No – this is not a political statement. Conservative social marketing … yes, 98% of brands and companies are too conservative. Nothing bold and thus, nothing that stands out.
Do you really expect your audience to continue to sip your kool-aid, or do you think they will be better served and have greater interest if you spike your social communication and engagement a bit?
I heard a great line this week from Jeffrey Hazylett, author of The Mirror Test and Running the Gauntlet as well as chairman of the Hazylett group that you should consider. He said, “I might get described as a bull in a china shop … that’s an inaccurate description of me or of any agent of change. You see, I’ve never broken a plate or crystal glass.” Isn’t this exactly what you want in your social marketing … To startle and maybe even shock your audience to truly grab their attention and continually keep them interested?
Everyone is looking at social marketing best practice. I do think it is important to look at others and learn from them. But do not just copy others. Do something different. Be bold. Here are some considerations to push you and your brand to the bold side:
– Creativity and originality, first. This is most important as you take toll of the other points that follow.
– Examine your audience behavior and engage in their manner, not yours.
– Have a cause beyond your product.
– Amaze your audience with responses that they would never expected.
– Establish a reputation as a committed content producer beyond product/service.
– Consider video production – be an independent video producer with compelling and entertaining content.
– Make listening and responding the heart of your social marketing – true social engagement.
– Time is of the essence – put real-time marketing in the hands of your most trusted employees … Social communications beyond the “marketing communications” people.
Look, just about anyone can launch their social marketing now. But I guarantee you that you will get negligible results if you just do it and do not take some risk in being bold. There is way too much status-quo noise out there and you need to rise above the hum and make your brand sonic.
I would also add that there is a difference between being bold and being stupid. Consider the Ford debacle in India. Their recent ads of women in bondage in the hatch of a Ford car were not bold, they were stupid. Always start with your audience. Understand them. If you truly know your audience, you will be able to separate stupidity and boldness. The Ford ads were down right offensive. Especially in a country that is getting horrible press related to gang rapes.
Some of the keys to your social marketing success is to a) know your audience and their behaviors and motivations b) learn from others successes and failures, and c) turn it up a notch and demonstrate creativity and originality. When I say conservative social marketing is dead, I am referring to a “me too” attitude and execution. This approach to social will keep you in the noise and never elevate you to standing above the crowd. Is this what you want? Think not. Be bold.
Make it happen,