In my current role at The DeMoss Group, I have been establishing new agency capabilities and updating our offerings in the digital space for our clients. About once a month, I'll take a step back and write on my whiteboard a brief "state of digital" outline. Where we are, what we're doing and why we're there. It's easy to get so caught up in what we do that we sometimes forget why we're doing it. Ever walk into a room and forget why you went in in the first place? I think social media has been kinda like that for a lot of us. There has been such a huge proliferation of new apps and platforms that we become so caught up in the rush of staying up-to-date that we forget why we even cared in the first place.
So why are we on social media?
There's not a one-size-fits-all answer to that. As humans, we feel a need to connect and social provides a channel by which to communicate much more efficiently. Social media isn't a replacement for those real-life relationships and our lives shouldn't be valued by our Twitter following or the push notifications on our phones. Social is a way to take that in person connection and enhance it - not replace it.
As brands, we often forget why we're there. My job is helping organizations boost their identity online. What most people fail to realize is that you have to know who you are as an organization for people to like you. You have to be good at what you do and share great content to garner reshares. Sure, you could force Likes for a free product, but it's like relying on Red Bull for energy - it's short lived and hardly a sustainable way to keep progress up.
For brands, social is a way to add value to the lives of human beings. Not to add value to Facebook fans, Twitter followers or unique website visitors - people. People who have thoughts, feelings, emotions and needs. For the longest time, we really had to guess on sentiment and what these people wanted. Now, through social, we are presented with the opportunity to discover how we could add value - in real time. We can respond to customer requests, provide exclusive information to our biggest fans and provide a platform for others to talk about us on our behalf.
So, before the words "we need to be on Facebook" come out of someone's mouth, it's important to take that step back. Why would you be on social? What tools would help you accelerate business growth? Where do people spend the most time talking about your area of expertise?
Why are you on social media?