a r t i m e d i a

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Social Branding More Social

As social media arise, all the terms related to it gain new power: social branding, social content, social video and all kinds of terminologies that add the word “social” in the beginning or in the end.  The main thing about social, though, is not only trying to be there, but to appear in the middle of the crowd: to be interesting, to be cool, to be someone. Among the billions, that’s not easy. But it’s possible. 

The main secret here is maybe aligning two efforts: marketing and branding. It is true that there is no universal approach to build and maintain a good brand, but when it comes to SOCIAL branding, we can try to build a checklist using few marketing truths and tactics that work well and that one should keep in mind when they look at their social programs. Summing them up:

Get in the Groove:  Advertising got so saturated that the only way it found to overcome it is to be different. What happens is that being different makes it lose relevance or the message requires too much explanation. Remember: different is not always good, especially in the online environment when a brand has just a few seconds to capture someone's attention and connect with the consumer’s  emotions. There is a groove in each person's head that a message must fit right in. This groove is an incomplete need or thought, based on what they know, what they need and what they love about the brand or category. Find this gap or this "groove" and fill it. Accomplish this and chances are you will have a winning message that connects and embeds in people's minds on a synaptic and emotional level. Miss the groove and probably you will be just another meaningless instant in an ocean of impressions.

Talking about online video, this is apparently clearer: viewers do not realize anymore the standard formats that block content out there, bothering what should be a pleasant experience. We just press the “skip this ad” button and all the efforts spent on hours in advertising agencies are lost on the click of the mouse.  New and unique formats came to fill in this gap and offer an exclusive way of advertising, the same way social networks are investing on video features and allowing paid advertising (as recently Instagram announced) in order to make it “native”,  to make the viewer “choose” what, when and how they want to see ads. That is the true online video advertising revolution: the free will that it now offers. 

Be Helpful:  Ask yourself a simple question: "Why would someone want to hear from my brand on a regular basis?" Make sure there is a good answer. An answer that even convinces you, as a person and a customer. How can it be that getting a continual stream of content from your company will add value to your audience?  Give people a palpable reason to connect with your brand/service and make them one of the driving forces of your social content and promotions. And this answer should be applied to all kinds of content, meaning texts, articles, white papers, videos, etc. – everything that carries the name of your brand and is online should be meaningful and worthy.

Make People Talk: when talking about social media, a brand is not what you say;  rather, it's what people say about you.  So, give people something to talk about.  Light up conversations and promote content that generates dialogue, not just between you and your community, but between the members of your community and new and potential leads. Encourage interactions. Make things viral. How? Read the following tip.

Encourage Sharing:  Sharing is as valuable as liking or following on social media. It creates immediate bond impressions featuring your brand and also goes back to the "make people talk" tip. Be greedy with sharing and cherish it. Make content that is worth sharing and then make the share the call to action you are trying to encourage. We all want engagements, conversions and actions - but usually forget about the share, what in the end is the key that will lead a campaign to become viral. And often forget that in the social media environment, the share is actually the action. Think that  nowadays, approximately people watch 4 billion YouTube videos every day. 68% of video watchers share links to the videos. Creating highly compelling videos that tell your brand’s story and posting them on YouTube will make your brand be spread like fire on straw. It will create the bond with your audience and make your brand known with the new leads you are searching for. And we are talking here only about YouTube. Don’t forget about Facebook. And Vine. And Instagram…

Be Human: Social media is the right place to show the human side of a company. To let people get to know not its products, but the people behind its products. After all, it’s about socializing and people want to feel like they are connecting with real people who share their values and emotions. It is impossible to communicate with an inanimate object. Loosen up a little bit and show the face behind the curtain. Be real friends with the people who are willing to love your brand.  After all, we are all humans here. 


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