven’t got around to it yet, then heed this advice and start out on the right foot. Don’t launch into a social media posting frenzy without a plan, thinking you can automate all the posts and never actually go online regularly.
Just don’t have time for all this marketing stuff?
I believe in the personal touch but that doesn’t have to mean it’s you doing all the work. Designate a trained team member (not an intern – find out why) to focus on your marketing and be the person behind your brand or outsource it to a qualified person or team and work with them on a marketing plan than works for your needs.
About the Author:
Rachel Haviland, Ph.D. is a marketing consultant and founder of Digital Media Tecs, Inc. Dr. Haviland blends 19 years in scientific research with cutting-edge marketing techniques to bring a unique perspective to medical marketing. An experienced writer, trainer and speaker with an entrepreneurial mindset, she combines innovative marketing solutions with extensive healthcare knowledge to create campaigns that produce results. Dr. Haviland is passionate about helping medical professionals educate, inform and share their expertise to improve the health and quality of their patient’s lives.
To learn more visit DigitalMediaTecs.com