Digital managers, digital marketers, digital agencies... this one's for you.
Have you ever wondered why it is that all your lovingly thought through puns and wonderfully funny creatives do not get the traction you think they deserve? Have you felt like Facebook has been treating you like an evil step-mother from a '70s Hindi movie? Do you want to have 'viral' posts which make everyone sick of just looking at them?
Unlike agencies out there who promise virality like it's the free dhaniya with your veggies, all I can give is a totally doable and practical list of suggestions on how not to completely suck at social. The rest is for the internet to decide.
- Don't be a mother bear: You love your brand. Of course you do. But no one else does. Let's just all agree that like no one walks around in real life with hemorrhoid cream in their pockets, similarly, no one walks around in real life sharing brand posts by the brand, about the brand, of the brand. So don't get sad when your great topical creative fizzles out after an organic reach of 10 and a half people. That's what Facebook ads are for. Use them. Forcing people to love you is legal in this context.
- Tinder your creatives: This one is kind of a corollary of the love rule. If you don't right swipe immediately on your creative, don't expect your audience to. And remember, just like tinder is totally shallow and based on appearance, so is social media. Which means, don't try to layer creatives with meaning and brand purpose and multiple other good things because good people don't get dates, only hot people do. No matter what your best friend tells you.
- Value people's time: Ask yourself - would you take time out of your busy schedule to create a brand tagline entirely out of emojis, just for the 'fun' of it? People comment on videos of cute kids to shame the parents, they watch endless videos of food they will never cook, they share fake news about a secret society trying to take over the world, and they like being valued as human beings... not as engagement machines clanking away in direct proportion to the exclamation marks used in your post. Remember that and give something back.
- Take no for an answer: The wonderful world of analytics lets you see immediately what is making your consumers tingle and what is not, so extend your 'wokeness' to your campaign and respect A's decision to not work. Move to B immediately. In essence, test, and test again until you succeed.
- Know what you want: In an ideal world you would achieve every goal you ever set and be an engineer and a doctor simultaneously while being a great cook and an adarsh beta. But in the virtual world, you need to know that your goals have to be real. As real as your feelings for Virat Kohli. So plan for the budget you have and expect that budget to work like real world money, not like Narnian dollars.
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- Pick your trends: Don't make a Kiki challenge video with your team, or follow any other brainwave Dinesh from accounting has. Imagine if every brand made videos on every trending (and also stupid) social media craze out there - the world would turn to anarchy. You can be the last hope for mankind. Don't ruin it for a hundred views.
- Stop targeting 'millennials' - There are no more millennials. There are only 30 something people with shattered hopes and dreams and unlimited internet plans. There is no magical millennial TG which will make your brand suddenly as famous as glitter bombs or unicorn frappes. It's just normal people trying to find one cute cat video to make their day right. Build the cat video, and they will come.
(The author is Senior Manager, Digital Marketing, at Kellogg's India. Views expressed are personal).