Something is cooking for the brands…and it smells really good.
Brands which lead the social media revolution concentrate on having many aspects of engagement in their online initiatives. Some of the best known social media initiatives have always made use of the following core ingredients a.k.a. the 3 C's to create the perfect sauce.
1. Content - You have a bigger challenge. You want to get attention from people who have millions of choices today on Social networks. If you create content that's worthy of attention, the entire community will stop by, talk about it and share it further. Let's look at some of the principles.
a. Categories - Create content in categories which represents your brand. For example, an electronics product retailer might be interested in creating content for different categories of products like "how to", "top 5 uses", etc.
b. Paint the picture - A picture is worth a thousand words (and millions of hits). Bring your content to life by making it visually appealing by adding pictures, video and annotations. Break the visual monotony by balancing the content with enough visual elements to make it exciting.
c. Make it easy to digest - Bite sized chunks make up for a good reading and easier to digest. If a good story runs into pages, slice and dice it into a series and make it flow smoothly into the other parts. Also, make it easy to link into your story by giving catchy titles and concise introduction.
d. Keep it fresh - There is no doubt about this one. Look everywhere and you will see a constant stream of ideas, news and information. You must create new exciting content and ideas and make it relevant to the current context. Depending on your community and content, you may look at daily or weekly refresh of the content.
2. Creativity - Creativity in Social media attributes to pushing the limits, expanding the horizon, challenging the customers and encouraging them to engage. Creative initiatives make the brand standout from the rest of the crowd.
a. Tell a story - What engages an audience is a good story. Every brand already has a story. Successful storytelling involves taking audiences on a fantastic journey backed up by true facts and engagement. Below are the three tenets of storytelling.
- Share - Share a true story of the brand, a non-personal life experience of the top executives of the organization etc.
- Bond - Do your research. Seek people who have had similar experiences and bond with them. Link back and extend the story into an epic
- Encourage - Encourage your fans/employees to share their own stories related to your brand. Moderate and bring out the positive aspects of the conversation.
Some examples of great storytelling:-
Coca Cola - http://www.coca-colaconversations.com/
Dairy Queen - http://blog.dairyqueen.com/
b. Be Memorable - The crux of brand marketing in Social media is - 'a name not remembered has no influence over time". Be sure to incorporate the following standards.
- Unique - Stand out from the rest of the crowd. Make icon sets & linkable assets of your brand and share it with your fans
- Be seen - Get your name out there. Even established brands should always come back with surprising facts for fans to enjoy and remember
- Consistent - Consistently create an incredible sensory experience on each of your initiative. Inspire, engage or simply awe
3. Collaboration - In today's market conditions, collaboration with customers is a necessity. At present, the market is highly customer-centric. Today's customers not only know a lot more about products and services but they also like to express opinions and influence other customers. The brand needs to develop a strategy to build relationships with customers online and connect with them. Taxonomy has shifted to Folksonomy.
a. Encourage - Encourage your fans to give frank feedback. Publish your response with adequate moderation.
b. Crowd source - Put a concept or theme on the table and ask your fans to ideate and experiment with you.
c. Reward them - Run a contest around ideas, choose the winner and reward them by creating an event out of it.
d. Brand ambassadors - Seek committed customers and fans, start a brand ambassador program, arm them with fun tools to promote you and take their feedback seriously.
The above 3 C's, if mixed properly, will bring a unique flavor to your brand's social media initiatives.
So how tasty is your social media sauce? Add a dash of it with your comments here.