My phone was ringing. The screen stated that the call was from a private number. Like a lot of people, I’m more than a little suspicious of calls of this anonymous nature, so, I left it.

Within seconds, it was calling back. Once, twice, three times. I answered on the fourth. Perhaps it was someone that really needed to speak to me!

Caller – ‘Hello Mr Mike’ (alarm bells immediately ring)

Me – ‘Yes’?

Caller – ‘Do you require any web or SEO services?’

Said the chap on the line with the heavy accent.

Me – ‘No, I’m good thanks’

Caller – ‘But we can get you to the top of Google’

At that point I knew what was coming; this conversation was going to play-out like one of the Indian SEO spam emails we all love to receive. I ended the call with a polite ‘cheerio’.

Peed off!

I was not happy about this. The calls really broke my concentration. I felt a little bit violated. These guys are actually calling me now? That’s a step too far. The phone is sacred. Despite the fact that I’m not actually a huge fan of speaking on the phone. I know, I know, it’s good to talk.

We’re all violating

Last week I sat at a desk on the Creative Edinburgh Digital Drop-In. I was busy all night with some very eager people looking for advice on social media. How do I get out to more people? What should I be posting? What’s the deal with Instagram? Is Facebook a bust? How often do I need to post?

That last question is key. It formed the key point that I made to everyone that night.

Do less.

Say what?

Yup, you heard me correctly. Do less on social media? Why? The world is sick of being interrupted. We’re all bludgeoned around the chops by media, ads and messaging on a near-constant basis. It’s noise. White-noise. Disgusting wallpaper.

The only things that rise to the top are of a quality that is impossible to ignore. These things speak to us, they grab us by the eyeballs and make it impossible for us not to consume them. To engage with them. To act upon them.

Social media killed the marketing star

I’ve been doing social media marketing for 10 years. I started when it was in its infancy.

It’s been a ride of ups and downs. From the glory days of ‘easy’ organic success, to the introduction of pay-to-really-play, the harbingers of doom stating the organic is dead (wrong) and right up to now where Facebook is in crisis and people are becoming more and more weary of what they consume, what they give away in order to do that and are fed-up of the brand-led curtain of crap.

Social media has done something to marketing. It’s made it too easy to shove poop in peoples’ faces. Set up some ads, chuck a bit of money at them, boom, more noise. Do more! Do more! DO MORE!

Create a post, chuck it out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and everywhere else where people are. Everyday. Just do it everyday. That’s all we need to do.

No.

The scary thing? I’m one of those people that in the past that has said that high-frequency is key. I always pushed quality and quantity, but sadly, it’s so rare that that’s the reality. A mammoth-scale shouting match. That’s social media marketing.

Positive interruption

People have little tolerance for interruption. Think about being in a meeting and there’s that guy (yes, it tends to be us males types) who interrupts all the time. Boils your blood eh? Especially when they interrupt only to them spout a load of complete waffle.

What if their interruption was actually positive? Is that even possible? I think so. Social media marketing has interruption at its core. Ads are pushed into your feed. Posts from brands you did follow at some point interrupt the flow of your pals’ Instagram holiday pics. At least in some way you did ask for the latter.

You can’t get away from the fact that it’s interruptive. If we do have to interrupt, then lets make those interruptions meaningful?

That means reducing the amount of times we interrupt, and when we do cut across someone, we can at least hand-on-heart say that we worked hard to make sure the content of said interruptions was creative, well thought-out and highly likely to add something to the people we are jumping-in on. Quality first, always.

Are you with me?

Images via Shutterstock

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