Can we take a moment to discuss realism?! More directly, realism when it comes to social media and digital marketing?! What do we mean by digital realism, you ask? Well, it’s an all encompassing approach to content and the messaging an individual or brand shares - everything from aesthetics to tone to community management. Realism is relatable, gritty, sometimes raw, and not afraid to be who it is. And, it’s on the verge of going extinct.
Seriously, think about it. When you log on to your Instagram account or scroll through our favorite Tumblr feeds, what do you see? Imagery, tone, COPY - there are similarities everywhere you turn. Of course, it is only natural for certain brands to have similar tonal or visual approach to digital messaging, but what we are experiencing is a borderline epidemic grown from an impatient desire for more.
With social media’s popularity and usage continuing to grow on a massive scale, more and more brands are hoping to attract as many engaged followers as possible to their pages. In an effort to achieve this efficiently, brands have begun to - directly and indirectly - morph their digital existence into a Frankenstein-like product that draws on existing successful content and creative trends, while leaving little room for the truly authentic elements that make the brand unique. The end result? A brigade of brand zombies on social media, mimicking each other, and hoping to take the largest piece of the pie.
This is exactly where our plea comes in: WHAT HAPPENED TO JUST BEING REAL? Real as it relates to your brand and the product or message you are offering. Not being afraid to share real glimpses of your brand, REALLY interact with your current and future guests, and really own up if you make a mistake. From experience, it is not as easy as it sounds (and besides, if it were, don’t you think we wouldn’t be having to explore this topic?!) and the team at The Gauge Collective spends a lot of time assessing how each of our clients can be as REAL as possible.
In an effort to make the case for our plea, we’re sharing three entry-level steps towards assessing your brand’s social and digital realism that have worked for us. Have thoughts on this subject or practices you employ with your brand? Leave us a comment below - we’d love to chat!
Spend time - a lot of it - flushing out your brand’s social persona: The best way to do this? Physically create a person - name and all - and map out a day in the life. If your brand lived and breathed in the physical world, what would it do immediately upon waking up? Who does it interact with? What brands DOES IT follow? Get creative - the more detailed the better.
Define your social media goals upfront and stick to them: So many brands (and we mean SO MANY) want to be on social media because everyone is. Of course, the trends in growth allude to there being many benefits to having a social presence, but it is highly recommended to flush out your WHY before launching a social strategy.
If your goal is to sell more of a certain product, your social strategy should reflect that. If you want to build brand awareness, you leverage that mentality to build-out your messaging plan. Once you have goals in place, you can flush out your strategy - including what daily content looks like - in a manner that is true to your brand’s persona and relevant to the goals you want to achieve.
Does this mean you should shun any sort of social media inspiration? Not at all - but understand that what works for one brand may not work for yours.
Own your brand’s uniqueness and use it to create an original social imprint: Let’s say part of your brand awareness is humor. How do you go about owning this and allowing it to shine in the social content you are sharing? How REAL are you about the humor you are using? Taking ownership in the values and attributes of your brand will allow you to leverage these details in the content you are sharing - and in a way that is real and authentic.
This is really just the beginning of what it takes to successfully leverage social media for your brand - and continue strong, organic digital momentum as your brand grows. Lucky for you, this is exactly where The Gauge Collective thrives...and we’d love to chat more with you and help you take your social strategy to the next level! Give us a shout using the Get Gauged tab on the top of the screen.