When you hear the term "social media", what goes through your mind?
If you're over 35, the chances are that you think social media is this satan's spawn of a creation that will ultimately prove to be the downfall of civilization (which you'd be wrong about. You're thinking of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Duh) all while screaming "Get off my lawn!"
And if you're under 35, you probably think social media is just this thing that has been around since Jesus times, and you can't believe how stupid old people are because they don't know how to tweet or make themselves puke rainbows on SnapChat.
Well I'm here to say that both camps are right. Social media is inherently evil. But a necessary, sometimes entertaining, evil.
When people approach me about social media, and by "people" I mean my mom, the first question I ask is "Is your router plugged in?" After that I say: Don't take social media too seriously, because no one else really does.
For all the hoopla we make about strategizing an effective social media campaign, trying to look smart and professional, you should keep in mind that the best strategy for engaging your audience is to be entertaining. I've probably said it elsewhere on the blog but it bears repeating once again-people don't like to be "marketed" to, and it's double true on social media.
The thing to keep in mind is this: The goal of your social media campaign shouldn't be to attract more followers, because followers aren't an effective measurement. The goal should be turning your customers into fans.
Let's take a look at an example-Arby's (@arbys).
Now I haven't eaten at Arby's since college and I wouldn't eat there if it was the last food remaining after the apocalypse...which is a very real possibility because I'm pretty sure their meat is radioactive anyway and could survive a nuclear fallout.
But I follow them on Twitter because they are endlessly entertaining. They get it. They've found a way to tie their brand into the pop culture phenomena of Twitter. Ex:
This tweet is awesome because it promotes their brand, while playing into the "Walking Dead" (a horribly written but entertaining show) crowd.
It appears effortless, but this one took some thought. And it was retweeted 1,000 times.
Another favorite of mine is Chipotle (@chipotletweets). Their social media account tweets with a relatable, humorous tone that most companies wish they could capture. Here's some examples:
These tweets are funny, lighthearted, yet still speak to their brand. People eat this shit up like a bowl of beans covered with E.Coli and they love it. And their use of puns is legendary at this point.
The truth is that the best brands on social media are the ones that don't take themselves too seriously. Have fun with it, and you may just get something more than customers, you may get fans.