Social Media Necessities: Authenticity, Attraction, and Anecdotes

Last month, the Proof Strategies team headed to one of the largest social media gatherings in the United States, The Social Shake-Up, to embark on the quest of crafting the perfect tweet, driving the ultimate online engagement, and garnering the best ROI for our paid social advertisements. The three-day conference was focused on the intersection of marketing, public relations and social to define what social media means for your business, your brand, and the future. We are sharing our top tips and takeaways to enhance your brand’s social media presence.

1.   Be Authentic

In 2018 we are facing an authenticity epidemic. Companies are being called out for their unfavorable actions, polarizing stances and overall business choices. As our age demographic is shifting and new generations become our target audiences, we need to keep authenticity  top of mind. Millennials and Generation Z are looking for authentic interactions with brands. According to Forbes, recommendations to authentically market to Gen Z include:

  • Showing the young consumer how your company or brand can help them
  • Embracing social good
  • Not using a one-size-fits-all generational marketing approach

The younger audiences are looking to companies that take a stand and focus on the impact they create. Both Millennials (born 1981 – 1996) and Gen Z (born in or after 1997) want to interact with people and personalities, not brands. Millennials made it clear that they are looking for real connections to brands not based on photoshop, marketing language or other behind the curtain alterations. This has continued with force into Generation Z.

Young consumers have been trained to spot product placement, branding and marketing tactics from a mile away. Deliver real content that satisfies their urge to do good and feel better. Millennials are increasingly looking for branded content that is relevant to who they are, while still being entertaining and funny. The following graphic from Sprinklr illustrates the changing content desires for Millennials online:

 *From Sprinklr.com pulled 6/7/18
*From Sprinklr.com pulled 6/7/18

 

2.   Capture Attention Early

Make your content as short as it can be, but as long as it needs to be. Will your core message fit in a tweet?

With more and more technology surrounding us every day, it’s no surprise that our attention spans are shrinking. When crafting any content be sure to get your key message in early, grab visual attention and include the next steps in the user journey. At the Social Shake-Up we learned that you have just three seconds to capture a users attention on Twitter for a video post.

In order to keep up with our fast paced world, companies need to keep their website, platforms and content mobile first. However, there’s more to the switch than just creating a mobile first marketing plan. Facebook’s Jason Dailey of their U.S. Agency Development team shared with us at the Social Shake-Up, “people now consume content 32% faster on mobile than on traditional devices and scroll through 300 feet of newsfeed content per day.” This means our content needs to stand out even more and even faster to break through the noise.

3.   Build a Deeper Narrative

Everyone is active on some social platform or another. Whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat or Youtube, humans are crawling all over the social internet. How do you reach your target audience when the market is so saturated?

Build a deeper narrative to stand out amongst the noise. Brands and companies need to tell compelling stories that drive the customer experience and journey. We need to continuously change to connect with the evolving wants of the consumer. In order to be seen make sure your message appeals to people but is also understandable by machines performing that are performing SEO crawls. This will allow you to serve up the right content to the people who are looking for it. In 2018, to create great content we must combine both the data and the story.

The final takeaway worth mentioning from the 2018 Social Shake-Up is that social media is changing and will continue to change. As industry pros, we need to always stay ahead of the curve, know the platform updates, and keep the audience’s interests at top of mind. If we encourage our brands to stay authentic, capture attention early, and build deeper narratives we can successfully take on social media one follow at a time.



Shelby Burns

Account Executive

Shelby’s love for communications and the digital world has blossomed into a passion for the public relations industry. A native Floridian, Shelby spends her spare time exploring the DC area. She loves planning outdoor adventures in the nearby National Parks, discovering new restaurants, and visiting all of the local museums.




About Proof Strategies

With 275+ awards for client work and industry leadership, the independently owned Proof family of companies (Proof Strategies, Inc., Proof, Inc., Proof Experiences, Inc.) has over 165 staff members in offices in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Washington, D.C., and annual fee income of $30 million. As a brand steward to some of North America’s most respected and well-known companies, the firm’s strategic approach is guided by data-driven research, deep subject expertise, smart creative and meticulous measurement. A corporate leader in the age of climate change, Proof Strategies, Inc. has been carbon neutral since 2008.



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