Building A Believable Social Brand Requires Adapting To The Moment
June 25, 2013
If there's one thing that's certain about the social space – it's never dull.
With the announcement last week that Instagram now "moves" – Instagram Video – it was just another sign that the visionaries and CEO's of these social touch points will always be hacking their products to stay ahead of consumer habits and tech trends.
Perhaps by now you've played around with "Insta-Vine," as my 13 year old and her friends call it. We now have the power of "Cinema" in our pockets – literally.
With Video on Instagram, you not only can edit clips and add filters (unlike Vine,) but it has the "Cinema" feature built into Instagram's iOS app. (Mainly for those of us who take those crappy, shaky videos. Cinema stabilizes the video).
While it can be burdensome when a new app, site, or in this case, a new feature on an already established platform is rolled out – it's important that brands are alert during these moments and jump in.
It becomes your opportunity to show up and test-drive the platform with fans.
That simple act alone offers a sense of realness to your product - something critical for brand building in the 21st century because your fans are consuming these announcements at light speed.
Consider that the very second Mark Zuckerberg spoke the words "Instagram" and "video" during the rollout - the hashtag "#InstagramVideo" became the number one trending topic on Twitter for hours. That should key brands into the fact that it's not just techie and social writers who live and breathe this stuff – there's a portion of your fans right there following this, too.
For many, Instagram is their identity – sharing still shots of what matters to them.
Visual imagery is everything. We capture moments because we know we'll never get them back. And one way to earn more room in the hearts of your fans is to help them capture moments – as well as take them behind the scenes and show them your moments.
The power of visual keeps fans connected to you – especially when they aren't listening. And clearly, short video making is where it's going (for now).
Among the few radio brands (and talent) I spotted testing out "Insta-Vine" with its fans were XHTZ (Z90)/San Diego, WRIF/Detroit Morning Stars Dave and Chuck the Freak with Lisa Way and KNDD (107.7 The End)/Seattle talent GregR.
Z90 "took fans with them" at the Justin Bieber concert in San Diego over the weekend:
Dave and Chuck the Freak played around with Instagram Video by panning the studio – again, giving this feature a test drive – the same thing the fans were doing at this moment:
And GregR had a cool personal moment with fans – sharing something he likes to do when he's off the air:
And while there is plenty of opinion that Instagram Video is going to be the death of Vine, be careful about ditching a platform over knee jerk emotions. First, Vine is still important to use in any brand's social strategy. Second, keep in mind the reason Instagram offers 15 seconds (over Vine's 6 seconds) is because it's the same length of the video ads Facebook is launching this fall (if not sooner).
Facebook needs you to get comfortable seeing 15 second video ads in your Facebook (and presumably) Instagram News Feeds so the ads won't feel so invasive.
The social platforms radio fans use are mounting, and there's only so much time in the day to be effective with all of them. But it's a new world - and these crazy days require a new way of thinking and acting. Social is a critical part of a brand today and it goes beyond Facebook.
It's about being prepared to be present with your fans when duty calls.
Finding your way on emerging platforms with fans is a great way to build on the believability that your great traditional brand is also a true social brand.
Fans give you credit for recognizing where they are when you venture out with a new social platform.
Join me on "Insta-Vine" @llorilewis. I'm looking forward to your stories.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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