Winning the Social Media Game

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Variety Magazine’s Entertainment and Technology Summit stepped off recently at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. It featured representatives from the top media companies in the digital space today, all discussing what’s working and what’s not. Allow me to share some insights that were offered up to us ordinary mortals from the experts in Hollywood.

Top entertainment executives wrestled with the Wild West of digital media. Some are ready to move on and some are grasping to hold on. To fully comprehend social media you have to see it is a successful revolution against having what, when, and where we consume dictated by a few. Social media has become the ballot where we cast our vote and where the masses have taken back power from the elites. The atmosphere of the Variety Summit was much like the aftermath of a revolution. Where some are still trying to approach life as it was and some are ready to embrace the change.

Here are a few keys to understand social media from those who are embracing the change:

1. Think Audience, Not Just Brand

The reality is that the brand doesn’t control its full messaging anymore. The brand may control the message but not how the media or consumer process the message on their own influential platforms. Impressions are no longer bought but attention is earned. An example is how digital media has moved TV storytelling from narratives to a face-type interaction. People no longer want a suspension-of-disbelief feeling but in-the-moment participation. So whatever message you put out there, don’t lose sight of your audience. It’s about the audience’s experience not your brand’s.

Key to Win: Add value to people’s life.

2. Respect Each Platform

A digital platform needs to be seen as its own outlet for storytelling, not an appendix to your main content. Your starting point should be evaluating what culture you want to be part of and where the conversations are happening. Then go to where the people are and develop content that is relevant for that community and specific platform. Each social platform needs to be respected as its own community with it’s own story.

Key to Win: Contextualize your post to tell a story for each individual platform.

3. Don’t Play the Numbers Game

Attention is a scarce resource. Those that capture it can be wealthy. Capturing attention isn’t about how many people like a page or channel – it’s about how many actually engage. YouTube understood this by changing their algorithm for monetization to include viewing time and not just the number of views. Building a successful social media presence is about finding the right audience not necessarily the largest audience. The right audience will consume and engage your content wherever it is.

Key to Win: Focus on the right audience not just a big audience.

Now, go out and do the same for your own business!

To Your Success…

Scott Ringwelski

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