MYF is part of a few groups on social media that inheritly talks about all things marketing and more specifically social media. One inparituclar that we have been part of for awhile now is based out of Bristol, UK and probably has some of the most reliable and switch on members we’ve found yet.
Recently, an incredibly interesting discussion appeared on this group that no one is talking about – but should be.
James Ainsworth commented “There seems to be more and more local/indie (predominantly foodie) places doing Facebook (organic only...) posts and they all seem to be posting stuff for the sake of posting. 'Tag a mate just [because] *tangential burger/cocktail/ice cream flavour reference here* OR "Have you seen how wet it is outside? Well, *beer/gin/pizza reference here*”. “Where is the sharing of the craft and passion that goes into their output or the imparting of brand narrative - the back story, the people behind the business; the reason why local is better than national?”
This sparked some discussion both on the post an here at MYF. Why are smaller brands subjecting themselves to the idea of content, content, content and not focusing on why they’re producing this content? Here’s our breakdown.
Just Google It
Google has become a verb in the dictionary, that’s an achievement. It’s referred to by Doctors as ‘Doctor Google, the place for all the wrong answers’. It also happens to be the place most small businesses will go to research on “how to get more sales / how to get more likes / how to get more followers”. The results of these searches are typically blurred instructions around creating valuable, tangible and consistent content. Which is true, but do you know how to do any of that?
The issue with James’ comments is that the real reason the brands do it is because it’s easy, so easy. Go on your current facebook friends list and have a look at how many of those people run one of their own pages around art, baby clothes, environment or how much they hate the government. Anyone can create a social channel these days, it doesn’t mean they should!
“Are they paying 'social media professionals' for this advice and output or just giving it a go off their own volition? If the latter, how can we help them do things better? If the former, do things better for them” James went on to ask.
There doesn’t seem to be any correct answer for this. If they’ve hired a social media professional who believes this sort of content is correct, then that comes down to their poor choice of market research. As marketing professionals, we should be supplying this audience with credible ways to pick external support.
The other issue is yes, they’re giving it a punt themselves because there is currently 166 million responses when you type in “how to get more likes on facebook”. They’ve found a really popular, colourful blog that says you should be doing three posts a day, one major article or blog a week and interviewing Richard Branson every quarter. Yeah, that will be great and help your views if it’s structured, stratogised and actually follows your brand.
If you’re going to post an image of the rain, dark skies and miserable people walking to work from within your coffee shop, then you should be doing that weekly or monthly. Make it a theme to your followers so they recognise it and react to it. For example, if week one is covering the rain and how warm your café is, then week two should be about how it’s sunny again “but we’ve got some nice cool smoothies for you to try in here”.
Telling a viewer to tag a mate in your pic is a really obvious cry for help, even my 70 year old Nan is starting to get that. You tag your mate in a post when you want to take the p*ss out of them or want them to know about an event you both should attend, not that it’s raining outside – they don’t care.
Don’t get us wrong, those tacky posts can work you know, but they must be smart. On #NationalHotDog day, Mailchimp released this post…
Which is an act of pure simplistic, genius.
Is The Content Good Quality?
We went on to talk about how quality control for these posts. “What of the quality control in imagery - why use stock when you create your own visuals with your product every day or your location? The clever incentives that tap into loyalty; the emotive rather than the rational messaging that indie can do better than any other, any day of the week, even if it is wet outside”, James goes on to say.
So true James, so true. If you’re lucky enough to know where to look for stock images and how to photoshop them, then you’re probably going to fall into the trap of using them. If you are one of these quirky brands who has a human element, stop, stop, stop using stock images!
A new smart phone now comes with 4k filming resolution followed by pictures that are arguably better than a DSLR. To top that, you can now purchase accessories that turn your quick vine video into something Christopher Nolan would be impressed with! (It’s called a DJI Osmo).
Your social media should be jam packed of your products, your staff and your location. But you can also get creative with that.
Rational messaging via your social media is a way of posting something that gets zero likes. Which does two things; 1) it tells your audience no one else cares so why should you 2) it tells your competitors that they don’t need to worry.
You don’t need to have a degree in marketing or write a content schedule for Oprah to be able to have a theme and a plan. Ways to think of this is easy:
- What do we sell and how can we make it look? (Get inspired by Pinterest!)
- Do we need to be professional or informal/quirky?
- Do we want people to interact online or buy from us?
- Can anyone at my business help with the content/pictures?
We take hundreds of photos for our clients and keep them in one central hub like Trello. Here we can see them for another time and make sure we’ve got heaps of content.
See, think, react, post.
“My friend has a food business and does this. Because she has seen other businesses doing it. Because she has little understanding of how SM works beyond what the millennials who work for her tell her. She can't afford to pay for SM advice” Gemma on our group chat commented.
Shonette, the group main admin replied “I think it's a case of copying what they see other brands doing, without realising that some decent phone pics and some inside info on their brand, menu and ethics would do far better. Always surprises me how few places list their latest menu/pics of the interior/pics of dishes on their social accounts. I guess it's also due to a lack of time, but just a couple of posts each week would make the difference.
Spot on girls. You don’t need to sit down for hours upon hours to work out a strategy (you should have one anyway), but honestly, even the biggest brands simply catch it in the moment and post it right there and then.
But you should be asking yourself why you’re not doing that right now? Being in the moment with your social media doesn’t mean “OK, it’s raining, we have a roof, tag a friend”. It should be it’s raining, how does this relate to what we’ve done in the past, can we relate to our customers down to their current level without making it seem desperate.
Let’s lead by example people, tagging fifteen of your mates in a post doesn’t apply any human element. It applies that you were too lazy to add to the content and will allow them to figure it out. Let’s start adding beautiful, interesting and relevant posts…for the love of the internet, before it’s too late!