Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Social Media Dilemma

Digital is a big thing now. Every business is looking at Digital, because their customers are there. It's become a touch point you cannot ignore. But i always end up thinking some brands just over do it, especially when it comes to social media. 
In my opinion, there are two primary reasons for why you, as a business may choose to go the social media route (unless you are promoting films or events, for whom promotions are essential, given their short lived digital presence)

1. You are a brick and mortar player wanting to share news and updates about your business, assets, workplace, employee culture, work culture, etc. You do this so that when the customer is looking for you, he can find you all decked up and follow you - Brand Awareness is the objective here
2. You are an e-commerce player and social media is your playground. This is one of your digital ways to get business. Lead Generation is the objective here

It's good to know which one's your category. There could also be an overlap sometimes. What's common to both of them is that they have a clear objective. When you don't have a clear objective, Social Media gets overdone. We always end up counting the number of likes, shares, followers and what not, because getting those numbers to spike  makes us look good right? No! Making sure you have a relevant and efficient touch point built for your customer is the agenda. Think about it. Recently, i got asked by a friend to suggest a few social media campaign ideas for a Milk brand. It was fun doing it. But, when was the last time you heard someone buy milk because the brand had a fun campaign on their Facebook page? That's exactly what i am talking about. 

I opine that Category 1 (the Brand Awareness guys) should be more honest and simple in their digital content. Keep letting people know about you and hear them out too. 
Focus should be on your business. If what you do is good, people will like you and talk about you. Yes, you become newsworthy. I am not judging, but who got us into believing that you should keep posting updates and running campaigns just for the sake of it? Is it because a lot of others are doing it? We know of organizations that do not even have official social media pages and we still see people talking about them. So, i am just asking you. Why are we over doing it? 

In Category 2 (the Lead Generation guys) digital should focus on showing how different their product/service is. The difference could be big or small, local or global in nature. But, there is always someone looking for it. That's why your business started in the first place right? So, base all your updates, campaigns and contests around this simple truth. Also, give customers enough opportunities to tell you what they think about you. Positive Testimonials will grab more business and negatives will help you improve.

You either do 1 or 2. Instead, if  you try to throw carrots at people through random contests, remember they are there only for your carrots and will leave soon. Social Media is a great touch point. However, it's just one of the touch points. Invest only as much as you can handle. Let me know what you think about this post. Have a happy new year ahead :)


  1. Harika, yet another insightful read.

    I call it insightful over interesting for a reason that i believe insight is something that's always in front of you but it takes people like you to bring this out.

    There is nothing in the blog which I did not know, but the fact that i still was missing this point as a top recall says it all.

    Great going girl.

    Happy and insightful 2015.

  2. Thank you Saloni for your feedback. My intention here was that businesses these days are taking Social Media way too seriously, so much so that they see posting something as much bigger than their very objective. There's no doubt that Social Media is a fantastic channel, but it needs to go with your objective.
    A happy new year to you too!

  3. It's great post! Thanks for sharing!