This really rang true for me. Many, if not most brands approach social media as simply another marketing channel. A place to ‘be friendly and encourage conversation’ while telling the story about their products. The only problem is, this is the wrong approach.
TALK WITH YOUR BRAND EVANGELISTS.
When we start a relationship with a client the first thing we recommend is that we do some deep research with brand evangelists. Sometimes we’re told ‘Oh, we’ve already done lots of focus groups’. But when we look at that data, it rarely gets to the heart of what makes customers PASSIONATE about a particular brand experience. Or, what they feel would be most important to them on social pages.
That’s what you need as the foundation for effective social strategy. To give just one example: We’ve done evangelist research for a number of wine brands. What people are most enthusiastic about isn’t the taste profile of a particular bottle. It’s the experience of sharing and enjoying it. So what we hear is ‘It’s the most relaxing part of my day, and I really look forward to a glass of wine and just unwinding with my husband.’
WHERE’S THE PASSION?
So the passion for the brand is wrapped around relaxation & conversation – a chance to switch off from the digital life and embrace real communication. And that’s what needs to be at the heart of social media, not information about the winery or the harvest or awards.
Remember that authentic communities are built upon shared passions. If you provide a platform for your evangelists to express what they’re passionate about (and why), you’ll be rewarded with lots of engagement and activity. In essence, your products take a bit of a back seat, while the driver and passengers talk about what they love.
The important thing however is this – your brand is still along for the ride. And, it’s your social pages that provided the forum, so they’ll keep coming back. That’s how social works best.