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/ #teamSociate / Sweet marshmallows and sweeter social media wins

Sweet marshmallows and sweeter social media wins


Written by SOCIATE’s copywriting intern, Shanice Chrisel


Chances are you’ve heard about the Marshmallow Experiment. 


A group of 4-year olds, each enticed with a single marshmallow, were asked to pause their temptation for a bonus goodie: two marshmallows. 


Temptations in the digital world come in the shape of trending topics – pair the sweet prospect of reeling in big bucks with the fun of creating content…and you have yourself a proverbial marshmallow straight from hell’s kitchen. Unfortunately, trending hashtags hide a not-so-sweet secret.


Tapping into quickfire strategies to satisfy requests for higher impressions may come at the price of your audience. Watching your brand get on the bandwagon may come across as a desperate attempt for your followers’ attention, pushing them to run the other way – all because you “tried too hard”. Nabbing their approval comes with its own con – your brand’s message could drown within a hashtag ocean of posts, rendering your efforts futile.


To truly master the art of fleeting fads, revisit the makeup of your followers. Rely on your teams’ research and transform them from mere @ handles to multi-dimensional personalities with likes and dislikes. Broaden your understanding of their lives to decode the passion that strings your audience together, and stir in interest and connection for the long haul. 


A winning strategy would revolve around selling them your story, instead of your products. Talk to them about how your business took off from within your dining room and walked a rocky road that eventually nabbed you a stunning office! Engaging captions with a splash of creativity have far more growth potential than a monotonous churn of personality-devoid posts. 


When it comes to the ever-changing digital sphere, relevance has always triumphed over reach. Schedule a weekly meeting to sift through worldwide trending topics and resort to the few that truly resonate with your core audience. 


Remember: don’t hunt for big hashtags, but for the right ones. 


Oh and, back to the marshmallow story. Fourteen years later, the research team gathered the now 18-year-olds for a mini marshmallow reunion. Turns out that those who waited for their promised goodie achieved greater wins than those who gave into the temptation.

Looks like long-term rewards trump instant gratification after all. 


Looking to boost your communications strategy? We’ve got our top-drawer talent on board to trouble-shoot all your PR, marketing and copywriting needs. Just drop us a line at [email protected] for more info.

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