A common problem most businesses face in the “digital race” is the correct presentation of their brands on social networks. There is also the need to engage in a way which doesn’t just connect, but converts potential clients. A common mistake most brands make when they venture into social media is the belief that their brands are so ‘awesome’ that people naturally want to see and hear about them, so they develop campaigns that say a lot of colorful and nice things about the brand, but neglect the ‘social’ part of the communication.
Social media is not all about making the best advertising copies and showing the brand up on every platform, at least not every time. The first objective should be engaging and connecting with the target audience. That is the very first rule of social networking. You must engage, create an emotional connection and let the love flow.
As a brand manager, there is a need to think like the target audience. Ask questions like, “if I was my audience, why would I want to listen to the brand? Why would I want to read their tweets? Why would I want to hit the like button or share their posts with my friends? In essence, social media is rooted in relationships, and relationships come with stories, lots of them.
One movie that depicts how social media works and affects your business is CHEF (you should definitely see it when you are done reading this). The movie is a classic exposé on why social media is important for your business, how to harness its power, and how not to go about it. The Jon Fraveau film also offers interesting points on how to build brand image.
So what can you learn from Chef?
In the movie, the 10 year old son of the chef, signed into various social media platforms; Facebook, Vine, Twitter and used these tools to spread the word about his father’s food truck using the hashtag #ElJefeFoodTruck. Colorful and interesting pictures of the food truck, the road trips, the delicious looking meals and 15-second candid videos told everyone a story they all wanted to be a part of. And were they engaged? Of course, they did.
Yes, CHEF is a movie, but the same Social Media rules apply in real life. Creating emotion-laden engagement with great photos, videos, aided with unique and relevant hashtags is a sure way to harness the power of the social media. No doubt, having a beautiful ad campaign with mega budget is great, but connecting with your target is the most important thing. People want to be a part of something beautiful, interesting and fun.
We recently ran a social media campaign for Premier Cool, where we were asked to help create an emotional connection between the target audience (young men, 10-35) and their mums for Mother’s Day. The pre-strategy research showed our TA tends to call their mothers less often than women in the same TA. So we created a video which encouraged young men to call their mums for free through a web app. On mother’s day, not only did 13,000 men/women use the app, we generated thousands of social conversations about the brand. Most importantly, the entire campaign came at the royal cost of $0 to the brand.
Big budgets do NOT guarantee social media connections.
Another lesson to learn from the movie CHEF is how things can go bad in a minute. You should be aware that as much as social media can connect you with your clients, it could also burn you. When Chef Casper started a tweet fight with an acclaimed food critique, he thought he was sending a private reply, but he was ignorant of how social media works and his gaffe was visible to millions.
It did not end there. His tantrums were videotaped and went viral after they were posted online, spinning tons of memes, trolls and jokes. The lesson here is that ignorance of how social media works is not an excuse. Present yourself to your audience with care, and ensure your customer service skills are ‘on point’, because whether you’re online or not, people are talking about your brand.
Finally, when you properly harness social media for your brand, make it a connecting platform. In CHEF, people used social media to find the El Jefe food truck, connect with the owner, and also their friends. An effective social media strategy should center on building and fostering connections. Just think of it as a value-add from your end and watch your reputation soar.
Harness the power of Social Media today, and start connecting with your clients.