Social Media Envy is totally normal, but as business owners it has the power to bring us down and make us feel like we’re just not doing enough. Despite what you might think, that green-eyed monster of yours can actually be used to your advantage, and will help you take your digital marketing strategy to a whole new level…
I’ll tell you a secret. There is not one single marketing professional or social media guru who has not suffered from Social Media Envy. We’re all very familiar with it - we get home from work, settle down on the sofa after dinner and log into our own social media accounts to catch up with what our friends and family are up to.
Emerging from the stream of selfies and kitten videos is one post that will stop you in your tracks and make you feel just a little bit jealous. It will usually be a clever bit of content shared by a brand you follow, or an amazing image that your competitor has uploaded. ‘Damn, that’s a really great idea' you say to yourself. 'I should have created something like that for my own social media page.’
What is Social Media Envy?
I experienced it myself just the other day. I was twittering about on twitter and came across Charmin’s #tweetfromtheseat hashtag campaign. I thought it was brilliant. I thought it was funny. I hated myself for not coming up with something just like it. I imagined the Directors and CEO’s of Charmin shaking hands with the creatives in the marketing team who were behind such a magnificent campaign. There it was – my Social Media Envy.
As a business owner, you may find yourself being digitally envious in all sorts of ways – for example, when you see a beautifully written post shared by the florist over the road and you feel like your writing skills are not up to scratch. Or when your number one rival that you love to hate uploads a new video that looks snazzy and has had over 50 shares in half an hour. You go to visit your best friend’s Instagram page and never thought of posting three pictures in a row that match, to create one long image running across your main gallery.
You can’t help feeling like there is so much more you could be doing with your own social media profiles and you feel a little inadequate.
But now you’ve seen it, you can’t copy it because it’s someone else’s idea. Despite being the nicest person in the world, you can’t help feeling like there is so much more you could be doing with your own social media profiles, and you feel a little inadequate.
Don’t repress that green monster!
By understanding that everyone feels Social Media Envy themselves, even the florist down the road and the heroes behind #tweetfromtheseat, you can start to use these negative feelings to your advantage. While jealousy is an uncomfortable emotion to have, grabbing that green monster by the horns could lead to the creation of some brilliant social media campaigns of your own.
Every time you get those pangs of jealousy, try to examine what it is that has made you envious. Calmly ask yourself ‘what do I really admire about this?’ – avoid looking at what you like about the campaign in its entirety, but examine the underlying concepts that you really love and use these in your own posts.
Every time you get those pangs of jealousy, try to examine what it is that has made you envious. Calmly ask yourself ‘what do I really admire about this?’
Envy helps us to understand what we want to become
When I picked the #tweetfromtheseat campaign apart, I realised that I adored the way that the campaign addressed our sense of humour while cleverly targeting a time when customers are most likely to be twiddling about on their phones, ready to engage with a brand. This realisation opened new opportunities for me to think about fresh ideas for my own clients, which were light-hearted and focused on targeting specific moments during a target audience’s day.
If you loved the way the florist used colour in their post, then you might want to think about ways to use new shades and tones in your own social media updates – it’s not about copying them, it’s about using their work as a guide, to point you in a new direction and to inspire you to think outside of your current digital box. Maybe you can start to do a regular Colour Of The Week series, or begin sharing images that include your main brand colours?
When you come face to face with Social Media Envy, it shouldn’t make you feel inadequate. Instead, it can be a fantastic opportunity for you to learn some insightful lessons about what you want to be doing with your own digital marketing campaigns.