Like attracts like, not unlike quantum theory that suggests like particles vibrate and attract to form matter. …[M]arketing is the energy that vibrates in the marketplace attracting those customers who value the proposition, their association with it, and share its value to others.
There’s something about “institutional voice” that turns people off.
I’ve talked before about the importance of authenticity when it comes to video. This same idea applies to social media. Dan Zarrella recently pulled together a lot of data that hints at this — among his conclusions: Posts that use first person get more likes, shares and retweets. http://danzarrella.com/#
The idea that first person voice drives more engagement lines up with the idea that when an institution talks, nobody cares. It’s the difference between a line that says “I found a great new restaurant with hand-made noodles,” versus “Try our homestyle recipes at Evergreen Café.”
A case in point came up for us recently. Matt Nixon is the social media manager for Michigan Engineering, and together we noticed something interesting happening on our Facebook page. We wanted to promote some videos featuring professors and experts talking about interesting engineering topics — sustainability, entrepreneurship, bringing creativity to the workplace. The videos are well produced and beautiful to watch. But we were mostly disappointed in how little interaction we got when we posted about the videos. It wasn’t that the engagement was poor — just that we got no more engagement than we would for a typical post. (You can take a look on the Michigan Engineering Facebook wall — look for the posts about ‘Spotting Opportunities.’ http://www.facebook.com/michigan.engineering Or see a sample video here: http://mconnex.engin.umich.edu/mconnex/brownbaglearning/ )
Our conclusion is that, when operating in the social media sphere, it is getting to be tremendously difficult to “promote” things in any way that is traditional. For us, Facebook is clearly a powerful tool — we have an targeted audience that is engaged and who have already expressed an interest in the brand.
What I am coming around to is the idea that our role is to focus on making this a platform for their conversation. Give them cool things to talk about and react to. And stop worrying so much about pushing products.
I’d love to hear what you think.