So Much Of Social Is What It Says About The Fans, Not The Brand
September 30, 2014
One of the great success stories in social sharing this summer came from Coca-Cola.
They had an idea…
… to personalize as many Coke bottles as they could with the prompt "#ShareACoke." Maybe people would get a kick out of seeing their name on the iconic bottles (and even the names of those they know), and the product would get purchased, shared socially, and in the process, finally reverse the decade long decline in U.S. Coke consumption.
And sure enough -- it worked.
Not only did a great number of friends share Coke bottles on our Timelines and News Feeds, Coca-Cola's soft-drink sales rose over 2 percent.
The shares were fun and even humorous at times. People love seeing their name. Perhaps the most moving share seen by many in radio came from WIYY/(98 ROCK) and WBAL-AM Program Director, Dave Hill:
When I commented how great this was, Dave shared something even cooler about this specific branded bottle:
Coca-Cola achieved the "wow" factor that every brand should aspire to.
GenY really took to this campaign. And there's a reason for that. Coca-Cola took the 250 most popular first names of teens and older Millennials and slapped them on their bottles.
They simply came at this campaign from that generation's point of view. And regardless of who you target -- when our approach to content and promotion is from the fans' point of view -- it will always be the stuff that resonates -- those unexpectedly, cool moments.
But there's a special mindset required in order for a brand to succeed socially.
It starts with paying attention and having the discipline to not say what we want to say, or do what we want to do -- but learning what it is the fans want to hear.
Mediocre content and self-indulgent campaigns can be as brand erosive as a bad break. Over time, the audience becomes fatigued and unmoved. In short, they become passive fans.
And there is no value in a passive social fan base.
So we should always assess what it is we're creating and how we're coming off to our fans. Content and marketing campaigns require more effort than most brands invest in the space right now.
It's a serious traffic jam out there. Consider this infographic created by Qmee -- what happens online every 60 seconds.
That's what we're competing with. And it's only going to get noisier.
"Listen now," "Share if you agree" or "Katy Perry tickets at 2:15" no longer works. It's a new day.
Just like Coca-Cola, radio and personality brands have to provide entertainment or utility, something useful that makes fans feel involved and triggers enough emotion that makes them align their loyalty with our brands.
It requires working every day at earning anticipation and trust on the part of the fans -- it's the ultimate social reputation. And once that's accomplished -- the fans start to share our meaningful content (without being prompted), complementing our brands and maybe even increasing ratings.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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