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The Social Media that YOU Like

There are two types of people in this world:

  1. Those who consume mindlessly, like sharks,
  2. Those who consume mindfully, and become connoisseurs.

social-media-2Connoisseurs are fueled by curiosity, passion, respect, and challenge.  They taste, consider, analyze, discuss, create, recreate, and grow.  They love, and they share that love, and often display the benefits of that love within other areas of life. To me, that’s the kind of passion professionals should have.  Sure, you have a “job,” but do you have a career?  Are you inspired and continually collect knowledge and explore your industry?  You see, that’s where the magic is at — when a job is less “work” and more “adventure.”

There are a lot of social media managers, experts, gurus, etc (just search Twitter for proof).  Why? Because in today’s digital atmosphere, you must have a public, accessible, social presence.  Here are some things to always keep in mind:

  • Social media is a blending of three disciplines: customer service, community management, and marketing.
  • Social media channels are often treated as suggestion boxes, complaint cliques, help desks, advertising opportunities, newsletter blurbs, and social interaction threads.
  • Social media channels have the opportunity of becoming reliable resources (or debunkers), interesting content sharing rings, expert discussion opportunities, fan supporters, superfan encouragers, and (much like what The Most Interesting Man in the World did for Dos Equis in commercials, or the Old Spice guy with his youtube response videos) an endearing representative of a brand for your audience to enjoy.

In the end, that’s what it comes down to isn’t it?  Representative of your band for your audience to enjoy (enjoy: finding answers, reading updates, participating in conversation with, glancing at… the particulars can be endless).

Often I see younger social media experts get caught up in the routine, and sometimes that routine can drum out the creativity or the opportunity for enjoyment and brand expression.  If you, as a social media manager, did not enjoy writing the content you’re about to share, why would we, the audience, particularly enjoy reading it?  Brownies made with love always taste better than those manufactured, right?

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We talk about tone of voice a lot within our Metaverse social media team, and how important it is to provide a sense of personality (within the realms of the client’s desires) so the audience has a feeling of comfort and trust that there is indeed a human being on the other side of the tech-wall, and not a PR bot, or an intern copy/pasting ad language.

Metaverse Mod Squad prides itself on being the digital early adapters and [tech, game, app, safety, service, quality] super fans who re-engineer our passion into professions FOR our industry.  It’s important to us, and for us, to be the connoisseurs I was referencing earlier.  When you’re busy, or when life throws you curve balls, or even if you hit a wall — it’s not always easy, and it happens to the best of us.  Peer conversations and discussion, analyzing and engaging, remembering what YOU like, and why you like it, and how can you learn from that? <–These actions are so important to keep growth and quality, as well as honesty for your client, your brand, and your community.

imagesI was writing a blog post the other day for Ning about the theory that community is like throwing a party. The first question you have to ask yourself is: Why are you (or why is your company) throwing a party?  Followed closely by: Why would people care to come?  Brands cannot always assume that their name ALONE will bring in the audience (you’d be surprised how many people think a popular name will drive numbers and do the community-building for them).  Sure, a popular brand may give a lot of page views, but will people stay or engage or follow or like or share?  Community suffers without proper engagement,.

You have to think about at least 3 elements (minimum) that any individual fan (or audience member) may enjoy or need from your brand; for example, a moment of nostalgia, fun themes, creative outlets, acknowledgement, support, activity to cure boredom, etc.  From that list you have your “cheats” — an array of particular commonalities and desires from your community. Content is so important.

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 12.57.29 PMEvery time Reading Rainbow posts about dreaming and imagination, or kids exploring the adventures in books? Yeah, my heart melts.  LeVar Burton’s face alone makes me “Like” (I mean, seriously, he’s LeVar).  When Discovery Kids posts a picture of a rather sharp-toothed nightmare in support of Discovery’s Shark Week, and asks, “Isn’t he adorable?” My response is to a) feel a moment of horror, b) chuckle at myself & the capture, and c) comment, “No. :-P” — and I enjoy all three steps.

Once those elements are discovered, the next step is to develop responsiveness: tone of engagement and swiftness of acknowledgement/engagement.  Think: if you were to write to your favorite person EVER, and they were to respond in kind — how happy would you be?  When you tweet at your favorite author, and he responds, it’s crazy awesome, right?

As Social Media participants and fans, we have to have a healthy respect for both the client, and the audience, but also for our industry.  Learn from yourself, your own responses.  Invest in your passions and grow your skills.  It’s an active, inventive, engaged time we live in — take a moment to think about that.

Izzy Neis
Director of Digital Strategy & Engagement

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