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3 Reasons Why Social Media Isn’t Working for Your Business



“Social media doesn’t work…”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve overheard this sitting in a coffee shop or restaurant – well, I’d probably have an extra $100 dollars in my bank account or more.

We once sat with a business owner who told us that social media wasn’t worth it, and when we checked out his accounts, the images uploaded weren’t great, the posting was inconsistent, and let’s not even go into the captions. A few months later, that business was gone.

I’ve also had the privilege of sitting in the restaurants that my agency handles social media for, and there I’ve witnessed, first-hand, people marching up to the counter to order, phone in hand, Instagram open, pointing to a photo we’ve posted and saying “I want this”.

So what’s the difference between the people in the first scenario and my client?

For the most part, it’s simple – there are some basic mistakes that entrepreneurs and businesses repeatedly make in social media marketing which are limiting their capacity to grow an engaged audience.

Here are some of the most common missteps that I see:

1. They don’t know their audience

This is crucial, because not having this part figured out means that you’re trying to talk to everyone, which means you’re really just shouting into the void and hoping that somebody might hear.

If you’re unable to make a connection with people, then don’t count on being able to sell them anything. Understanding who your target audience is – what they want, what they need, where you fit in, etc. – is critical to maximizing your social media marketing performance.

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2. They are not consistent

In this new world of social media algorithms – and really, all along – being consistent is key to growing an audience.

But to clarify, this doesn’t mean that you need to publish every single day. Being consistent means coming up with a schedule that works for you – then most importantly, sticking to it. Even if it doesn’t feel like you’re getting immediate results, posting regularly gives your audience a reason to keep coming back to your profiles, while it also helps to have fresh, relevant content when someone looks you up or comes across your business. 

The key to maximizing your social presence is strong messaging, and content that’s aligned with what your audience needs to see.

Post regularly, keep your audience informed, and over time, you will gain more trust and credibility.

3. They are just trying to build a following

I’ll say this time and time again – the days of just accumulating followers like baseball cards are over.

Without being intentional, and thinking about whether you’re building an audience that’s right for your business, you’ll just have a room full of bodies. Numbers might look pretty, and make you feel good, but unless those people are likely to become paying customers, they’re not helping your cause.

Building numbers also ruins your data – a major benefit of social media marketing. If you have 1000 Page followers, but 900 are, realistically, never going to spend money with your business, that means that all your analytics and audience insights are useless, making it even harder to establish a clear understanding of what your audience needs.

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Yes, it takes time to establish brand awareness and build a following, but a following of people who are actually engaged in your message is far more valuable than chasing numbers in an effort to maybe, hopefully, impress somebody that comes across your profile.

Audience numbers can be faked, which most consumers are now widely aware of. It’s the content and quality of your business that’s far more important, and will deliver better results in the long-run.

The Key Differentiator

Here’s the thing: The difference between people who say that social media doesn’t work and the ones who are gaining clients, making sales, and consistently growing their audience with quality leads from their social media profiles is simple. They have a process that works.

They’ve figured out what their audience wants to see, they deliver it on a consistent basis, and they are constantly observing and tweaking.

Although this may sound like a ton to do, it’s not.

In reality if you’re spending more than an hour on social media a day, you’re probably just wasting time with “busy work”… and that’s not beneficial for anyone. Break down the key tasks you need to complete each day, map out a schedule, formulate a plan based on your audience data. Then deliver, according to that.

The key differentiator for those that are seeing social media marketing success lies in planning, and establishing a clear understanding of what your audience needs.

A version of this post was first published on the Dhariana Lozano’s blog.

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Meta’s Developing and ‘Ethical Framework’ for the Use of Virtual Influencers



Meta's Developing and 'Ethical Framework' for the Use of Virtual Influencers

With the rise of digital avatars, and indeed, fully digital characters that have evolved into genuine social media influencers in their own right, online platforms now have an obligation to establish clear markers as to what’s real and what’s not, and how such creations can be used in their apps.

The coming metaverse shift will further complicate this, with the rise of virtual depictions blurring the lines of what will be allowed, in terms of representation. But with many virtual influencers already operating, Meta is now working to establish ethical boundaries on their application.

