3 Reasons Why Meaningful Creativity is the New Social Media Must-Have
Creativity is not usually listed in the top 10 business skills. Not too many business colleges make you take lots of creative writing, art, dance, and music classes as pre-requisites for a business degree. Very few employers scream for their marketing team to make their brand “pretty” or for workers to “feel” more during their yearly pay reviews. Even fewer employees focus on their creative skills as a way to advance their careers.
Big Mistake, BIG mistake (insert Pretty woman character voice here…)
From my point of view, this lack of activating our emotional and creative side in business is a big mistake – a BIG mistake. Maintaining a business atmosphere that does not encourage (or worse still, squashes) creative expression in the workplace is toxic to creative souls. People are leaving the workplace for its stifling approach and it’s not really needed.
Major creative talent, talent that could bring your brand forward in amazing ways, is leaving because you are still operating your business like it’s the 1950′s. Office politic full of patriarchal leadership, minion vs General power structures, and no play time kills creativity in so many ways. This type of creative wasteland is toxic to your bottom line too…uh, did I mention what a enormous mistake that is?
Create meaning or die!
Meaningful creativity is the new social media must-have, in my humble opinion – alright, fine, maybe not that humble of an opinion, but mine just the same – and here is my justification. See if you can relate.
Reason #1 – We live in a noisy, multi-media world
Tons of people have a camera, post videos, and make great stuff to share. From the cool things sent by your family, friends, and colleagues to the silly viral wildfires that simply amuse us, the landscape is noisy. Having just come off a 30 day digital break, I can tell you my eyes are vibrating today getting back into it. Talk about stimulation overload!
From a business perspective, much of this scuttle might garner eyeballs but doesn’t do that much to strengthen your brand. Yeah, I’m talking to you. Just posting pictures and retweeting quotes won’t cut it.
But here’s the thing – even with the seemingly low value of some of this sharing, it’s out there. It’s competing for your prospects’ time and attention. They are wading through it to get to you, or just as likely, finding it far more interesting that you and hanging out in LOLKitty world instead of hearing your brand message. Yuck.
You have to create eye catching, artistic expressions that further your brand, deepen connection to your corporate mission, and make people fall in love with you. You have to cut through the noise and make it through the filters. Just adding to the noise won’t work. It’s have to be meaningful. Period.
Reason #2 – Information is becoming (has become?) a commodity
In the early 2000′s, I started out online by creating and selling information products. I could sell for $1000 what I’d have to give away in today’s market. With so much information online – heck, you can get an MIT education online without even opting in! – the Information Age has commoditized the very thing it served to elevate – information.
Why does this matter in your social media for company branding? Just doing how-do doesn’t cut it. Education needs to become Edu-tainment, education that amuses and entertains while it teaches. You have to have a flair, an angle, a unique point of view that distinguishes you.
I can get information practically anywhere so why would I pick you over just about any other Tom, Dick, and Harry out there? Truthfully, I won’t. I will pick you based on our relationship, your reputation, and your unique appeal, NOT your information. This state of affairs calls for meaningful creativity.
Reason #3 – Cutesy only takes you so far
We all love babies, puppies, bad/exceptional singer videos, stupid human trick pranks, and snarky quotes on old-fashioned line drawing graphics *ahem* *squee!* *collective ahhhhhhhh**spew milk out your nose*
Operating on the quite stale concept of “made you look, all publicity is good publicity” pablum (my nemesis), cutesy might get your some attention. Giving away an iPad will get your followers. A viral 3rd party quote might get on the top of “Important for a day” list for a few minutes, but honestly, so what? Does that help your business?
Are you prepared to explain to the CEO how cutesy helps your business? Did some social media “guru” tell you to do that? More importantly, are you all that sure it does? How’s it working for you?
Cutesy can work, but not without some real effort. Offering culturally relevant and fresh/fun multi-media can enhance your brand, but only with some planning. Yes, great graphics and fun stuff can signal and strengthen your brand values, demonstrate your mindset, share your emotional point of view, and your caring. Ah, but wait…all that sounds like emotional and meaningful creativity. Touche! Exactly my point!
Time to Refresh?
Take a look at your social media editorial calendar. Why are you sharing what you share? What intent is behind it? How are you tracking your success to know that your intention was met? Where is your meaningful creativity? How are you unique? How are people responding to what you share? Can you up your game and do better?
If you’re like most (me included) you probably could. If so, and you have the courage to admit it, time to do a refresh. Include meaningful creativity as a foundational tenet in your approach and track how it goes. It will take some time, but it will work. And you’ll be more fun to follow too. *wink*
Til next time!
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
[graphic by AForestFrolic]