Millions spent on social media but what is the effect on the bottom line?
By Natasja Beyleveld, Managing Director of NaMedia.
What makes us go to social media except for accidental narcissism? Companies are spending so much time on creating relatively cool content, but how is the success of it monitored and integrated into bottom line reporting?
We start with the start. We target, we schedule, we post for consistent awareness and hopefully engagement. When posts are shared or commented on, we notice. But part of story telling is talking about other people too, right? The part where partners, collaborators, influencers, or those we admire are included in our posts to encourage their engagement with our content. You can have a ginormous following (like Trump), but do people care about what you say?
Companies may push 20 to 40 different posts per social media channel a month (or more, or less), but which ones are the one’s that nailed it?
If it’s not viral, cute, curious, magical, nearly impossible, freaky or popular (which in turn makes us curious or more inclined to view material), why on earth do people engage. From a point of adoration (Aqua man) or frustration (Trump). From my experience across industries, the Namibian market loves competitions (win free stuff), food and recipes (support local produce), locally made and niche (chocolates, leather, beer, products), and heart-warming sponsorships (housing, education, healthcare) – just to name a few.
OR, we frequently see social media as the only way for already frustrated customers to voice their opinions. Unrelated comments on a ‘magical post’, because the reputation of the service or this product is being questioned from a customer experience point of view. We all like ‘new’ or ‘upgraded’ things. The point is, social media posts that perform well, do too. If corporate speak from ten years ago is dead, how do we revisit the way we engage, not to please, but to connect.
You want to sell a product, but you can’t sell products if the customer does not ‘feel you’ (unless you’re a brötchen or vetkoek and you sell for N$2 a pop). Across industries, a large percentage of editorial, advertorial, and social media posts relate to giving back. Either you’re giving some or you ask your customer to give you some (ideas, feedback, opinions, likes, shares), because in the story there is more than one character, and more than one influencer (or detractor for that matter).
In the story you measure which engagements most influenced the character’s becoming. The character is not perfect, makes mistakes, matures – but is always becoming (not entitled). The character helps a sister, lends someone money, assists a student, motivates an entrepreneur, gives someone a lift, makes the engagement ring, gathers the honey, connects someone online, gives someone a meal – it’s the becoming of brand authenticity that likens an understanding of being active on social media platforms.