How to tackle social media from a brand perspective
With the rise of Facebook and the introduction of twitter in the last ten years has changed brands in a fundamental way: brands now chat. The proliferation of branded Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, Pintrest, Instagram, LinkedIn pages has been of epic proportions. However, ask people whether they pay attention to what brands say in social media, and the honest answer will more than likely be “not really”. It is exceedingly hard to create a truly engaging viral campaign, competition or promotion via social media that garners genuine interest and long-term brand loyalty.
So what should brands do in social media? The answer is – be social, chat. Everyday chitchat can seem irrelevant and beneath a brand of any substance, but it is a vital element in any human social interaction. Talking only of oneself, and remaining “on message” is a sure way of limiting conversation and losing interest. Small talk, whether it’s commenting on topical issues, the weather or the weekend’s activities, builds relationships and paves the way for a more fruitful “on message” discussion.
A pioneering example of a social media brand can be seen in the Netherlands. Dutch Tourism has designed an online persona that connects with friends in a genuine way. The trick is, they’ve created a “real person” to represent the Dutch brand: “Mr Holland”. The character “Mr Holland” is more than a brand ambassador; he is the face of the brand across all social media. And he is typically Dutch – a convivial chap with a big smile and straw blonde hair.
“Mr. Holland is a living symbol of everything this small but beautiful country stands for. His special suit, for example, speaks volumes. It’s typically Dutch to do things just a little different.”
“Mr Holland” is a real living-breathing brand that has his photo taken, plans holidays and generally engages in chitchat. He is a brand people genuinely would engage with on Facebook, Twitter or in the real world.
“Mr Holland” is an innovative brand gesture, and can be used as a social media model for other brands. A social media persona can create adequate space for a brand to operate in a social environment away from the “corporate” side of communications. Giving brands the potential to build real friendships and stir up some much needed excitement in social media. Your brand personality could potentially become influential and really help shape and inform consumer opinion and behaviour. If your brand needs to rethink their social media strategy or just generally needs an overall health check, don’t hesitate to give us a call.