Social Media Is Social, Whatever The Weather!
When a business owner asks his online marketing creatives, “Are we being social now?”, it tends to sound like , “Are we having fun, now?”. There’s a sense that any minute, there will be a demand to know the number of retweets, likes, and how much extra follower traffic, site traffic, enquiries and leads were generated…
If response has been low then the call may go out to “start pushing” as if social media channels can be worked like promo advertising and marketing strategies. Worse still, when words like ‘beef it up a bit’ start to get used, there may be a temptation to get more automated about the social process.
If a company has been involved in greyhat to blackhat SEO practices – buying of multiple links, content and reviews – then a similar mindset may be turned towards search and social. If something is seen to work, then the obvious tendency is to do more of the same – a lot more of the same!
The issue is when eCommerce treats social as simply another mass marketing channel and starts driving hard to compensate when quarterly figures are down or monthly traffic slow. Social is social – human interest, engagement and sharing exists in its own space and time. A spike of interest or a perceived pattern of interaction with specific social messages and content does not automatically mean “start cranking it out”.
Nothing is more likely to put off audience followers than an obvious ‘push’ with repeated, almost identical content. It may even be viewed as spam – by both humans and algorithms.
Businesses must not lose sight of what social is for and why, ultimately, it cannot be subverted and exploited for other purposes. Of course, blackhat SEO will always try to manipulate and pollute any medium for short term gain. However, the recent Panda/Penguin updates are fair warning given by Google that they are chasing spammers down faster and harder than ever.
To do social, you have to be social and stimulate real interest by showing you are genuinely interested in being social. A speaking human, not a marketing machine. Social is organic and response is a sensitive lightning conductor. If your content connects, electricity flows. But the conditions have to be right and long range forecasts are changeable – social media is social, whatever the weather!