As explained by Meta:

From synthesized versions of real people to wholly invented “virtual influencers” (VIs), synthetic media is a rising phenomenon. Meta platforms are home to more than 200 VIs, with 30 verified VI accounts hosted on Instagram. These VIs boast huge follower counts, collaborate with some of the world’s biggest brands, fundraise for organizations like the WHO, and champion social causes like Black Lives Matter.”

Some of the more well-known examples on this front are Shudu, who has more than 200k followers on Instagram, and Lil’ Miquela, who has an audience of over 3 million in the app.

At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that this is not an actual person, which makes such characters a great vehicle for brand and product promotions, as they can be utilized 24/7, and can be placed into any environment. But that also leads to concerns about body image perception, deepfakes, and other forms of misuse through false or unclear representation.

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Deepfakes, in particular, may be problematic, with Meta citing this campaign, with English football star David Beckham, as an example of how new technologies are evolving to expand the use of language, as one element, for varying purpose.

The well-known ‘DeepTomCruise’ account on TikTok is another example of just how far these technologies have come, and it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where they could be used to, say, show a politician saying or doing something that he or she actually didn’t, which could have significant real world impacts.

Which is why Meta is working with developers and experts to establish clearer boundaries on such use – because while there is potential for harm, there are also beneficial uses for such depictions.

Imagine personalized video messages that address individual followers by name. Or celebrity brand ambassadors appearing as salespeople at local car dealerships. A famous athlete would make a great tutor for a kid who loves sports but hates algebra.

Such use cases will increasingly become the norm as VR and AR technologies are developed, with these platforms placing digital characters front and center, and establishing new norms for digital connection.

It would be better to know what’s real and what’s not, and as such, Meta needs clear regulations to remove dishonest depictions, and enforce transparency over VI use.

But then again, much of what you see on Instagram these days is not real, with filters and editing tools altering people’s appearance well beyond what’s normal, or realistic. That can also have damaging consequences, and while Meta’s looking to implement rules on VI use, there’s arguably a case for similar transparency in editing tools applied to posted videos and images as well.

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That’s a more complex element, particularly as such tools also enable people to feel more comfortable in posting, which no doubt increases their in-app activity. Would Meta be willing to put more focus on this element if it could risk impacting user engagement? The data on the impact of Instagram on people’s mental health are pretty clear, with comparison being a key concern.

Should that also come under the same umbrella of increased digital transparency?

It’s seemingly not included in the initial framework as yet, but at some stage, this is another element that should be examined, especially given the harmful effects that social media usage can have on young women.

But however you look at it, this is no doubt a rising element of concern, and it’s important for Meta to build guardrails and rules around the use of virtual influencers in their apps.

You can read more about Meta’s approach to virtual influencers here.

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps



Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

Meta has published a new set of safety tips for journalists to help them protect themselves in the evolving online connection space, which, for the most part, also apply to all users more broadly, providing a comprehensive overview of the various tools and processes that it has in place to help people avoid unwanted attention online.

The 32-page guide is available in 21 different languages, and provides detailed overviews of Meta’s systems and profile options for protection and security, with specific sections covering Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The guide begins with the basics, including password protections and enabling two-factor authentication.

It also outlines tips for Page managers in securing their business profiles, while there are also notes on what to do if you’ve been hacked, advice for protection on Messenger and guidance on bullying and harassment.

Meta security guide

For Instagram, there are also general security tips, along with notes on its comment moderation tools.

Meta security guide

While for WhatsApp, there are explainers on how to delete messages, how to remove messages from group chats, and details on platform-specific data options.

Meta security guide

There are also links to various additional resource guides and tools for more context, providing in-depth breakdowns of when and how to action the various options.

It’s a handy guide, and while there are some journalist-specific elements included, most of the tips do apply to any user, so it could well be a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a better handle on your various privacy tools and options.

Definitely worth knowing either way – you can download the full guide here.

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump



Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with relatives of slain commander Qasem Soleimani ahead of the second anniverary of his death in a US drone strike in Iraq – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Tom Brenner

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Khamenei has repeatedly promised to avenge his death.

On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge.

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Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the United States are allowed to post on the platform.

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