The New Approach to Marketing
This morning I was on one of my Facebook groups, “Women Entrepreneurs” and a young mom raising an autistic child was entering the Instagram world. She was looking for tips to get traction on social. It was amazing the number of comments that followed, all offering their services to increase her followers. I call this the hustle game. Yikes! Not one comment addressed the root “why” of her posting. Did she feel there was no support, awareness was needed, wanting to build a community, or the nefarious dark side of social, was she looking to use sympathy to get money?
I ask does this s#@t actually work anymore?
I am happy to say it hasn’t been working for a while. Our online interactions are maturing and so are the platforms that vie daily for our attention.
So how does this affect your marketing?
The Erosion of Trust
In the early days of social media, personal stories of triumph over adversity resonated deeply with audiences. These stories often went viral because they were authentic and relatable. However, as the hustle game has gained momentum, these narratives have, in some cases, been commodified. People have become wary of emotional manipulation, and as a result, trust in such content has eroded.
Audiences are more discerning than ever. They can often detect when someone is exploiting their personal challenges for personal gain, and this erodes trust not only in the individual but also in the platform as a whole. Consequently, it's becoming increasingly challenging for those who genuinely need support or wish to raise awareness about important issues to cut through the noise and make a meaningful impact.
I don’t know about you but I’m tired of my feeds being riddled with “the obvious poor me story” videos that pull on our heartstrings purely for financial gain. With a quick swipe, I let the algorithms know I’m not interested.
The Importance of Transparency
If you're a business it's essential to approach your online presence with transparency. Be honest about your motivations, your challenges, and your intentions. Transparency builds trust, and trust is the foundation of any lasting online community.
Moreover, if you're looking for assistance in growing your social media presence, seek out professionals or mentors who prioritize understanding your unique story and goals. Avoid those who offer quick fixes or promise overnight success, as they are often part of the hustle game. Views, clicks, and popups will get you nowhere if your message or product does not align with the person viewing the content. Like the mom above, does she want to help other moms in her situation? Generate awareness for Autism? Or Get financial support? Each of these goals speaks to completely different people and trying to include everyone will just dilute whatever message you want to get across.
The Need for a Shift in Perspective
As users of social media, we also bear a responsibility in shifting the prevailing mindset. This is a growing trend. Instead of rewarding content that exploits sympathy or sensationalism, people actively seek out and engage with authentic voices that share valuable insights, genuine experiences, and meaningful connections. Google recognized this and laid down their 2023 SEO guidelines of the E-A-T Factor: Expertise, authority, and trust as content markers to hit in growing your SEO.
Supporting those who use social media to raise awareness, build communities, or share their stories for the right reasons can help tilt the balance back toward authenticity. It's time to elevate the voices that truly deserve recognition and support, rather than perpetuating the hustle game.
The novelty and flash have worn off and now people are learning how to curate their feeds and information highways. People realize that online is where a big chunk of their time is consumed and are searching for human connection because that is what humans are hardwired to do, connect with other humans. Throughout history, humans have used technology to connect. From hieroglyphs on stone to the written word on paper, radio waves that connected entire countries, and now online connected devices that span the planet in nanoseconds.
All across the board, the trend is pretty clear. From Simon Sinek’s deep discussions on why you do what you do and why it matters to Seth Godin - Marketing 2023 with his thoughts on the remarkable, not the hustle. Even Gary Vee has chimed in on intent, audience, and value. So ask yourself. What value do you bring to the people you want to connect with? Do you showcase your expertise, sort out the noise to demonstrate authority, or take responsibility for providing good value content over time to build trust?
If there is a topic you’d like to hear more about by all means comment below or direct message and I’ll do my best.
Nothing better than a good question to jump into.
Reach out for a talk over coffee or a hike I give information freely. I only ask to be paid when I do the work. email@example.com
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