Communications, Part 1

Add the fun factor to your company’s social presence

Playing it safe in social media is the surest way to marketing irrelevance.

Make no mistake: brands are competing fiercely for the attention of their customers and prospects, and social media is the new battleground.

Here are tactics to try now.

Show your sense of humor

Adding humor is a great way to showcase your brand’s personality. When using humor keep these three factors in mind: fun, control and information. As long as your humor isn’t offensive to anyone or any group, it’s a really great way to heighten your engagement.

Check out this tweet from Charmin: “That awkward moment when you use the work bathroom and the seat is warm. #shudder #tweetfromtheseat

Charmin and their #tweetfromtheseat hashtag have aligned their humor with their products and now have a huge following on Twitter. Who knew a toilet paper brand would be one of the must-follow accounts on Twitter?

Arby’s delivered an epic tweet that poked some lighthearted fun at music mogul Pharrell Williams, when he wore a Vivienne Westwood mountain hat to the Grammys in 2014. The hat bore a striking resemblance to the Arby’s logo: “Hey Pharrell, can we have our hat back,” it said.

Being different is what makes you stand out from competitors online, and people love lighthearted humor. Using this tactic allows you to make your content a little less formal and corporate.

Create your visual voice

Humans are visual creatures by nature. In fact, articles containing visual content receive 94 percent more readership than plain text. Twitter restricts us to 140 characters (at the moment) and if a picture paints a thousand words, it’s smart to use imagery to create your visual voice.

FedEx creates amazing images for their social strategy and while it may not be the most glamorous brand in the world, they have over 48,000 followers on Instagram. Not bad for a courier service!

The key is consistency and branding. FedEx has a theme to their Instagram posts: pictures of their branded delivery vehicles as seen around the world. And it’s a natural for the brand—who covers more ground and is exposed to more unusual sights than a FedEx driver?

  Understand your audience

Understanding your audience comes down to two factors: 1. Being where your audience is. 2. Writing for your audience. If your audience consists of 40- to 55-year-old women, then the likelihood is that they are not on Snapchat. Pouring resources, time and money into a platform that your audience does not frequent is simply a waste. Using the same vernacular as your audience is also important.

Not only will your message resonate better with them, but they won’t have to edit it when they share your content on their own social platforms. Netflix obviously has a huge amount of data on their users and they really take the time to understand their social audience, as you can see from this recent post.

Netflix said: Step 1: Binge the whole series. Step 2. Have an existential crisis. Step 3. Woooooooooosah. Step 4: Repeat.

 Involve your audience

Your audience wants to be a part of your brand—that’s why they’re following you—so engaging them is a great tactic to boost your social media presence. GoPro looked to their audience for their social media posts. They asked them for their best photos, curating this user-generated content as part of their social strategy.

This not only showcased the product in action, but also made for great sharing and engagement. Who wouldn’t love their awesome photo being shared across the world on GoPro’s Instagram account?

 Stay current

Using current trends and fads can keep your content up to date and relevant. Right now, everyone is catching Pokemon and lots of brands are trying to leverage the extreme popularity. This approach is effective because it incorporates something outside of your brand that your audience cares about, while taking a little break from a constant stream of self-promotion.

It’s also about having a little fun! Monroe Bank and Trust jumped on the Pokemon Go bandwagon by inviting customers to play at their branches and ATMs, with the chance to win a gift card. Hot Topic encouraged their customers to stop by, not only to shop their items, but to catch Pokemon by posting images online of the Pokemon at their store.

Get personal

In a strategic move to drive participation, John Freida went a step further to create personal content for their followers with their “Shades of Me” campaign. By connecting their followers’ Instagram to their campaign website, John Freida created a personalized video showcasing the fans most-used colors and what those colors revealed about them.

Alex Bradbury, the brand’s digital marketing manager said, “Everybody wants something that nobody has; that’s the crux of it. They want something that’s tailored to them, something that gets a layer deeper.

Theresa Weber

Senior Vice President