by Liz B.
Based on last week’s chat, I’ve been thinking more and more about why I have this need to make sure Building Tomorrow, the organization I work for, is on every single social media site, when really with a three person staff we’re lucky to maintain consistency on Twitter and Facebook. And I think I’ve found the answer to my nagging question. We continue to create new accounts, research the latest site, and ask our friends to ‘follow’ ‘join our circle’ or ‘pin’ us because we still haven’t received the response from our audience that we want.
Our audience is almost completely millennial therefore I think it might be safe to say that social media for companies, brands, and nonprofits isn’t quite perfect yet. Here are a few things I’m still looking for from social media sites in the what I like to call “friend/brand” interaction.
Just dropping a note
Here’s my dream scenario. “1. Friend of Building Tomorrow sees a grant or a cool article or a neat-o picture of Uganda or students wearing a BT shirt. 2. Friend then sends it to the brand via social media where others can see it. 3. Brand casually says “awesome” “thanks” “cool” right back. 4. Other people can see this interaction but the ‘friend’ and ‘brand’ don’t have to be formal.”
The truth is that this could happen on Facebook but I feel like unless a “friend” personally knows the staff and people behind the brand they might feel a little awkward encroaching on a brand’s Facebook page. There’s a sense that the page is meant for posts from the brand not necessarily about the brand. It would be almost like creating a page where it’s simply all the things that people say about the brand – but again somehow without being formal and stuffy but still filtered and relevant.
A solution might be in Pinterest here. Although I haven’t explored yet. It would be cool if a friend could pin something and then tag a brand in it so that the pin shows up on that brand’s radar too. And so that when a friend of the friend looks at the pin they could find a link directly to the brand’s page.
Conversation, Discussion, Real Answers
Here.. I don’t have a dream scenario. My dream is simply to get responses, reactions, and comments from our audience. The reason I have this consistent itch to put our brand on other social media outlets is I think that maybe there more people would respond to us, maybe they would prefer that outlet to talk about x, y, and z in relation to our brand.
The main hindrance with social media outlets today is the lack of a space where people can talk about the brand and the brand can be involved but doesn’t have to moderate or be too present so that people will be honest.
A solution may be in Tumblr. If we could find a way to encourage multiple friends of the brand to post on the page themselves and use it sort of as a public blogging forum but about the brand and their reactions, concerns, questions, and favorites within the brand and what they do.
Finally, my biggest reason for continuing to put our brand on other social media sites is that we still haven’t found the perfect balance needed for comfortable conversation and posting. We certainly post on Facebook and respond to those few who comment or post other thoughts on our page and we definitely retweet any praise or comments about us on Twitter. But as our brand gets more and more attention on Facebook and Twitter I fear that it will become more and more formal simply because of the size of the following. And maybe I’m old school in this fact, but I would not be comfortable posting on a 1 million followed brand Facebook page. I’ve tried to send some tweets to big names on Twitter but the problem here is that they get too many and about too many topics. Even if they respond to each one there’s no single conversation that many are participating in.
I don’t have a solution or dream of solution for this. I know that most people will say the brand just has to act casual and be normal and show personality, however I kind of cringe when I see a brand tweet or Facebook “What’s your most embarrassing moment” or “Its so cold here. What’s the weather like where you are?” They may be showing their personality but its not relevant, people won’t be talking about their brand in response, and its just plain cheesy and kind of creepy.
So for now, I will continue to explore every nook and cranny that is social media until I find the perfect forum for our audience to Just Drop a Note, Converse, and Be extremely Comfortable in chatting with and about Building Tomorrow.
To learn more from or connect with Liz, follow her on Twitter — @LizBraden33
You can also follow the rest of The Millennial Chat Team here.