While researching for my new book I focused on why social media marketing is missing its ROI.
For one particular chapter, I studied Activists and Populists and the impact they have on Social Media Marketing.
That may be a boring subject for a few but it shouldn’t be for anyone trying to build a business.
Activists and populists do rule on social media far more than you think.
They are everywhere, #Facebook, #Linkedin and #Twitter just to name a few.
Both put out a lot of content not all of it is accurate.
Social Networks seem to let them exist without be punitive or prejudice.
In fact do you even know if your employees are activists or populists?
That paints a different picture when you are trying to lead a company culture.
Are You An Activist or Populist?
The problem with defining either of these is that no single definition really works.
So which are you?
Well lets just say that anyone that believes in a cause is an activist.
Anyone who believes that elitists have advantages over common people, they are a populist.
In essence you could be either one and may be both. Nevertheless you follow them! Why?
Let me use a simple example of a typical populist post.
” It is unfair that hiring managers only look at someone’s education and past work experience.
Instead they should get to know the candidates and hire based on the potential that they could have.”
Now you make think that there is nothing wrong with this. But it is a false statement.
If you agree with that type of post, you have populist tendencies.
Reality check: Time is now every businesses enemy… they need to hire the best no one has the time to develop or hire based on hope.
What About Populists?
Should we take issue with anyone making comments just to get attention?
Not really! But what if it’s a lie?
Many of these posters have 350 to 600 thousand followers.
They are stating opinions without facts, but they do influence masses.
These posters couldn’t careless about your career or future.
For them it’s all about the numbers and the attention.
They want to become a celebrity. Your views, likes and comments are their cocaine.
I took the time to look up some of their backgrounds.
None of them have ever led a substantial organization.
They are not entrepreneurs with an established or growing business.
When it comes to credentials very little is available.
If they post any background at all, it can’t be verified.
Activists Are A Little Tamer With The Same Agenda
Activists post a lot of content and videos.
They work on your emotions and heart strings.
The message is usually about people being wronged or those that are less fortunate.
The causes are genuine for the most part. There are some charlatans.
The very powerful activists with large groups have money behind them and large followings, that can influence many into action.
Powerful demonstrations and marches have been seen around the world.
In one way its good to see that we can get out and support something worthy.
Yet these groups also influence opinion and at times choking off or attacking arguments that they don’t agree with.
Or they don’t want their followers to see.
It’s not all a very clean game.
Why Is Any Of This Important?
It got me wondering how much time do we spend reading and listening to activists and or populists?
There isn’t any research on that. However there are plenty of articles on the subject.
The one question I had in this hypothesis was when is an activist and or populist a consumer?
The typical answer would be when they have a need.
It is my belief that social media members are not looking to buy when on their favourite network.
They are doing one of three things instead:
1. Sharing, receiving updates and engaging with friends, family and colleagues.
2. Posting their thoughts on issues.
3. Following someone else’s content and feeding the frenzy with likes, shares and comments.
By the way, most of us belong to between 5-8 social medial networks.
Where Are The Consumers On Social Media?
Social media experts want you to put out more creative content and be more visible.
Marketers have been doing this and surprisingly many have been losing their jobs.
More content development and placement means a lot more spending.
There is an ROI deficit here that needs to be challenged.
Of course social media will direct you to their marketing experts for advice.
However, that doesn’t mean your content will be seen by anyone that is on social media as a consumer.
In fact, I question and challenge whether or not marketing on Social Media offers anything more than awareness.
I believe that the conversion rate to buy is even less.
While writing the new book I had this view that social media marketing is like a slot machine.
You have to keep moving up from one slot machine to another if you want the bigger prize.
Each pull happens to cost a lot more money.
Your odds in winning at the slots are apparently 1 in 16,000,000 spins.
As social media companies continue to tighten their algorithms, breaking through may have similar odds.
Especially when you consider how many other companies and competitors are fighting for that consumers attention.
What To Do?
You may want to rethink how to fit in populists and activists in your marketing strategy.
Be very selective about where you are getting your social media advice.
There are a lot of people who have taken 4-6 month certificates (some with marketing background)
and now call themselves experts. There are shortfalls here.
I don’t believe that choosing a firm with a group of very young twenty year olds is going to solve your issues either.
However I am serious about one thing, take an aggressive look at your data and how your customers are engaged on social media.
The question is in what capacity? Are they Activists or Populists? Followers or Influencers?
When you begin to think out all the possibilities you will begin to see the slot machine as well.
Therefore narrowing down your focus will make it a little easier.
Social Media Networks hold all the cards in this game. Just when you get a handle on it and are growing
awareness and engagement, they will tighten up the algorithm just a little more.
Marketers Had It Easy In The Old Economy, They Told Consumers What They Needed.
In The New Economy Marketers Are Being Told By Consumers What They Want. Marketers Now Need To Stay Ahead
Of The Consumer. That Is If They’ve Learned How To Reach Them.
My names is George Minakakis I am the CEO of Inception Retail Group.
I have authored two books, led real companies with real people, keynote speaker and advisor to business.