Insights   April 12, 2016

If Your Social Ego Feeds My Social Ego, Then Who’s Feeding Your Brand’s?

By Jillian Flores

Millennials are the elusive generation - the one that all brands are clamoring to understand, market to and engage with.

One of the biggest behavioral trends Millennials are known for is their constant connectivity. Research supports this and goes a step further by showcasing the outcome of social on Millennials’ lives, the weight that Millennials place on their personal social status. Seeing that Millennials check their phones 43 times a day, makes brands feel that if social media platforms aren't a part of their marketing strategy, they should be. And, it’s true, they should have a presence, but when they don’t immediately have a following, they don’t understand what they could be doing wrong.

The thing is, Millennials measure their personal success the same way that brands do:

Social Status = Likes + Comments or put simply: how many people are positively engaging with my brand?

Social status or social success amounts to one big social ego that dictates individual's immediate emotional state. With the rise in social media celebrity-ism, response of influencers, constantly curated content, plus trends like, FOMO (fear of missing out) and JOMO (joy of missing out), it’s clear that what happens online directly affects Millennials’ perceived value, or social ego, of what is going on offline.

If social media has such a profound affect on how we feel, how can brands use this to accomplish the same objectives they’ve been aiming to achieve prior to social media: increase sales and gain loyalty? Here are three simple pointers to flip your social mindset from boosting your ego, to boosting your audience’s instead.

  1. Let go of the ego. In Latin, ego means ‘I’ or the self of any person. But social media was meant to be about ‘we’. So, let go of your ego and don’t make your social feed about just you. Take the time to learn about who you are talking to and what they would appreciate seeing, learning, reading. Fuel their conversation.
  2. Create community. Don’t worry about building an audience, instead, build relationships. Your audience is looking for feedback, so you should respond and engage with them. Make the conversation feel and be social. Knowing that your audience is measuring their own success, should give your brand permission to help them succeed, boost their confidence and inspire.
  3. Get back to basics. Instead of focusing on what you can promote or constantly preaching about your brand, let that play a background role. Think about why people joined social media platforms in the first place. Most will say it was to connect with other people. How can your brand help? What can your brand accomplish by being present in the social space? Find your brand value and voice, this way more people will listen and, more importantly, feel that they are heard.

In marketing, metrics play a huge role for a good reason, they help determine success. So it makes sense that audiences feel that metrics are equally as important. But if people are focused on fueling their own success, then who’s fueling a brand’s success? I think the takeaway is that social media is about people, not brands, so jump in and be about the people.

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