The one thing FMCG’s and big brands are missing in their social campaigns

FMCG’s (Fast moving consumer goods) have everything thought of. They’ve got their brand story, their tone of voice, immaculate graphic design and brand. Except they’re missing one thing….. a human soul.

When you have a lot of people working on one brand social media accounts, it becomes nobodies real responsibility. Say you’re in a creative agency and your copy writer writes the copy, the designer then designs posts from that and then someone… presumably an admin or social media manager of some sort uploads the posts to HootSuite or Sprout Social. And they may have customer service nailed by checking the accounts now and again to see if anyone has DM’d with a complaint. And then they cant understand why the accounts aren’t performing as well as their competitors. They’ve done everything right? Great content, everything looks nice.. what’s happening?

The problem is, people don’t go on social media to engage with brands. They don’t want to interact with ‘copy’. Alongside real, (and often quite raw) conversations with their friends and influencers on social media your brand account is robotic.

Brand accounts are lacking soul:

  • A lady direct messages you to tell you how much she loves your products. No one sees it.
  • A man tags you as a product he uses after his morning run, every Sunday. The account doesn’t even follow him back.
  • An influencer goes to a lot of trouble to make a beautiful reel showcasing your product. Nobody says thank you.

How would you feel as a customer, when the brand is suggesting they’re there on social to have real conversations, and you’re attempting it and getting shot down. It makes you feel the same way as you would if you tagged an acquaintance on LinkedIn and wrote a whole post about how great you think they are – only for them to completely ignore it. It makes you feel a little bit resentful.

Without our customers, we wouldn’t have a business. Especially FMCG’s. Don’t ever take your customer base for granted.

Since what I will call ‘the Weetabix incident’ on Twitter (Weetabix posted a meme, lots of other big brand accounts responded and everyone thought it was hilarious) a lot of other FMCG’s have been trying to interact with my brand accounts on Twitter – but it’s not my priority to get involved with that, particularly if they’re a brand who doesn’t fit within our brand ethos. My priority is joking around with, bigging up and chatting with customers. Yes, even if their ‘content’ isn’t perfect.

It’s like when celebrities or ‘blue tick’ people on twitter ignore their fans replies but respond right away to other celebrities. It’s gross.

So how do you give your big brand soul?

Just put a human being behind that screen. There needs to be someone who is using the account as if it’s their personal Instagram. Checking it multiple times throughout the day and responding to people immediately in the brands voice. It’s a small, easy thing. But it’s going to make a bigger difference than anything else you could plan – forget tweaking your copy, brand, or doing more ‘engagement boosters’. Your account needs someone sat behind it who genuinely gives a shit about your account (preferably someone who uses your product as well).

That’s it, no fancy tricks.

Your customer will feel like someone is sat behind that Instagram account, someone who recognises them. Someone who remembers their name and their conversation from last time. And here’s the fun part – they usually don’t think it’s a social media manager. If the magic is done right, they’ll think you ‘are’ the brand. They don’t picture you as someone who is sat in a marketing agency in Sheffield. They’ll see you are responding from a country farm, or a vineyard in France.