Report On Social Media: Originality Is Far More Important to the Success of Your Next Campaign Than Utility and Incentives. What? Originality matters? Slow down Einstein… run that by me again?
I think marketers have been trying to tell clients this since the dawn of advertising in beige meeting rooms all over the world. And here I was starting to really wonder about social media marketing. It’s a really dismal garbage heap and wasteland of dead content, stale ideas, half-baked promotions, thoughtlessly forwarded toxic waste, forgettably dull copycat contests, and animals dressed like other animals driving things. And I suspect if I see another top ten list of exercised obviousness, I might just count to at least 100 underwater. Maybe just a bit longer. I get it. The headline sells. But then the content doesn’t deliver. See the problem?
In a report developed by Seriously Social and released by WARC, its authors note that unoriginal content and timescales skewed to short-term tactics, because of under-budgeted allocations and plain old ignorance, are hampering your social sharing and your social success: “[there has been] a shift in the timescales marketers are working to as they need to demonstrate returns from social investment.…there is now a greater short-term focus, which ‘has seen a reduced emphasis on using long-term measures of brand equity, and reduced usage of emotions, storytelling and consumer-generated content in the campaigns.” All this points to an emphasis on short-term sales rather than longer-term brand building or advocacy. And that’s not OK. How do you increase social sharing if you’re not delivering things people actually want to share? The power of social lies in its ability to involve your customers in an experience, in a story trajectory that makes them a customer or advocate. And like any story, your social program, your next campaign, should have a beginning, middle and an end. The dullest story might be the one about the brand popping by with an unwanted promo. Annoying Yawn. The End. But this is the annoying and dull story going on all of the time – dreamt up by your high-paid agency or consultant! They should be whipped for crimes against fatally marketing your business. In the study, 83% of reporting respondents felt that the originality of the idea was most important to social success; 42% cited utility and 38% a worthwhile cause or experiential element. Offers and prizes were bottom of the list. “While this tactic is often cited by brands as a preferred strategy for social, it does not drive long-term effects and value for the brand,” the study noted. You have a great opportunity to make social really work for you. Be original and bold. Think long-term. And don’t just take the easy way out with contests, offers and prizes.