It seems that the small mom-and-pop businesses are perfectly suited for social media. They’re hip, creative, and fast. On the other hand, The big brands are often the red-headed stepchild in the social media discussion. Sure, there are some notable exceptions (Ford, Dell, Coca-Cola) but other seem to stumble (even the pioneers like Facebook).
The problem is that most bigger brands don’t know where to start. Their size leaves too many options which paralyzes the marketing team and scares the beejesus out of the C-Level team.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
From reviewing dozens of brands, I’ve seen that the key is build the brands social story around a specific brand characteristic that is credible and authentic.
Over and over, I find that the winners gravitate toward 5 strategies that are powerful social tribe touch points.
Any brand can use one or more of these themes to quickly identify their brand’s social theme. Once implemented, your brand will take on a credible presence that embraces its tribe and speaks their language.
5 Successful Big Brand Social Themes
#1 Customer as Hero
Stop looking at your customers as a monolithic group. Look closer and you will find that there are slices of customers with shared interests. Build your social strategy around appealing to these groups. You’ll find that these tight huddles are hiding powerful influencers who will reward your attention with sales and leads.
37 Signal’s Product Blog puts its customers front and center. This humanizes their software product and encourages its tribe to celebrate the innovative engagement with a piece of software.
#2 Introduce the Team
An old sales maxim says that “People Don’t Buy Products They Buy Relationships”. It’s true. Your customers are curious about the people behind the products. Social Media makes it simple to connect with them. Of course, you will need to define the policies and guidelines for this interaction but don’t let this stop you. The benefits far outweigh the risk
Zappos actively encourages it employees to put their daily work life on display. At any point, you can peek inside the lives of most Zappos employees and see how they deliver their legendary customer service.
#3: Cultural Champion
Select a cultural quirk that defines your organization and let your customers behind the curtain. Your culture gives your organization its personality and can form the foundation for attracting an influential tribe.
Southwest’s Twitter and Facebook posts are saturated with its unmistakably “fun” cultural bent. While other Airlines post dry specials, Southwest sees every post as an opportunity to attract travelers who want to fly fun and cheap!
#4: Problem Solver
Remember that your business exists because it solves a specific problem very well. Connect with your roots and build your social strategy around creative ways to engage and solve that problem in new and creative ways.
The folks at IdeaPaint sells a paint that turns any wall into a whiteboard. I’m in love already. The best part is that there blog kicks it up a notch by helping its customers transform their workplace into creativity sanctuaries.
#5: Magical Features
Many times the most powerful social media strategy revolves around a specific feature. For example, Monster is known as a testerone-soaked energy drink, but it could easily engage its audience about the benefits of ginseng a popular ingredient in its drinks.
Have you ordered a Domino’s Pizza online lately? It’s a real treat. Not only has Dominoes improved its pizza (it actually is quite tasty) but they’ve taken their #1 feature – Fast Delivery and turned it into a social media juggernaut. Not only can I track my pizza but I can tweet out my thoughts along the way. Killer.
Please! Avoid the “Fluffy Abstraction”
The key is to find a specific aspect of your brand story that inspires and motivates your audience. However, don’t make the mistake of focusing on a “fluffy abstraction” that your customers can’t relate to. Statements like – “Aspirational Confidence” sounds groovy on a creative brief but falls (far) short of an effective social branding touchpoint.
Related articles by Zemanta
- 5 Warning Signs of a Weak Social Media Strategy (socialmediatoday.com)
- Social Media in Corporations: Pros & Cons of Organizational Models (pr-squared.com)
- Zappos, Crisis Management and the Importance of Owning Your Mistakes (socialmediatoday.com)