- Author: Marissa Palin
What causes this disconnect? Cheryl Conner with Forbes says it's laziness. Staying connected is a lot of work. And it's ongoing. When using social media, you can't just set your marketing plan and budget at the beginning of the year and leave it be. You have to connect and interact with people on a daily basis.
But social media is where all the action is happening. By not participating, businesses are losing control of the content and they are eliminating themselves from the conversations. User-generated content is taking over, and marketers can't keep up with the wit and genius of the user. No one can make anything go viral, and no one can predict what will or what won't go viral.
So what's the answer? According to Conner, be social. Companies no longer control their own message--the user does. As communications professionals, we have to find a way to fit in to this new model. The more genuine we are, the more our clients will trust us. The more content we provide, the more of a valuable resource we will become. And the more personality we have, the more comfortable our clients will feel interacting with us. Consumers aren't looking to interact with businesses - they're looking to interact with humans. The more you can humanize your business online, the better off you are.
Take TSA for example. They've recently taken up social media to let people know what items are and are not allowed through airport security. After posting just 11 photos on Instagram, they had attracted more than 46,000 followers. The trick? They post their photos with grainy filters and witty commentary, taking on a James Bond-like persona. Online, they have a personality. They have humanized themselves. People want to connect with them, because they know they can interact with them. And they see a perfect blend of both value and entertainment in their posts. For TSA, it provides them with a perfect platform for getting their message out. And it allows them to control their own personality and persona, in a time when TSA is often seen as the bad guy.
So let's do it, marketers. Let's get social.