Most companies get into social media with pipe dreams of earned attention. The desired end result could be summed up in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer:
“Every eye fixed itself upon him; with parted lips and bated breath the audience hung upon his words, taking no note of time, rapt in the ghastly fascinations of the tale”.
Companies plan as if each new social media post will elicit a reaction from the audience but they soon find out that the best they can hope for, is that someone will pay ANY attention AT ALL.
So what’s the problem? Well, one problem is that most branded social media activity isn’t taking into consideration the competition, and it’s not what you’re immediately thinking…
In the beginning, we all got into social media for one purpose only…to connect with the people that are important to us and share our lives and interests with them. But once everyone and everything got into it, the platforms morphed into personalized newsfeeds of content.
People began choosing the brands they wanted to hear from, selecting from the news sources that fit the perspective they like.
So now these platforms are a hodge-podge of personal connections, brands, news sources, movies, tv shows, etc. The attention is split amongst all things that a person selects as important. So if you, as a brand, make it passed that selection process, you must remember a few things.
- You are a guest and your membership in this exclusive club is tenuous, and can be revoked at any time.
- You are not at the top of the priorities, typically that is reserved for family and close friends. In some cases a person’s TOP brands can make it passed the velvet rope.
- If you are marketing online, you are competing with EVERYTHING that wants your audience’s attention.
This is a post to dispel the myth that you are just competing with the companies that do the same thing as you…you’re not. And the good news is, your direct competition isn’t just competing with you.
The Facebook newsfeed isn’t just about you and your direct competitors. The Twitter Home Feed isn’t just your 140 character content marketing. Pinterest isn’t a brand channel.
So the next time you decide to post something that you want to go viral, take a look at some of the stuff you’re probably competing with: