The Time Consuming Truth About Organic Social Brand Content
Social media is a serious channel for your brand, but it doesn’t have to be such a stressful one.
For many marketing folks, organic social posts are the bane of their job. Company leaders want to see activity, lots of it, and it better be good…but customers don’t seem to care that much, and it’s hard to get follows and likes. The algorithms keep changing, and those who do follow the brand often don’t even see the posts. It’s even harder to get activity that legitimately impacts sales. Does it matter if someone from Illinois likes your post if you only operate in California and Idaho? Or if tons of apartment dwellers follow you, but you sell lawn mowers? For B2B businesses it can be even harder. You’re told you “need” followers and to produce lots of content, but why? It isn’t driving sales. Plus, it’s wildly time consuming, no one internally has bandwidth for it, and it can be expensive to outsource. Especially if you’re posting varied content, on multiple channels, several times a week, or even daily. The truth is, social sounds easy, and to many businesses it’s imperative, but in reality, it’s hard to find the right formula.
Nearly five billion people are using social media, a massive number that gets bigger every year. With access to that many people, why are some brands only getting 10 likes on a video post they spent several hours and a decent budget on? The truth is, the social merry go round can be fun for brands with deep pockets that sell to consumers, but not-so-simple for small brands, those that market sensitive or less engaging products (like wealth management or health insurance), or for companies looking to connect to other businesses. When we compare B2B brands, or even consumer brands with less cultural panache, to global consumer brands with strong loyalty and recognition, we set impossible expectations. Not every company will get brand advocates to consistently like and share content from social media. Sure, sometimes it works…humor can be used, and there are clever ways to make content that’s more engaging, but…if you’re selling professional accounting services, let’s acknowledge you’ll not likely get the same consumer love on social media that Nike gets, and…that this is actually OK. An accounting firm probably doesn’t need to create content that goes viral with teenagers. It doesn’t make sense to put time toward a goal that’s not helpful to the overall mission.
For brands that need an alternative approach to social media, what are options to stay relevant, keep a strong social presence, and not be in the constant burn of content churn? First, don’t chase what you don’t need. You might not need a presence on Pinterest, or to post on TikTok every day. And just because “everyone” else is doing it, doesn’t mean that’s the right use of your resources. If you sell breakfast, by all means make a National Pancake Day post, but if you sell sprinkler systems, don’t scramble for that dubious pancake connection. Forced content can feel inauthentic to audiences. Consider this, write an annual social media plan (or hire help), and create the bulk of your branded social content as one efficient, consolidated project. That way, the core content library for the year is handled, and you still have room to fill in where it makes sense with new ideas, relevant current event focused posts, and company news. You can also concept key social campaigns in conjunction with corresponding advertising campaigns (if applicable), and slate those in throughout the year. Ideas to fill in between campaign windows are; tips for your audience, limited time offers, appealing product or service shots, and also some lighthearted brand expression. Social media is a serious channel for your brand, but it doesn’t have to be such a stressful one. And, if you’d like help, reach out. A social plan is just a DM away.
This article was originally published in ColoradoBiz.