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9 things brands overlook on social media

Social media has always existed since the advent of the internet, though in a rudimentary form. What really accelerated the growth of the current version of social channels was the “feed” (from your subscriptions) on the homepage. The “feed” has become such an integral part of our interaction online, that it has replaced Google to become the homepage of the internet.

During the heydays of Google, users would throng to the search engine and search for content or information that most interested them. It was easy for brands to target users, based on these interests. Brands had to compete with just 10 other search results.

On social though, the context has changed. Content created by brands has to increasingly compete with content shared and created by a user’s friends. A lot tends to get overlooked and brands are not always sure on how to adapt to the new situation. Listed below are a few common aspects that tend to get overlooked or taken for granted.

1. Growing a community beyond social
While most brands gather likes and followers at a steady pace, most of them forget they are doing so on a platform they don’t own. In the real world, just like how you meet people at conferences, but have more meaningful conversations with them at other venues later, it’s important for brands to transform their likes and followers into connected users on platforms that the brand owns.

This can simply be done by running campaigns or incentivising the users to register on the brand website or subscribe to newsletters by sharing their email.

2. If you build it they will engage
Most brands believe that users will engage with any (and all) content they create. Far from the truth – it’s important for brands to look at engagement and reach data to see what kind of content actually works.

3. Content type based on business objectives
To this day, we often see brands create content which doesn’t match their business objectives. If you want users to register, you need to create a link post and not a photo post with a link embedded in the copy.

4. Keeping up with the changes (algorithmic)
Almost all social media sites change their “feed” algorithm on a frequent basis. They do so to keep up with the changing demand from users. But we seldom see brands keep up with these changes. If as a brand you are seeing video posts deliver more reach and engagement, then it’s time to repurpose your pictorial content to video content.

5. Framing the narrative
Reposting the same content without truly understanding the context of user interaction on a social channel is the most common mistake brands tend to overlook. We constantly see brands post their Facebook posts without the necessary copy and image changes on Twitter and Instagram.

GIFs work better on Tumblr, humorous one-liners work better on Twitter, while focused images with an image filter work better on Instagram. Brands need to keep up.

6. Building deeper engagements
Likes, comments and shares aren’t deep enough engagements. The time spent and emotional context to these engagements don’t do much for brands anymore. It’s important, now more than ever, to truly build deep experiences on social media. Look at what we’ve done for Air France and Wall’s:

7. Using social media as a lab
Your fans and followers are the perfect respondents to test a variety of content. Brands should feel free to test their multiple versions of TVCs, radio jingles and print ads before committing media budgets on the creative.

Brands should also be willing to back “engaging and responsive” social content with appropriate media spends to increase its reach and engagement.

8. Planning for newsjacking
Most brands claim to be adept at real-time marketing and yet they cling to the monthly calendar. Your agency’s community manager should behave more like a radio DJ. Definitely plan for content, but be prepared to create something creative quickly. This needs to be part of the process and not a one-off attempt.

9. Reach and engagement are declining
This actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Interestingly, for almost all brands we work with, we’ve seen an increase in both reach and engagement metrics. Three factors play an important role: type of post, time and curated community. You’ll find more details, based on work we’ve done for the Great Eastern Women’s Run, here:

Case Study: The Evolution of Great Eastern Women's Run Community Management, by KRDS Singapore from KRDS

In some cases, we’ve had seen an organic reach of more than 90%.

Despite social channels being around for over 15 years, there’s still plenty that brands have to learn when it comes to creating engaging stories on social media. Users are adapting and their tastes are ever changing. The questions is, can the brands keep up?

The writer is Preetham Venkky, head of digital strategy & business at KRDS Singapore.

In some cases, we’ve had seen an organic reach of more than 90%.

Despite social channels being around for over 15 years, there’s still plenty that brands have to learn when it comes to creating engaging stories on social media. Users are adapting and their tastes are ever changing. The questions is, can the brands keep up?

The writer is Preetham Venkky, head of digital strategy & business at KRDS Singapore.

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