In 2020, Social INK is on a mission to put the SOCIAL back into social media. Why? Because being social and building a community is the best way for businesses to grow, gather feedback, and build the best customer-centric organisation they can. 

Social Networks Before Social Media

We often forget that platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn used to be referred to as social networks. They were meant to bring people together, in a social way. You could catch up with old friends, make new friends, find long-lost relatives and, most importantly, connect with a bigger world. 

Over time, we’ve started referring to these platforms as social media. It soon became about consuming media, taking fun quizzes online (until the Cambridge Analytica scandal) and farming to our heart’s content, whilst spamming others to join us. Suddenly we started to forget the social network aspect. 

It was no longer about our network, meeting people, communicating with people. It turned into a place for ‘influencers’ to become famous (without necessarily doing anything impressive or of substance) and for businesses to promote endless deals and bargains. 

What Does “Put SOCIAL Back Into Social Media” Mean? 

It’s time for all of us, especially marketers, to take a trip down memory lane. To the days when organic reach and engagement was at an all-time high. We loved it back then. It was almost too easy for brands to gain traction with the right messaging. 

We used to help clients have conversations with their customers and audiences. Companies weren’t afraid of backlash or criticism and trolls. We simply invited and welcomed a brand’s followers into its community. And we did it with open arms. 

Fade back from the flashback. Social media has since become a billboard for companies to meaninglessly shout at us and simply keep trying to sell us something. People are using it like a bull horn instead of as it was intended. A SOCIAL NETWORK. 

Building that network of real people around your brand. Of customers, suppliers, supporters and even fans. They made up an incredible network that was full of possibility and optimism. 

How Can You Be More SOCIAL? 

Here’s a quick question for you. When was the last time you asked your audience about their opinion on your social channels instead of telling them your own? 

You’d be amazed at how many brands, big and small, forget that on channels such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you have a unique opportunity, to engage with and talk to, your prospective clients. 

15 years ago, this simply didn’t exist.

If you’re trying to figure out your perfect client demographic, or the problems your product/service is solving, and you’re not using this opportunity to ask people directly, you’re missing out! 

Don’t Be Afraid to Converse

Another bugbear is people failing to respond or reply to potential conversation starters. Far too many brands are missing a huge opportunity to “put the SOCIAL back into social media” by simply not replying to or engaging with people who comment. 

Some brands are afraid of fallout. Or worse still, they think one negative comment or conversation in public on these channels will outweigh any possible good that could come from it. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

If there is something negative written publicly, respond to it in the same way you would if it was a customer calling you to complain. By engaging in these situations, you’re showing that you care. That you’re engaged. And most importantly, that you’re listening. 

You’d be amazed the number of times a situation that starts negative can turn positive. 

Divide Opinions. It’s a Good Thing 

Another issue is trying to please everyone. It’s impossible. In fact, if you’re trying to do it in your marketing, or your business, or your own life, chances are you’re failing at it. And that’s because it’s not how it should be. 

From a marketing perspective, is it better to have 500 people who don’t really buy into you or your brand, follow you because they think, “maybe one day this will be useful”? Or would you rather 100 hardcore fans that, buy into you, your business, your brand and your mission and values, and think to themselves, “I can’t wait to share this with XXX”? 

By being so vanilla that you don’t offend anyone, you’re also missing out on the opportunity to connect with people that really share your opinion. 

Divide and conquer is appropriate in this context. Divide opinions. And then focus all your efforts on those that really buy into you. At the end of the day, they’re the ones that will probably become customers. Unlike the others. 

Putting the SOCIAL Back Into Social Media – The Presentation

Back in 2019, we were asked to give a talk to a group of startups, currently based at We Work Labs in London. We went along, and as our mission is focused entirely on community building and “putting the SOCIAL back into Social Media”, we decided to create a presentation that focused solely on this message. 

I love this presentation and have since delivered it a few times to groups of companies that are looking at how they can develop their business’ marketing goals. Now, I’m happy to say, I’ve recorded a version for our YouTube channel, that I can share with you here on this blog. 

If you enjoy the video, please like and subscribe to our Social INK – Digital Marketing YouTube Channel and you’ll get access to all our future videos and presentations too. 

I hope the presentation resonates for you. But let’s not leave it there. If you’d like to discuss how your business can start to put the SOCIAL back into social media, then I’d love to hear from you. 

You can book a suitable time by simply booking a free digital marketing consultation here

Chris Bruno
Chris Bruno

Chris, founder and CEO of Social INK, has devised and consulted on more digital marketing and social media marketing campaigns than you can shake a stick at. He’s also got a bit of a thing for online advertising and social media advertising.