I’m breaking up with the algorithm

February may be the month of love, but I’m about to change my status from it’s complicated to single when it comes to ALL the social media algorithms. 

As a social media manager for several brands and organizations, the end of this relationship has actually been a long time coming. 

When you’re late-night doom scrolling, have you ever found yourself thinking, “I just saw a similar post to this – everything just looks the same…” – SAME. Remember the time when posts used to be chronological? Remember when you had more control over what you wanted to see without a platform tailoring your actions to your account? SAMEEEE.

For the accounts I manage, I no longer feel like: 

  • I have thoughtful, insightful answers to my clients questions about engagement 
  • I’m proactively planning content, rather, being more responsive and reactionary – which is not where I want to be
  • I’m putting out meaningful content because I’m tailoring my ideas around what we think the algorithm might like 

So, a clean break is what I feel we need to restart, reconnect and reestablish our connection to what we really want to publish online. 

Don’t get me wrong, not all algorithms are created equal. They have their time and place, especially when they expose civil injustices and connect us to national movements. We want to feel connected and see timely content, but it might not be the most interactive content. And it’s definitely not helping my cause by converting impressions into meaningful engagement or adding to my clients exposure and account growth. 

With Instagram’s recent announcement of “over focusing on video in 2022 and going back to static images for this year”, the amount of eyerolls heard around the world were staggering. I’m still recovering. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, has become, admittedly, the last person I want to see in my social news, social feeds or anywhere, really, because then we all know another update is about to shift our strategies. And for TikTok knowing more about you than you know yourself, we’re jumping from one extreme to the other. 

Given all of this, I’m closing the door on my typical social process and focusing on one thing only: fun. What is bringing us joy? What content makes us smile and brings out the best in our brands? What is silly and uplifting that might brighten a social feed? That’s it. 

If you Google anything related to “how to best represent your brand on social media” you’ll get the same answer over and over again: 

  • Have a clear brand voice
  • Create content that relates to your audience
  • Create consistent content that users can learn about you and strengthen trust 

And even THOSE comments have been derived from years of studying consumer and algorithm data. 

I can feel my brain fog parting as I type and know this will be for the better in the long run. 

Are you with me?

To your success, 

Taylor Ion

Marketing Director, Charleston AMA

For the love of marketing… 

Roses are red, violets are blue. And as consumers, we’re hopelessly devoted to you! 

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This Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating the most important relationships of them all: the ones you have with your favorite brands. From indulging in our morning coffee to relying on cars and gadgets that get us through our daily lives, our brands are the ones that stick with us through it all. Is it because your chapstick is honestly the best on the market, or is there something more that makes it the product you just can’t quit? Open a box of chocolates and pop the bubbly; today we are recognizing our long term relationships – the special bond between customer and brand. 

Brand loyalty is like any other relationship – it takes time to build. The steps of the journey to becoming a loyal customer are similar to becoming a significant other. You start off as an acquaintance, then you move on to being friends and eventually you become partners in success. You find yourself gushing over them with friends, and you’ll probably even share them on your social channels. But while you’re in the honeymoon phase, the brand is busy finding ways to keep you coming back for more. 

We’re going back to the start. The first date. 

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We all know it’s true; the first interaction with a brand is just like a first date. It may be a little awkward and the conversation may be superficial, but both parties are taking stock of the other’s habits and beliefs. We think of how the brand makes us feel and take note of how their behaviors indicate their values. And all over a cocktail! Just like any relationship, your courtship with a brand needs a solid foundation that will stand the test of time – something that keeps you coming back for a date #2.

You and the brand have successfully made it through the first date and all flags are showing green. Now what? It’s time to take things to the next level and Define The Relationship. We’re going deep. Do the values they displayed on date one seem to be values they live by? And do those values align with yours? During this phase, you’ll begin to understand the behavior of the brand and start to get a sense of what is consistent for them. You may notice them behave consistently in a way that makes you feel proud to be a consumer. Whether it’s continued exceptional customer service or taking public stands on issues that are important to you, you may find yourself in love at first buy. Just like any important person in your life, you come to know them so well that you can predict how they behave in any given situation. 

Do you feel like your most cherished brands get you? If not, it may be time for a break. 

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When it comes to building long-term relationships with brands, how you feel matters. Just like any life partner, they become a reflection of you, so it’s important that you feel confident in what you’ve aligned yourself with. At the end of the day, people love relationships and brands that make them feel good. People love brands that are there to celebrate them in the big wins, comfort them in the losses and that make them feel like they’re on top of the world. Once they have achieved that, my friends, they have achieved brand loyalty, and you’re in it for the long haul. 

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Will you accept this rose? Say a toast to the brands you love the most this Valentine’s Day. Let’s find the humanity in brands by finding, using and sharing what we truly love and believe in. If reading this blog made you realize that you don’t have a brand you stand behind, then consider this your candy-heart sign to get back out there. 

Xoxo, Charleston AMA