Think like a ‘user’ not a ‘marketer’

I work in the world of web content, social media and online marketing.  While every ‘expert’ insists that content is ‘king,’ it is also necessary to determine what ‘context’ you are delivering your message in, an idea brought up to me through a brief twitter passing with Eric Mower and Associate’s Social Media Strategist, Matt Hames (@mhames). 

The people who use Twitter can be a completely different demographic than the people who use Facebook or read blogs.  Everyone is using social media for their own purpose.  It’s a very narcissistic practice if you think about it.  “What works best for me? How do I want content delivered to me?  I can choose what I wish to pay attention to and what I wish to ignore.”

In the end, narcissism is what powers the internet. 

Users power the internet.

Marketing firms do not power the internet. Social Media Managers do not power the internet.  They are merely the navigators in the stream of information that is continuously pouring down on users.

A recent study from ExactTarget/CoTweet noted the reasons that users unlike brands on Facebook.  


Before she showed me the chart, my coworker asked me why I would ‘unlike’ a brand or group on Facebook.  

I told her, “If they flood me with content or have too much ad speak, I will unfollow them.”

Low and behold, those two reasons were at the top of the list.

So stop thinking like a marketer and just be a user.  

What would YOU like to see on a facebook page?  What would get you to take a second glance at something?  Why do you follow the brands you do?

I started following @toyota on Twitter recently because not only am I a brand loyalist, I also wanted to keep up with their latest news and to see how they have rebounded from the latest recalls.  

They also directly interacted with me when I bought my first new car a few months back, a Toyota Yaris. 

I started following @doscaminos Mexican restaurant on Twitter when in New York City a few weeks back.  I was debating whether or not to go there for a drink.  I tweeted, “should I head out to @doscaminos?”

Within 30 seconds @doscaminos tweeted me back saying to bring friends and they couldn’t wait to see me.  

I like that! A humanized brand!

For my own Twitter account I have all kinds of followers.  Social media people, tech geeks, moms, hockey fans.  Not everyone is following me for the same reasons.  So I try not to just talk social media.  I try not to just talk about sports.  I basically just tweet as myself.  I understand brands have corporate cultures and rules and whatnot, but honestly, people just want to follow brands that they can relate to.  Brands that act like themselves.

See, told you the narcissism would resurface. 

So my advice?  Just be you in your social media practices. Give a little news or corporate branding here and there, but mostly be human.  Remember your users give you power.  They decide how important you are.