What I Hate About Social Media

Elke Farnworth
January 30, 2020

Hate is a strong word, but I'm admitting it; there are parts of social media that I hate.

They drive me crazy, to the point that I've felt a need to write this blog post. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE social media. It is one of the most powerful tools available for businesses to continuously build relationships and educate people about their products or services. However, do it wrong and there's plenty of potential for social media to damage your brand and reputation. Do it right and you will build an audience that engages with you both, online and offline. 

Here is my list (read; rant) of things I see that really bother me.

  1. Sh*t creative.
    Yep, I swore in a blog post and that's something I swore I'd never do (pun not intended). But, when push came to shove around how to describe the way I feel on the topic, this was the only word that really hit the nail on the head.

Just because a platform is free to use, that doesn’t mean you should disrespect your customers with poor photography and bad design. Remember, people use social platforms as a way to research and get to know you. Everything you post is a reflection of who you are as a business, brand, or person.

Sh*t creative is unacceptable with today’s technology. For those who do it themselves, there are so many great pieces of software and hardware to help you. Take quality images using your smartphone, use Canva to help you with design elements, and for the love of God, if you are using your iPhone to shoot a video, sit it on a tripod. There is nothing worse than making your audience motion sick, unless you're an anti-motion sickness medication company trying to prove a point.

  1. The ‘build it and they will come immediately' mentality.
    No one ever asks how many leads were generated from the billboard you acquired for six months in some obscure location with no artwork change. It’s like, all of a sudden, because social media can be tracked, we have linked that to the mentality of ‘build it and they will come; immediately’ with social media.

Building something from nothing takes time. And, social media should be a part of your marketing mix; not your sole marketing channel. Momentum will increase over time, as your customer base builds. Leads will come from social media, in other ways.

I know for April Ford, our highest converting Google Ad keywords are our brand name, which is amazing! When we ask people who book a consultation about how they found us, their answer is ‘Google’, but if they are Googling 'April Ford', how did they really find out about us?

  1. Silence. Dead silence.
    Silence will kill your social media growth online, there's no question about it. Good creative is one thing, but engagement is the next most important component to social media success. Growth and referral will result from genuinely engaging with your customers online with the hope of bringing them offline. Use Instagram to speak to your customers or target customers directly. DMs and polls in Instagram Stories are great ways to spark conversations. Make the first move; acknowledge your fans personally and thank them for their support.

Create love and loyalty. There is nothing more powerful than human connection. Host an offline event, you would be surprised who will show up and why.

  1. Oversharing for the sake of oversharing.
    We exist in a world where influencers are a real thing. And, for someone like me, who is the anti-woo girl, they are a painful part of my everyday existence. But, when viewed through marketing goggles, I very much respect them and how they have created a new industry that's separate to traditional media. For forever and a day, we have been interested in celebrities and royals; grasping whatever insight into their lives we can from magazines, news channels, and even Netflix series like The Crown (which I personally LOVED).

Influencers are our modern day celebrities. There's an influencer for everyone; they come in many shapes and sizes, focus on different interest categories, and share every detail about their lives to their audience. They create their own community where oversharing is celebrated and connection with their audience is everything. They DM with their audience, comment back to questions, and genuinely react to what is going on around them. In an influencer's world, oversharing is welcomed, but if you carefully observe, they only overshare in what their audience is there to see.

For example; for those who have been living under a rock, Kayla Itsines is your modern day celebrity trainer. She has 10.2M followers and remains true to her audience and what they are there for. Her social media channels are about women's fitness and support. She overshares her struggles with fitness, how she helps and supports others, and information that is relevant to her topic. I have never seen her talk about interiors, business, men's fitness or anything that is not relevant to her audience. She is a great example of not oversharing for the sake of oversharing. She remains true to her purpose and doesn’t deviate, and for that very reason she should be respected as an amazing marketer.

  1. You’re a millennial, can you set up Facebook for our business?
    Just because someone is a millennial, that doesn’t mean they understand how to market a business on social media. This is one of the most common mistakes we see when taking over accounts for our clients. The youngest person in the room doesn’t necessarily understand the business case, business goals, target market, and how social media works. They may know how to share selfies of themselves in bikinis or at music festivals, however they may not understand how to creatively share information about your business to your target audience.
  2. Stealing from others.
    This is a big no-no for me. Using another person's content without explicit permission can land you in big trouble due to breaches in copyright laws. It’s also really boring for your target audience. I know I personally unfollow accounts that practice this. If you are sharing, share it obviously and collaboratively. Better yet; always seek permission and make sure it’s relevant to your consumer. Stealing is stealing, no matter how you skin the cat.

Social media can be a pretty wild world, so if you need help implementing all the things I love about social media, contact the April Ford team today. We're always available to take an hour out of our day to provide relevant and actionable advice (and avoid any of the practices above).

Rant over,