Fast Company has an excellent section on its September issue: Social Media Roadmap. It covers different areas and do’s and dont’s of which I will highlight some here starting with successful and failed social media efforts.
But the one I think is the most important, is the section on simplicity. As marketers we tend to love things that have many features. In social branding efforts this can backfire as we attempt to do EVERYTHING and make the customer do EVERYTHING as well. Just because consumers are multitasking today (emailing, texting, and watching content) doesn’t mean we should add to their lists of things to do. Social branding is about engagement, interaction and conversations – its about getting the customer to engage in a behavior (purchase) through a previous behavior (conversations). To get there we need to keep it simple in our efforts. If marketers start asking customers to jump through hoops, or worse, hold a spastic campaign where everyday is a different action – customers will not get bored, they will get frustrated and walk away.
Think about it this way, social branding is about having a conversation – two way conversation. If we add many different activities to that conversation it equals being constantly interrupted and hence breaks the flow and worse the connection the brand may develop with the customer. One quote in the article reminded me of something I said to the students of my first social media class circa 2007:
“You can’t really buy a like,” Iskold says. “That’s really an old-fashioned email-harvesting model. What’s the point? If someone wants to engage with the brand, you have to facilitate that, instead of just saying ‘let’s go buy some likes.’”
Marketers find a new media and run to be there with the old established model – let’s buy space! Social branding is VERY different and takes a paradigm shift and vision change from marketers. Gone are the days of static content. Here are the days of dynamic content that gets shared.
If you want to succeed keep social branding simple and interesting. Those too factors is what will then persuade customers to share with their peers, and put the eWOM to work.