Monday, 27 October 2014

When the Box is Empty

     So, for the past year all you have been reading about from the Social Media Gurus is that it's all about “content”. Content this, content that, and content is everything . . .
But when is content engaging and when is it just fresh air? Suppose you own a pizzeria. You want to generate buzz about your pizzeria and you have entrusted your best seventeen year old counter person with the task of handling your digital marketing campaign because, hell, why you should you pay a professional to do this stuff. Kids know everything about Social Media, right?

     Here is the high quality content your acne-scarred Social Media Manager has produced for a dynamite post on Facebook, Tumbler, and whatever other channel he likes:
#Pizza is cool. Everyone knows #pizza is good for you. #Pizza has vegetables. We make the coolest #pizza. Every time you order #pizza, you can get whatever you want on it. We make square #pizzas and round #pizzas. Our #pizza is awesome!”
This post is, of course, accompanied by a really “awesome” picture of a pizza in psychedelic colors.

     Congratulations! You have managed to use the word “pizza” eight times in seven sentences and all those hashtags are going to make this post visible to millions. Folks will be flocking to your pizzeria based on the stimulating content.

     So when the resulting flood of orders for your pizzas doesn't materialize, you tell everyone that Social Media Marketing doesn't work. Thank goodness you didn't pay someone to promote your pizzeria via Social Media. Hell, the kid put up that post a week ago and your sales haven't gone up at all. You are going back to spending a few hundred bucks a month on door-to-door brochures because surely that has been working wonders for your business, not to mention providing the neighborhood with fodder for their recycling boxes.

     Just one last question before you give up on Social Media Marketing. How do you think your customers would react to having your pizza arrive in a box, only to discover that the box was empty? Now start thinking “outside the box” and you might have some glimpse of what your Social Media content should be like. Think outrageous, off-the-wall, bizarre, shocking, tear-jerking, sexy, or just plain different. That is how your content will generate buzz and that is how people will visit your pizzeria to sample your pies. Then consider this: Social Media content is an ongoing conversation. One post a week that elicits no feedback is liking saying “hello” to someone, then walking away before they have had a chance to reply. Let your counter person serve the pizza. Let professionals handle your digital ad campaign.


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