By adaptive - September 23rd, 2014

Social media can be used to make a brand brilliant, tell stories and build up a narrative that everyone wants to read

Over the past two weeks we have examined the role and value of social tactics in building your corporation’s brand and ensuring that its presence remains fresh and exciting. In the first part we discussed the social media toolbox, in the second how to adapt tactics to fit a rapidly changing market. In this final instalment we will be looking at how brands have got people talking about them and their products or services.

“When you’re looking for the right social media marketing tactics for your business, you need to look for tactics that will help you find the right way to cultivate relationships with potential customers over the long term,” says Thomas Brown, Director: Strategy and Insights at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. “This means your strategy needs to be focused on raising traffic on your website, building an ongoing conversation with any potential and current customers and getting people spending money on a product or service. You need to try and avoid tactics which simply increase traffic through your social media accounts, but don’t generate leads and sales.”

Your content needs to resonate with your target market and encourage them to engage with your brand. One of the leading trends in this space at the moment is to develop a brand narrative – a story that will capture the imagination of the target market and see them adopting this as their own, buying into what it represents and how it can change their lives.

Brand Storytelling-Copyright Marketing Week

Brand Storytelling Category Ranking-Copyright Marketing Week

The above infographic above uses results from research undertaken by Aesop, a brand storytelling agency, and OnePoll. The brands were measured against criteria such as brand personality, memorability, credibility and purpose.

Apple came out on top and the three biggest risers were mobile phone brands that included Three, Talk Talk and HTC. According to the research, charities did well within the top 20 because their goals are conveyed clearly, credibly and within a strong story. Each of these brands has focused on creating a compelling brand narrative that’s carried consistently throughout their communications and social engagement.

Be Interesting

MyVoucherCodes had 100 thousand visits to the site on the busiest day of the year, 3.7 million unique visitors over the past three months and three million page views in April 2014. Their social campaign has seen them achieve 263 thousand Facebook fans, one thousand Google+ followers, 18.6 thousand Twitter followers and a rich layer of loyalty with 71% of their users saying they would recommend the brand to others.

MyVoucherCodes is using several marketing channels to promote the brand and drive traffic to the site and the social media channels make up one significant component of this approach. To gain greater exposure and keep up customer engagement, the brand cross promotes great offers or competitions via different channels, which has the added benefit of maximising the outcome.

A recent competition saw MyVoucherCodes offer the winner a gift card from one of Britain’s most popular restaurants. The competition was easy to enter and hosted on their Facebook page with promotional activities going out through Facebook and Twitter.

“What made this competition so successful was that we were cross-promoting it via one of our email newsletters,” says Louise Pelerin, Marketing Communictions and Social Executive at MyVoucherCodes. “We send out at least five newsletters a week which all have different themes. We promoted this competition in the restaurant email through a banner that linked back to Facebook and the competition. It had an exceptionally high click-through rate, an uplift of 770% (in email clicks) from the previous week, and the engagement, shares and reach on Facebook increased remarkably. For us it was a win-win situation where two vital marketing channels both increased their volumes.”

The ultimate goal for any social campaign is to be interesting without using cheap shots or publicity stunts to get into the public eye. John Hancock, a financial services company based in the USA, recently launched a hugely successful campaign that tapped into social media, above-the-line and – most importantly – a storyline. Using the popular Choose Your Own Adventure format, the company let the public decide what happened next in the brand narrative. The campaign launched with a 30 second clip where the Father asked, “Look, we still need to talk about this. Can I come in?”

Entitled The Knock and carried into the social sphere through the #LifeComesNext hashtag, the campaign engaged with its target market on a very real level by asking the questions that affect so many people today, and showing how the company could provide some of the answers…

Tanya de Sa Franco, Social Media Manager for Hello Conversations recommends four tactics for creating an interesting and vibrant campaign that gets people talking:

  • Engaging content that entices people to interact.
  • Messaging needs to be simple and to the point.
  • Provide something the market wants and that is shareable.
  • Encourage two-way conversation – don’t just push your content and sales pitch.

Topline Communications and WorldPay

In the B2B arena, creating interest demands a different approach and yet can have enormous potential. TopLine Comms was approached by WorldPay to drive its offering to the small business market and the agency decided to launch a dedicated blog aimed at celebrating the heroes behind small businesses in the United Kingdom.

The site – - offered readable, entertaining and useful information that was directed at the small to medium enterprise (SME) market and tapped into their need for content that was relevant and interesting. The campaign was a marked success with the blog achieving the impressive status of being Facebook’s biggest UK SME community, 9, 000 unique monthly readers and lead generation capabilities of over 50 per month.

It evolved from nothing more than WorldPay’s desire to connect with the SME community and tapped into the market’s need for information, community and support.

In the end

“The best tactic for a flexible social campaign is plain old communication, whether it is about strategy, tactics, analytics, creative concepts, messaging or internally between parties or the service provider,” says Juanita Vorster, Owner of At That Point. “People tend to focus on the digital aspect of social media, rather than keeping in mind that communication is the key ingredient to managing social relationships. If something doesn’t catch your attention during an offline conversation, it probably won’t catch your follower’s attention online either.”

Interesting doesn’t mean over the top or excessive. It means that your brand narrative needs to answer questions that your target market keeps asking and in a way that they find compelling. Engage with people, listen to them and remember that communication has more than one person talking.

The Social Media for Customer Service Summit 2014

November 2014, New York

The Social Media for Customer Service Summit is your one-stop-shop for all the latest social media insight and best practice. It gives you a 360 degree look into building, operationalizing and initiating a successful social media strategy at your company

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