Social media can easily send us in directions that take our brands into Lewis Carroll wonderlands of content “no one cares” content creation.
One of my all time favorite things to do is walk-the-beach. (I also like to walk-the-city.). As much as the walk can be a rebooting experience, eventually you do have come off the beach. That’s where it can get tricky. Going only a few feet away from the path that set you on your adventure you suddenly realize there are few signs to mark your return destination spot.
You have to make an effort to remember from whence you came.
I wondered … how does a brand approach social media without getting lost in a world of new sensations and shiny toys? To put it in marketing terms, do we even remember to take brand values into consideration? Or do we skip onto the social platforms and into a dizzy new wonderland and never look back from whence we came?
Then one day do we suddenly realize that we are lost and our customers are totally confused about what our brand stands for?
There are critical issues to consider when a brand takes the walk into the unstructured world of digital conversations:
(1) Content and (2) Voice = Trust (end game)
1. Content — While social media content can and should reflect the ‘human side’ of your authors, to be considered a serious business initiative it must align with your brand values. In today’s over abundance of great information ‘value or relevant’ content is the price of entree into the social media world.
A few years ago I sat in on a TV station’s morning news meeting where reporters pitched story ideas to the news director. One journalist tossed idea after idea. The news director continued to shake his head no until something sparked and he nodded and said. “Now I care.”
Taking the concept into the marketing world, to succeed with social media content, brands must must go further to create and/or curate – Now I Care Content. Now I Care stories are those your audience wants not only to consume but will engage with on social platforms.
If you do your job well you’ll achieve the ultimate social success ~ The Share.
2. Voice – Especially if employees are creating content for your brand, encourage them to develop their unique ‘voices’ while maintaining the brand value and brand promise. Keep in mind “voices” may not always be text but video and podcasts/audio. Images including the ever popular infographics count too.
3. Trust – One of my favorite CEO blogs was written by Bill Marriott. His posts, seem like personal letters directed to me from a charming man who I’d love to sit across the table from and share a meal or a glass of wine. Mr. Marriott wraps his post around personal experiences that always lend insight into the company and himself.
Perhaps I’m a bit naïve or maybe it’s just wishful thinking but I must admit, if I were to learn that a PR manager or an out-sourced agency was ghost writing for Bill Marriott I’d be more than sad. I’d feel a break in trust between my friend Mr. Marriott and myself. Trust is hard earned, not to be taken lightly.
Not all content or voice tonality will be right for every brand. While a funny cat post on Facebook may result in a lift of likes and shares is that what you really want your customers and prospects to keep top of mind about your brand? While humor can be a great content direction the challenge is to be both relevant and fun. Are a few easy like wins worth a wobble to your brand image?
When you head into the digital conversation wonderland, you have to make an effort to remember from whence you came and who cares about what you create.