I love social media- from a personal and professional perspective. Its flexibility and versatility has allowed brands to entertain and talk with their customers, unleashing some truly distinctive brand personalities.
From the salacious to the sidesplitting, the strange and the spaced-out, social should be a space where all serious brands should stick a stake in the soil.
Ending the alliteration there, and on to my first major point. Social media can all too often be treated as a ‘traditional’ media platform to advertise, instead of a place where brands can define their personalities and converse with their customers.
Take Paddy Power. Almost single-handedly they have transformed the gambling market place to the delight of their customers. With a very strong social approach they have projected their brand personality and revel in the controversy they continue to cause, making Paddy Power THE gambling brand to follow.
From day one their personality has struck a chord with punters, leaving those that were pissed off at the wayside and merely seen as collateral damage. Although occasionally over-stepping the mark, they continue to succeed in engaging their audience and drive unprecedented levels of awareness.
So, for brands trying to get a foot in the social door, cementing a specific, idiosyncratic style is key to securing a worthwhile presence in this sphere. It requires a certain amount of bravery and foresight to be spirited enough to stick yourself out in such a strong way – but ultimately you will never capture the total population’s attention.
Just look at Charmin. They post some very engaging content – especially for those with a very English attitude towards toilet humour. Sure, ‘#TweetFromTheSeat’ isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but there is a correlation with the end product.
Also their Sit or Squat app enables customers to locate, rate, comment and add the whereabouts of a clean public toilet – and even enables you to narrow your search to bathrooms that have a baby-changing station.
Adopting a social media strategy is not a consideration to be taken lightly, or even slightly. It takes a great deal of investment to get it right, but the rewards are clear to be seen. Indeed, 43% of brands with an existing content marketing strategy are successfully tracking ROI.
So take the dive social media is here to stay and will continue to grow. But remember, you need to publish content relevant to your customers and your brand. Have an opinion or a tone-of-voice that makes you stand out. Not everyone will like everything, so don’t try to appeal to all; just speak to your target audience. A social strategy isn’t something to be taken lightly, it needs to be planned, maintained and executed faultlessly. It isn’t an add-on, but a culture change. Don’t just do social, be social.