We see lots of people who think being on Social Media is just about pumping out post, blogs, Vlogs, and then a few weeks in they start wondering why it isn't working so they give up and go back to increasing ad spend activity that was costing more, returning less and annoying people. This is because they're stuck in a 'paid media' mindset - and being social is about an 'earned' mindset and being, well, 'social'..

As with anything, if you want to get results and be seen as someone authentic, approachable and a 'thought leader' at what you do requires relevance and proven experience in your field. To do this also requires focus, dedication, direction, and consistency wrapped up in an agreed strategic framework. 

After all you don't get fit by going to the Gym once a month can you?

One of the biggest bloopers we see is people who don't have an audience in mind when knocking out all those content/stories etc. They think that because there's 3.8bn people on one social network or other around the world that getting content noticed should be easy right?

The reality is 'Social platforms' are a very crowded place to be, so you need to be able to stand out. Today's headlines are 'Global Warming' and the 'Corona Virus'. It's got people from around the world providing fear, fake news, personal thoughts and possible solutions. On social we all get to have an opinion and on social we look to evidence what the authority figures are telling us with conversations from our network. 

As a result we're putting our lives on hold. It seems we're canceling business and social events and reverting back to being a closed society in physical terms. The stock market is up and down like a brides nightie imagining the worst-case scenario and business is unsure of the downstream as yet unknown impact on the balance sheet.

What we can learn from this is that social media is indeed a great place to be able to share stories. So, brands need to be thinking less about push advertising and more about creating media messages and storytelling that people can become involved with.

I often get asked if I have a specific audience in mind when producing my content, and the short answer is most definitely, my stuff is aimed at the multi-channel retail sector. However, most of what I put out there will resonate with other sectors because we're all looking to grow our business, reduce our marketing cost and remain front of mind over any competitor. I also recognise that my blog/vlogs can be seen by many people via my 1st level connections on social media. The great thing is these are people that wouldn't necessarily have 'searched' for my subject matter blogs/vlogs but will have 'discovered' them via my current connections primarily on numerous social media platforms.

Many of them I know will have some degree of interest because most of my network is made up of people from the same industry. As such chances are they'll 'like' some of the stuff I post, they might also add a 'comment' which can then spark conversations which leads to visibility with other people in their network - it's a simple low cost multiplier effect - but it's a series of skills that needs to be learned.

If I'm lucky the people in my 2nd and 3rd degree networks will also 'like' and look to 'share' my stories and possibly look to connect with me - it's another example of the beautiful low cost networking effect of social media in action all without risking those non clicks from Google - this is about having an 'inbound' mindset.

As we know the subject of data and privacy has hit the headlines over the past few years for a variety of reasons, many of them reinforcing the stance for GDPR and CAA. 'Cookies' as we've come to know them have provided a wealth of covert low cost data to allow ad tech platforms the ability to continue to spew out a Tsunami of zillions of programmatic intrusive, fraud ridden ad messages. 

Many of these Cookies are being used to regurgitate those retargeting spammy adverts that follow you around the web and piss you off regardless of device, they're also the main driver for people to install ad blockers. As the awareness on privacy continues unabated, and inertia is eventually being provided to those unwitting audiences ad land and it's clients need to find another way of remaining front of mind - but what are the options? 

Is it to continue to rely on cookies and other such covert and invasive tracking methods that's turning people off in their millions, or is it to consider how applying the skill of being authentically social, leading with media content and stories that educates, informs, isn't intrusive, encourages engagement and allows brands to 'listen' as opposed to just paid ads. 

There's a world of content opportunities out there, but organisations are missing a huge slice of it because they still want to use social media as a means to 'advertise and promote' the corporate bible. Search up until now has been great, it's something that's connected humans since we've been on the planet.  In today's digitally connected world we can 'search' for something at the click of the mouse, we can do this wherever in the world we are. 

'Content Discovery' by definition puts you and me in control, we are happy to spend more time on subject matters that we can relate to, and during that time we're also open to other topics as long as the content is in context with where we started our 'discovery' in the first place.

So if you wanted to gain traction and eyeballs by 'relevant' audiences and consumers instead of advertising which carries a 50-75% fraud penalty for every £/$ spent what could you do?

1) Think Media - Not content - entertain and inform via storytelling, but make it feel real. We can all smell an advert dressed up as something else a mile off.

2) Think Stories - Not adverts - With the influx of D2C brands (and their inevitable competitors) playing fast and loose in the digital ad space, more marketing £/$ are needed to compete for the same impressions.

3) Think Authenticity - Not Corporate - Leverage Employee advocacy to unlock authentic stories about your brand, people don't watch or read your brand police polished stuff anyway.

$230 Billion+ is the figure forecast to be spent on mobile ads in 2020, as with other channels and devices it's an extremely lucrative area for fraudsters, but not so for those who are paying.

If you want to understand how to build and leverage a social media content led strategy ask me how.