Wednesday, March 7, 2012

60% of Americans do not want to interact with brands on social media.

According to the Digital Life survey from TNS released in November last year, 6 in 10 Americans do not want to interact with brands on Social Media. [1]

Houston, we’ve got a problem.

With so many brands jumping into the social bandwagon in recent years, I’m sure that this isn’t good news. Before jumping to any conclusions, let’s first examine the main reasons why people use social media:

1. Keep up with what friends are doing – 70% of all actions on social media are related to viewing pictures or viewing other people’s profiles[2].

2. Connect with people – social networks help us to reconnect with old friends as well as meet and interact with new people whom we would otherwise have little chances of interacting with.

3. Extend their personalities online – social media transforms us all into mini celebrities with our own space to publicize our opinions, interests and even daily activities to people in our network. Additionally, social media is also a channel for people to create an ideal image for themselves through photos (that picture of you in partying it up in Vegas…again), declared interests (I really like this indie band that you know nothing about) and network connections (I swear I have 1000 friends). [3]

4. Stay updated with the latest trends – social media helps us stay in tune with the latest trends through news, videos, and websites that our friends are sharing online.

5. Publicize professional work – for more savvy users with professional interests in mind, social media is an easy and accessible platform for them to publicize their work.

Notice the common trend across the above reasons?

The biggest reason why many brands fail in their social media efforts is this: they fail to realize that users are selfish on social media.

Users go on social media to fulfill their own agenda. Practically, this means that users are only going to Like, share or post content that would benefit them, such as content that would improve their profile image, or content that would help them to fuel better conversations with friends.

This means that Marketers need to stop approaching social media the same way their approach traditional advertising, and rethink their whole approach to Social Media Marketing.

Instead of asking “how can I try to get people to like my page?” or even “how can I get people to share about this new promotion I have?”, marketers should be asking themselves “is this share-worthy?”, “will this spark conversations?” and most importantly, “is this content something that users would be proud to associate themselves with?” before posting content to their page.




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