Maybe you’ve noticed it, maybe you haven’t. The latest trend in social media is apparently to not be on social media. Brands like Lush and even our favorite congresswoman are opting out and taking a break from social media platforms. (Side note: we find that super annoying. If you don’t care about social media, then why do you need to dramatically announce you’ll no longer participate?)
Social media is everywhere, which means marketers are drawn to it like flies. The entire industry buzzes about what’s happening on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or whatever. Everyone lives and breathes social media.
But here’s the catch: social media’s a big ol’ (somewhat entertaining) beast that has its claws in all of us. No matter how much brands and celebrities try to quit, they’re never really free.
You Can Run
We all know someone who doesn’t have any social media accounts (gasp!). A lot of the time, these people think they’ve somehow cheated the system, and as far as their personal accounts go, they might have.
But as soon as you’re a tastemaker or an influencer or a brand, there’s no running. Brands without social media accounts are missing out on a huge touchpoint for their audiences. According to recent studies, people spend over 16 hours every week on social media. That’s two and a half hours a day!
Brands that completely opt out of social media are missing out on sixteen hours of interactions for every prospect. Start multiplying that number by the reach of a single post, and you’ll start to see why it’s a big deal.
You Can Hide
That’s why some brands are starting to close down accounts without nixing social media completely. The UK extension of Lush announced earlier this month that it’s going to close its social media accounts because it’s “tired of fighting algorithms.”
Okay, we get that, and we feel you, Lush.
But the brand’s trying something else. Lush has announced that it’s going to be engaging through a hashtag. A valiant idea, sure, but here’s the problem: brands need an official presence.
But You Can’t Escape
Sure, it’s easy to close an account on most platforms, but once you do, then what? Brands can follow a hashtag, but the way users interact with companies all comes down to one of those age-old rhetoric appeals: ethos.
Back in the old days, philosophers taught that in order to sell an idea (or product) to someone, you needed to use pathos (emotion), logos (logic), and ethos (credibility). Brands have gotten pretty good at those first two parts (hello, Maslow’s hierarchy), but they rely super heavily on the credibility part.
In short, ethos is the same thing as brand recognition. Your Twitter account with the little blue checkmark next to it assures your audience that you really are who you say you are. Without this reassurance, misinformation spreads like wildfire.
Because It’s Coming for You
When social media doesn’t know what’s true and what’s false, it makes up its own facts. These “facts” get shared and reposted and liked and promoted and soon what social media users believe to be true sort of becomes true.
That’s how social media disasters happen, and it’s why brands need an official hub. Social media is the cheapest and one of the most effective ways to get information out quickly to a mass audience. Posts can set the record straight about potential disasters in literal seconds.
In short, if brands don’t embrace social media, it’ll eat them alive.
Need a team that can help you tackle your own social media accounts? Grab some coffee with us, and we’ll help you meet your audience where they are. After all, social media isn’t going anywhere any time soon.