On Social Media, Be Human or Don’t Bother!

This column is authored by Digital Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer, Pallavi Modi

Social MediaMarketing communications have long been talked about and taught as fine balance of science and art. I have found it to be all about “Common Sense”.

In the last decade, we have seen the rise of social and digital media to the extent that as of today there are 2.80 billion global social media users in 2017. It is only natural then that marketers have chosen to follow their target audiences and established their social media handles, haphazardly so at times.

I was once working with a very smart guy to help him set up social media for his B2B start-up. After going through the plan of action, he told me he wants 1 post a day at a certain time and would like me to tell him what should be that time. This is a classic approach towards Social Media by marketers who themselves are not too active on social media. Social media is a 24/7 beast that never sleeps.

Social media is not about making appointments to have a conversation, it is a free flowing exchange of ideas, emotions and human interactions.

Grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee and let’s look at the simplest yet harmful mistakes your business might be making.

1. No Personality

Before you even think of creating your social media accounts, you need ask yourself “Who am I?”. This may seem very existential, but whether we pay attention to it or not, every brand has a personality.

Disney-Pixar is sassy, funny and sort of a wizard.

Harley Davidson is a rugged, adventurous rebel.

The easiest way to define brand personality is to find 3–4 adjectives you would like to be associated with your brand. Once you have that figured out, finding the voice of the brand is easy. More often than not, the brand personality and voice are defined in Brand books, but never see the light of the day.

In most cases, one of the two things happen —

a) The voice of the social media manager takes over the voice of the brand.
b) The monotony sets in and every post becomes robotic.

Finding the voice of the brand is critical, but even more so is the conscious use of that voice, without fail.

2. More talk, less communication

On social media, communication is the key. The usual marketing practice of creating for offline channels and sharing on social channels does not work. More often than not, pesky Press Releases, Company statements show up on social feeds with nothing more than a link to read more about. The problem here is the content is bland. It is not suited for the platform it is being shared upon.

To make social media work for you, don’t use it to blast information to your followers. Use it to tell your story.

3. Lack of emotions

A successful brand is one that connects with its users emotionally. Yes, most of the consumer decisions are practical, but to deny the emotional aspect can often be suicidal.

A recent and quite controversial study by Facebook also backs the theory of Cyber Emotion.

The findings of the study suggested that emotions are contagious in online forums and social networks even in the absence of face-to-face interactions.

#LikeAGirl campaign by Always took a phrase that was conventionally used as an insult and made it empowering, thereby connecting with the emotions of women — young and old.

To make the most of your brand conversations with your followers, it is imperative that the brand emotes. It doesn’t always have to be words. Actions are equally important. Don’t refrain from using warm words and emoticons but at the same time don’t forget to make your followers feel special. A simple handwritten Thank-you note can do wonders.

4. Not listening enough

All social media networks were created with the goal of letting like-minded people connect. Do note that the keyword here is to “connect” and not sell.

Brands that are successful on social media are the ones who have made connecting with their followers a habit and not an aftermath. Follow your followers, understand what they need and respond, even when they may not be talking directly to you. Starting a conversation and adding value to your followers will reap you long-term benefits.

Recently, when Twitter changed it privacy policy, DuckDuckGo shared tips to educate users about maintaining their privacy. This is one of the best examples of adding value to your followers.


Have you ever found yourself making these mistakes? I know I have been guilty at times. But the good news is that these mistakes can be easily and quickly corrected. You don’t always need to spend big bucks to make your brand heard, most times just old-fashioned human conversations on Social Media will do the trick. I am not saying you don’t need an advertising budget. All I am saying is that before you go spending money, it is important to fix the basics to ensure your social media communication is more effective.

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