This Is What Works Socially, Pure Emotion
October 16, 2012
For a lot of folks, the way they go about "doing" social and digital is typically academic - they seek out metrics and rules: "How many posts/tweets per day," "peak post/tweet times" (still shaking my head over that one,) "how to rack up 'likes,'" and even "how to game people into participating with you."
However, the world of social and digital sharing can actually be summed up in one word - emotion.
The entire premise of social is to "elevate people's capacity to build and maintain connections." And that is exactly how your fans are using these platforms.
Translation to brands: it's an opportunity to go beyond the ordinary and create meaningful fan experiences.
But that's not always cutting through as we continue to see begging for "likes," superficial tweets, and pictures of "tickets we could win" on Instagram.
So, when I saw this picture and then read the hashtag (my Instagram buddy) Jason Prinzo, SVP SixtyFifty Marketing & Consulting posted about his wife, Angi Taylor, and daughter, it not only choked me up because it's so raw and real – but this picture should be used as a reminder for brands about how your fans communicate socially:
(Angi –as you may know - is Clear Channel Top 40 WKSC/Chicago morning co-host.)
People are recording their "timelines" and they aren't especially interested in what companies have to say.
But if a brand has mastered emulating the appearance of their fans' personal posts and dialogue, it's likelier they'll interact with you. And maybe even advocate on your behalf.
It's really about paying attention to the feelings your content will generate and the amplitude of discussion it can spur. And taking that content and crafting your conversation pieces to look and feel like their conversations – not yours.
That is "what works" socially. Not academics, not "best practices" – but pure emotion.
It wasn't the Lady Gaga or Kim Kardashian stuff (despite the amount of fans they each have socially.) What triggered sharing was unique, human sides of stories/pictures/videos that provoked exchange and stirred up something in people.
These were things they could relate to as people – not as customers, followers, or clients.
For example, last year more people were moved by "A Sister's Eulogy for Steve Jobs," as well as the video of Sam and Ren - the 17-month-old twins talking with each other. And of course the most shared content was the satellite pictures of Japan, before and after the quake and tsunami.
Liquid content filled with contagious emotion.
And while we wait to see what resonated the most socially in 2012, we've already seen some emotional moments play out.
In September, TJ Lang, Green Bay Packers guard unwittingly became the author of the "most re-tweeted tweet" ever in a 24-hour time span when he passionately went off on the NFL after that questionable touchdown call fiasco in Seattle:
It wasn't the most eloquent tweet ever written, but it was simply raw and real that connected with nearly 100,000 people who immediately shared his emotions.
It spoke for them.
Some people are so perplexed by "what works" socially that they miss the simplicity of how fans use social media.
Perhaps author John Steinbeck said it best: "Only the deeply personal and familiar clearly resonates." And Facebook wasn't invented when he was alive.
The key is in connecting your brand with fans through story-telling, and transferring that interplay to station interaction.
Nothing academic about it. It's all emotion.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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