When Popularity Becomes Irrelevant



Recently, Fast Company conducted a great interview with film director Ana Lily Amirpour. Amirpour recently wrote and directed a film thathas been much anticipated after its initial viewing at Sundance. But instead of focusing on the film itself, Amirpour’s interview discusses her approach to creativity—wisdom that very closely parallels our own approach to social media marketing here at SMC.

Amirpour adamantly expresses her disdain for the noise and desperation of Los Angeles—how many writers and directors change their vision to fit a certain actor and get funding for their projects. Amirpour believes in the process of creating a film, not conforming to a set of ideas in order to make money.

At SMC, we view social media marketing in the same manner. When it comes to your brand or your company, we don’t believe you should change to fit the actor (your audience). Successful social media marketing doesn’t just mean you attain one million followers on Twitter and 100,000 likes on Facebook; it means gaining the right followers, and likes from the right people: your target market. If you find that you are changing your brand or your company’s values in order to acquire popularity on social media networks, well then you aren’t doing social media correctly.

Think of it this way:A recent article from the Atlantic puts a new spin on the popular music app, Shazam. If you aren’t familiar with the app, it allows you to identify any song that you hear. Let’s say you’re watching a TV show and you like the song playing and want to know what it is–all you have to do is press a button on your phone and wait a few moments. I must admit, it is a useful app. But the Atlantic points out that Shazam allows music industry executives to purchase their data, meaning music executives are gaining access to the name and type of songs that are most popular.

This then becomes problematic when the music industry only starts to produce songs that fit the “popular” mold, which they gathered from hard data. They will make more money, but is this taking away from music itself? If they only give us what we want to hear, how will music ever get the chance to evolve?And doesn’t it also diminish the value of ingenuity in music?

The same goes for marketing via social media. If you lose your company’s values—theaspects that make your brand unique—justto gain a few more likes, have you actually gained anything? It won’t be your brand that people are following anymore; it will be something else entirely.

That is not to say you should just throw your brand on every social media platform without a plan or a second thought. Here at SMC, we work with companies to develop a social media strategy before ever engaging on a social network. We work with each company to uncover their brand, their values and voice. We then develop a customized strategy to ensure that we will be engaging with the right audience on all social media platforms. We feel a company should be exactly who they are, and the right people will end up following iton social media.

If they aren’t fans of your company, then they aren’t your target market in the first place.


Reprinted by permission.

Image credit: CC by viZZZual.com

About the author: Catherine Walsh

Catherine is Editor at Social Media Contractors. She graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, where she earned her B.A. in English and M.A. in English, specializing in Rhetoric and Composition/Ethnography.

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