The world wide web is an invention that has undoubtedly changed the course of how we live our everyday lives. It gives us a utility and level of connectivity that we’ve never had before. This online connection that so many of us have come to crave has also changed the course of how we as marketers can connect to our audiences! But as Spider Man’s Uncle Ben once said, “with great power, comes great responsibility”. Unfortunately, where there are opportunities for marketers to get their message out, there is also the opportunity to push the limits of how the internet should be used.
Marketers got so overly excited about email marketing, it brought about anti-spam laws to try and reign them in. Social media? Marketers are there, on every platform, in. your. face. Don’t even get me started on the incessant banner and pop-up ads that so many of us now use ad blockers for as a result. The overbearing effects of online marketing have left many people with a bad taste in their mouths when it comes to the ads they are forced to see on the internet, but how can we as marketers get our ethical, non-annoying message out there to a crowd that wants no more?
The answer comes in two parts: Play by the rules, and participate in marketing that matters.
Social media was not invented to sell. It was invented to connect people, and to share different types of media. When people are specifically looking to buy something, they may go to Amazon or eBay to start. It is less often that people go directly to Facebook to do their shopping.
To combat this, marketers must play by the rules of what social media was meant to do! It’s all about the 80/20 rule. If you share information that is useful to an audience 80% of the time, the audience will be more susceptible to the brands call to action for the other 20% of the time.
The second part, participating in marketing that matters, is described beautifully by Vicki McLeod in her book #Untrending:
“Using social media, we are the makers of posts. We can add water and stir, or become artisans, masters of the meaningful meme.”
It’s about knowing the purpose behind each post that is sent out to the online world. It is easy enough to focus on the shallow and simplistic aspects of a brand, but wouldn’t you rather paint a picture that your audience can’t ignore? This involves a little effort, and often, a lot of creativity.
An organization that recently got their message across in an unique way is Addict’ Aide. This organization crafted a fake Instagram account which gained over 47,000 followers in just a few months. The aim of the campaign was to shed light on how addiction can go unnoticed, using the hashtag #LikeMyAddiction. This type of campaign takes a lot of time and effort to get the message across. But was it meaningful and impactful? Absolutely.
From #LikeMyAddiction Instagram Campaign
Campaigns like these use the online tools given to them to break the clutter and leave a digital legacy that people will remember. What’s the meaning behind your social media marketing strategy?