Spreading those social media wings of yours? Be smart, don’t be the Digital Icarus.

For those who don’t know, Icarus was this fictional Greek kid who along with his father made gigantic wax wings to escape from prison. Equipped with this beyond the world, incredible wings and unlimited reach, he started flying higher despite his father’s sagely advice. So basically, the sun melted his wings as he got closer to it and the kid fell to his death. The point of this story is, every tool has its function and should be used accordingly to fulfill ‘your’ goals. Getting drunk on its power can prove to be fatal.

Truth is, social media is the protégée, and it does so much more than just give your brand a digital voice. But, some genuinely naïve and some down-right ill-advised brands do not catch on to that and they see it fit just to maintain a ‘overtly pro-active’ general presence on all the social network portals. And it is going to get them killed sooner or later; I mean having huge wings and great ambition didn’t play out too well for Icarus now did it?

What’s the purpose??

Why this portal? How is it useful? How best to utilize it? Basically, what gaps in your organization is it able to fill? If you don’t know that, how can you even begin to understand how much value what portal is generating, or device a more lucrative social media strategy?

The Facebook Mantra

Post it, Share it, Like it, Comment on it, virtually create a complete interactive session over it. And all this is besides the horde of other services they provide to entrepreneurs and brands. But just because you have the ability, doesn’t guarantee you that people will listen. People might be exposed to your brand but if you are unable to engage them there is no point bombarding their news feed with posts that won’t create any positive impact on them. Scrutinizing your post is essential. Studies show that posts with pictures get 53% more likes and 104% more comments and 84% more click through.

Now that does not mean you paste a picture on all your posts without checking the relevance. Self-explanatory posts have higher propensity to be viewed and provide engagement to the reader than a random image. Also, if you are a pure content favoring person, don’t feel bad, there is a way for you too, content with 80 or fewer characters seem to have 66% more engagement.

So the next time you post, remember to keep it interesting and keep it brief.

Handle Twitter

Twitter is where you either Trend or you die. One thing you absolutely have to know is people aren’t going to give you what you want on Twitter. Creating an interesting content in the 140 character limit is not enough, you have to ask for re-tweets page visits and downloads. Constantly trending and giving useful and engaging, shareable content is only half the work done, the other half requires you to understand and act on what people react to most effectively. According to a study done by Dan Zarrella, Action Words have a higher motivational value to the reader. So the next time, please don’t take it against your pride when you ask people to re-tweet or download.

These above tenets make one thing very clear. There is a science to social media and there are specific functions achieved through these channels.

Dead Engagement-Dead Brand

The fact is, if you have dead engagement over social media, that is, no engagement with the consumers on their digital tavern, your brand personality and reputation takes a major hit. If your consumer only sees a series of irrelevant content from your side, and finds that interacting with your brand is futile, you will lose your relevance to them in the digital world.

Consumers respond better when you as a brand respond to them and their needs and engage them in a conversation. That is how you create brand evangelists. Also, it saves you tones of time and energy and is way more efficient and effective.

The best example perhaps is that of Adidas, which ran its 2014 World Cup Campaign, before the event actually began and continued it even after it ended, bringing the consumers the content that they wished to consume, in the moments they wished to consume it. The content was developed continuously through the span of their web series–‘The Dugouts’- based on the consumers want, giving them fresh behind the scenes action and taking them through a journey. This sort of immersive content led to a threefold increase in their YouTube subscription and created 1.5 billion impressions.

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