Have we lost the 'social' side of social media?

March 2, 2016Uncategorized
Eline Rannou, Native & Social Account Manager and Strategist

Eline Rannou, Native & Social Account Manager and Strategist

I hope not. And I don’t quite believe we’re there yet. But still, the latest Facebook reactions is one of many new engagement tactics that make me doubt the quality of the conversation we are building with our audiences.

Love, haha, wow, sad and angry

Hum… really? Can we qualify this as a conversation? Is that really how deep we want the dialogue to be with our customers? I don’t want to sound too old school but, to me, likes have always been an ‘easy’ (quite ‘lazy’) engagement. When setting KPIs and objectives for the brands I work with, I have higher expectations than likes to measure how well our content is received by our audiences. However, these new emojis will be counted as likes, and I am afraid they will take over more qualitative responses such as comments (yes, it’s so much easier to express yourself with emojis than writing your thoughts).

What can we learn from a discussion made of emojis? What type of conversation is that and how does it help reach the business objectives?

Am I too optimistic in believing that online communities are mature enough to provide brands with more qualitative feedback which will lead to richer insights and a better experience? Considering the effort and the time that brands invest in writing valuable content on social media, I think it’s selling ourselves a bit too short to be satisfied with emojis in responses.

From an audience’s standpoint, does engaging with a ‘haha face’ make a Facebook user remember a brand? It doesn’t take much involvement to reply with an emoji, and I think that social media platforms are supposed to help brands create a unique relationship with their customers. I don’t really see the value of emojis in this instance, but I look forward to seeing how this new feature is used by brands and how we can make the most of it in a qualitative way.

What’s at the end of the road?

As an expert in the industry, my objective is to evaluate trends and make sure our strategies align with them; ensuring we provide content recommendations that perfectly match the social platform’s use and the audience’s preferences.

Everyone agrees that nowadays a great story can’t help your brand stand out without paid media to support it. The ‘pay to play’ approach is a given and we knew it would come, just like it did with Google. But coupled with this new product which limits the potential of communities’ reactions, it reminds me too much of the traditional marketing models where quantity was key and where customer’s feedback was nothing.

Engagement is a key ingredient to success on social media. I am not against fun and addictive emojis, but as social media strategists, we really need to make sure we guide our clients in the right direction and help them preserve this unique relationship only social media allows them to build with their audiences.