When it comes to social media, there are 3 types of people:
- People that think social media is useless
- People that think it’s useful for pointless entertainment
- People who think it can be used for mega important purposes
Last week, a friend over at SuvivalLife wrote an article that may just turn group 2-ers into group 3-ers… and maybe even group 1-ers into 3-ers. It’s a super fascinating look into why/how social media is helping people survive catastrophes, and how it can help “preppers” and others share life-saving information.
Basically, whenever an emergency takes place, be it a natural disaster, political upheaval, etc., social media is the best source of extremely fast-moving information. When something major, and potentially dangerous occurs, Facebook and Twitter users are among the first to know!
In his article, Joe cites disasters like the floods in Thailand, in which news, warnings, and even flood safety videos were shared on social media. From the article:
Think about it for a moment, as long as you have any type of signal on your smart phone or a hotspot on your laptop, at the push of a button you can let all of your friends and family know that you are OK after a disaster.
Social media is a powerful communications tool, even though most people use it to share pet photos. In fact, the speed at which cat photos are shared is exactly what makes it so powerful. Social media can be used to communicate life-saving information at light speed.
But this post isn’t about justifying why social media exists…
The goal here is to understand how we, as marketers, can use social media to deliver real, tangible, maybe even lifesaving value through social media.
Communities of the Like Minded
Ultimately, the triumph of social media is the rapid, unrestricted flow of RELEVANT information…
Yes, you can use social media as a channel through which to push marketing messages… DON’T. Social media is NOT direct marketing playground. If you use social media as only a place to post offers, your pages will become a ghost town… and quick!
If you really want to maximize your presence on social media, you need to focus on building a community of like minded folks. These “fans” or “followers” have the same interests, hobbies, they work in the same fields, etc.
When there’s an important development, the news will travel quickly and organically. I bolded “organically” because that’s the most important indicator of a vibrant community.
When you share news about a major event within your industry or niche, do your users engage with it organically? If the answer is no, it’s time to rethink your approach…