Social Media Marketing is a Mirror: When Users Look at Your Content, They Should See Aspects of Themselves

Why do you post to social media?

Many users post to social media to share things about themselves - and to find those qualities (and related qualities in fans, friends and followers) reflected back.

In that sense social media is like a mirror: A place where making a post projects an image of the user and users can check on how the world sees them. Social media also (like a mirror) allows us to try on different ways of presenting ourselves to the world.

How does this insight into social media translate into advice for a filmmaker building a social media campaign for a film?

Instead of using social media like most marketers ("We will create a brand. We will tell people who we are."), Shama Kabani, author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing, advises companies (filmmakers?) to think "not about what they want their brand to be, but what their brand says about the individual [user]."

As Shama Kabani explains in a July 11th, 2012 interview with Jeff Haden: "The key is to forget what you want to say about yourself. Think about what your customers want to say and feel about themselves... Determine what you stand for, blend that with what your customers care about, and find the right balance point."

Shama Kabani's advice explains why certain content marketing campaigns catch on - and others fail.

The best social media marketing creates an online experience where users can share, check on and enhance their own reflections.

Successful destinations on social media are not about the product that is being sold.

Think about creating a destination where users can go to see and be seen in the best light. In short, the best social media experiences are (in essence) about allowing users to look good.

"[T]ake American Express: Who would join a social network for a credit card company? No one. So Amex built Open Forum and created a community for small business people who need information and resources. They do crazy numbers. If a credit card company can do it... you can too."

Thanks to social media consultant Jay Baer for the link.

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