Social Media is An Act of Celebration: Building on Sinek’s Why (+ Analytics Don’t Lie)

I’ve been asked to teach a one day social media promotions class in the SOU Business School so it’s a perfect time to do a series of blog posts on Promotions in Social Media. I moved from LA to my new town, leaving a social media teaching offer behind me, and it’s cool that I”m again in the University context. It’s a good place to be.

Whether a personal Facebook page or a brand’s Facebook page, whether a tweet or an instagram photo, I see every post on social media as an act of celebration. 

Celebrating what? Celebrating the person we’d like to be…our aspirational self.

What we post on social media says something about us. Our posts say, I want you to believe this about me.

I’m celebrating what I want you to believe about me.

Here’s a post of myself – highly curated – who says who I am. Here, I share a post that says who I am. Here, I RT a tweet because I am that. 

I am an awesome photographer with amazing friends. I am creative, sexy, and innovative. I am healthy, loving, and smart. I am forward thinking and the 99%. I have this information I’m going to share with you all because I’m that cool/ funny/ smart. I am, I am, I am. And I was here. Boom. 

Social media is in essence celebrating a performative self. It is a total construction. That’s why we’re all so addicted. It’s fantasy and reality rolled into one. And we have total control of the message.

As a marketer, this is part of defining who your demographic is.

Yes, what does your demographic believe?

And most importantly, who do they want to be?

Make a collage. Pull quotes. Make it real. Ask them questions on FB to be sure you are right. Assume nothing. Your community will ultimately tell you if you’re on. When your content resonates on social media, your community will like, comment, share, heart, RT, and reply. It’s call and response. The responsibiltiy is all yours to be true to your audience and your analytics do not lie.

Simon Sinek asks every marketer to start with why. 

The golden circle

Why: As a brand, what’s your purpose, what’s your cause, what’s your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning and why should anyone care? What do you believe?

“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The goal is not to sell to people who need what you have, the goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”

I put this in the context of celebration.

We celebrate the type of person who….

We celebrate ways of living that include…

We celebrate different aspects of ….

Let this drive your messaging and the content you create.

Let celebration to be the neon thread that moves through the How and the What that you do.

The 3 Key Stages of Social Media Strategy

lll mass social strategyTo be an effective social media manager, you’ve got to have your social media strategy in place. Listen, Love, and Leverage are the stages I’ve named and step through with all new clients. It’s a great way to introduce clients to the way I work, and step them through how I’ll be using social media to meet and exceed their unique goals.

Listen –  Be it on Facebook or Twitter, the first rule is to listen. Listen and identify what topics have currency with your community. Your social media manager has to have the ability to connect in to the feelings and wants of your brand’s particular demographic. For me, listening informs much of the messaging and other content I generate or find.

With twitter – click on the @connect tab to see who is tweeting you – i.e. – wanting to get on your radar. Also check the #discover tab to see what hashtags people are using to connect with your brand. Use Facebook Insights to help you dial into the demographic and most importantly, what has the highest virality. Use deeper and more targeted tools such as Klout, wefollow, commun.it, and the heavy hitters if your budget allows – such as Radian6. Identifying is about understanding who your community is.

Love – This engagement phase includes commenting and direct messaging on Facebook, and retweeting, favoriting, and replying other people’s posts. You must maintain some element of exclusivity. Who you decide to engage with has much to do with if they have the kind of influence you are seeking.You have to figure out who is worth your time to love. So true, so true.

Leverage – The goal of social media is to authentically connect with your community and at the same time expand your brand’s message. This is the time when you propose an ask to someone (most likely a high influencer) you have been “loving.” After your relationship/rapport is established, you’ll request a guest blog post, or ask this influencer to do a “shout out” on your behalf or support a marketing initiative your brand is launching. I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine is the subtext of much that goes on in social media.

Additionally:

Decisions – From success stories on fitness Moms who have lost weight by eating healthy protein bars, to stories about fierce feminist bloggers,  to generating buzz around a beta launch of an online learning application – if these posts or features are getting the most likes, shares, retweets, and comments on Facebook or Twitter, it’s a cue from your community for your social media manager and marketing team to find, create, and promote more content like this.  Analytics are are the roadmap for your content creation.

Details – You must map it out – your editorial calendar, your weekly messaging, your month’s themes, your promotions, and goals related to when influencers will be identified and leveraged – all the while knowing and being ok with the reality that social media is rooted in real-time, immediate call and response.

Demands – Strategy, verve, and spontaneity are all central to social media. What this means is that social media is fast and unpredictable. You have to establish in advance how to handle negative posts (do you delete them or leave them?), if posts will happen on the weekends, and what each brand’s standards are for how long is too long for a post to go unanswered, and how many posts should be made daily. I have found that this varies from brand and demographic.