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#ContentMarketingShow | Can a Brand Ever Be Truly Social? Stephen Waddington

Kicking off the Content Marketing Show, Stephen Waddington begun his talk by comparing social media to the social aspects of attending a party. He described social media’s relevance to the human beings that are being exposed to it and the resulting ‘bad behaviour’ and wrongdoings that we are all learning as the importance of social media rises in society.

He began by looking at the type of people you may come across at a party and comparing these to the type of social media that a brand is producing.

1. Nice but dim

A desperate obsession with being relevant

  • Brands with nothing to do with the world cup will try to latch onto its social popularity. This involves tweets and Facebook posts linking their brand in some way, despite not really being relevant and can be seen as lazy marketing.

Condescending Facebook pages

  •  Brands asking “what are you going to do this weekend?” – do they care? They then do not follow this up with any replies or human interaction and make no connections with their customers.

2. Nutters

Hashtag jacking

  •  Riding on the coattails of an important event, by putting an offensive spin on it, in order to stand out but showing no empathy.
  • A great example of this is the recent tweet from airline, KLM. During the world cup, they forgot to consider the full reach of their audience and tweeted ‘Adios amigos’ upon Holland beating Mexico. This tweet offended much of their wider audience and resulting in a lot of damage control for the brand.

Say no to auto-mate

  •  Social media is intrinsically human and it requires you to treat it as such to get the best results. It’s dangerous territory to automate conversation or rely on using content calendars.

Social brands that are doing it well

  •  Content marketing is a means of engaging audiences, not just a function.
  •  o2 is a great example of a brand doing this well. They engage in a human way and use their twitter feed to respond and interact to customer questions.

Takeways

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This demonstrates what is important to us as human beings as is a worthwhile point of reference when thinking about making human connections through social media.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.svg

Image source

Stephen again reiterated that social media is human media – you must interact with your customers as people at a human level. Be brave, personal and human with your communication and be sure to challenge yourself to make a connection with your customers.

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