Social Advertising and the Social Media Selfie
Most of us have been guilty of posting a selfie on our personal social media channels at one point in time. For many of the early adopting social media users of the MySpace generation, posting selfies was not only accepted, it was encouraged. For most of the general public, their first selfie may have come sometime in the last 5 years or so with the popularity of Facebook. To give some users the benefit of the doubt, they may have posted a selfie without realizing it since they did so long before pop culture grabbed a hold of the term and transformed it into an annoying buzzword to describe the self-absorbed. Due to the negative connotation that now comes with the selfie, many individuals on social media refrain from its use to not blatantly appear self-absorbed. With that being said, sometimes a selfie is simply unavoidable and is used as a last resort to document what we’re doing, where we’ve been and who we’ve been around. In some cases, it’s certainly an appropriate and acceptable way to share your experiences on social media. Nevertheless, what happens when a brand abuses the selfie in their social advertising?
The Self-Absorbed, Selfie Brand Using Social Advertising
Is it possible for a brand to be too self-absorbed? Most definitely. We’ve all seen them. Individual celebrity brands are notorious for coming across as self-obsessed on social media. Their Facebook business pages are loaded with photo after photo of the celebrity posing in front of the camera. Granted many of these photos may not have been traditional selfies in that that they were not the actual photographer of their own image, but that is merely a technicality. Their Facebook pages are full of themselves smiling, smirking and winking at the camera as if to continually say, “Like me like I love myself.” Are brand pages any different than celebrity pages? Unfortunately, too many brands lack the expertise to be effective with their business pages on social media. They appear just as self-absorbed as many celebrities with their social advertising. All too often, brand pages show posts of exactly the same thing over and over again: photo after photo of their products.
From a consumer point of view, a pattern such as this screams, “Me, Me, Me. Sell, Sell, Sell.” I’m not suggesting that brands shouldn’t be promoting their products on social media. There is no better place than social media to raise awareness of your brand’s products and services. Social media branding can be quite powerful if executed properly with the right content marketing strategy. It’s simply that many brands take a similar marketing approach for their social media audience much in the same fashion as their traditional marketing channels – pushing out traditional print ad campaigns as social advertising. Unfortunately, that’s not social media and that’s not good enough. That’s just plain old media, minus the social. If your brand’s social media following wanted to look at a magazine chock full of product ads, they’d be better off subscribing to a weekly ad flyer.
Is Your Brand Story a Part of Your Consumer’s Story?
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if your brand is guilty of being a selfie brand, then it’s been missing out on such a wonderful opportunity that social advertising presents. Today’s consumers are not just buying products and sharing unconditionally about them with their family, friends, and co-workers. Today’s consumers are connected like no other generation that has come before them. Brands are now extensions of the consumer. People are buying brands not merely for their great features and benefits, but for what shared values they have with the brand. From the brands we wear to the brands we eat and from brands, we visit in person to the brands we use at home and the office, they all play their part in representing our individual stories as presented on our own individual social media channels. We are a sum of the brands we consume.
If your brand is only posting product selfies each and every day on social media, then your brand should seek some consultation from some experts that can help guide your social media marketing strategy. There is simply very little to no value for your customers to identify with, embrace, and ultimately, evangelize on your brand’s behalf without an effort towards brand storytelling. Social media has transformed a once subservient audience of consumers into an opportunistic group of brand storytellers and promotional experts. Treat them with the respect they deserve and your brand might just be rewarded with customer loyalty expressed through social media engagement and sharing of your branded content.
Brands cannot forget that social media is about their customer, not themselves. Social media is a conversation, not a bullhorn. Social media is about a relationship with your customer, not a one-way love affair. Every brand has a story. Are you making it easy for them to love and share it?
If you are interested in learning more about how to provide value with your social advertising, we encourage you to reach out to our social media agency, ImagiBrand, where we will work closely with you on developing your brand story and provide your company with customized social media solutions that make sure your consumers feel a part of your brand story.
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