Brands, don’t let FOMO drive your social media strategy

09 Mar,2021

 

By Bhuvi Gupta

 

Bhuvi GuptaUnless you have been living under a rock the past month the words ‘Pawri ho rahi hai’ would definitely ring a bell. Chances are that you did not see the original video from Pakistani content creator, Dananeer Mobeen, (link: https://www.instagram.com/p/CK9JmaXBEtc/) but the maelstrom of content around the phrase would have made you curious enough to Google it or go back to the original post and figure it out. (If not, I congratulate you; you are definitely more evolved than the rest of us.)

 

Just like social media has created stars of people who are famous for being famous, content today trends for the sake of trending. The world of marketing and communications has changed in unimaginable ways post the digital revolution, but the real challenge is that the medium’s pace of evolution – by the time marketers learn about a particular digital best practice and start to apply it, it or facets of it are no longer relevant.

 

So what do marketers do and what should they not do?

 

Don’t become a victim of social media FOMO

There was a time in the early 2010s, when Facebook advertising was still very new and the platform gave brands high organic reach. Hence, posting quality content regularly and often a few times a day helped brands build big communities and generate high awareness and drive sales.

 

Those days are long gone but best practices of those times, which are bad practices today, still remain.

 

The content calendar dilemma

Google ‘number of posts brands should post per week on social media’ and you will get millions of responses, most of which is bad advice because it is dated. Unless you are a Fortune 500 company investing precious financial and human resources in ensuring that your brand posts content relevant to every single festival, special days (a construct of the greeting cards industry) and remain on your toes to play fastest finger first on any ‘trend’ is a waste of time.

 

Brands have a positioning and clearly identified target audience – all trends, all festivals, all ‘days’ need not be celebrated. Case in point all brands made ‘Pawri ho rahi hai’ content, but even if it got engagement unless it helps strengthen your community, what’s the point?

 

Trends often get created today because platforms are designed to make people scroll infinitely. As a result, content often trends not because of its quality but because of FOMO displayed by all and sundry on the platform to be seen as relevant. Thereby creating a vicious circle of creating content around a ‘trend’, which helps it ‘trend’ even more.

 

Platforms today, unlike in the days of (their) yore, are limiting reach and engagement for organic content on basis of unknown defined parameters. Hence, even when posting trending content it gets little reach unless boosted.  Hence, forced content creation to reach an irrelevant target audience gets a brand no benefit and it must stop.

WHICH PLATFORM WORKS FOR WHICH TARGET AUDIENCE?
Platform Target Audience
Facebook Millenials, Gen Y
Instagram Gen Z, Millenials
YouTube All users
Twitter News enthusiasts
LinkedIn Professionals
Pinterest Women, Craft enthusiasts, Fashion enthusiasts

 

The platform dilemma

Brands do not need to be on all social media platforms. Every mainstream social media platform has a specific niche audience. To enable presence across all platforms, most brands end up reposting the same content on all platforms. While this can work for some posts, it defeats the very objective of being on different platforms.

Ideally, brands should look at their website’s Google Analytics to assess where their traffic comes from and/or alternatively which platform gets the maximum engagement to identify priority platforms. Once identified, they must devise a social media strategy specific to the platform. The strategy should include three key parts – the content, regularly analyzing metrics to revise strategy as and when needed, and responsiveness on comments on posts.

Social media bears dividends when a brand creates a well-engaged, loyal community. Hence, brands should utilise their limited financial and human resources to build an engaged community that can yield dividends rather than spreading themselves thin across all platforms without achieving anything.

 

When used strategically with proper planning and thought, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be used to pinpoint-target very specific audiences at scale. They can be used to distribute valuable content that resonates with those audiences to create awareness, improve brand perception, and generate a predisposition to purchase and to encourage loyalty.

 

As per the ‘Digital in India’ report by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), as of November 2019, there were 504 million active Internet users with 10% more rural users than those in urban areas. As hitherto unconnected users access the interwebs the most effective way of reaching them would be the Internet. It is a goose that can lay golden eggs, but brands can benefit only if they don’t get greedy by being everywhere!

 

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