Here in South Africa, things are also heating up, with big corporates following their customers (and their work-shy employees) into that gadfly, online world, where everyone knows your name.But now, when you and your brand walk in the door, do you want the piano to stop playing and everyone to look at you like you don’t belong?
Well, take on board some key success findings of a recent highly respected report.
1. Think like your customers. Adopt their social mind-set. This is the case even in traditional media, but in social media, it’s a no-brainer. What social currency would they share? Coupons, clubs, naughty humor?
2. Be yourself – and laugh at yourself. Best practice campaigns have a clear brand idea. But don’t expect customers to parrot it back at you. Allow them their own opinion. It only makes your music louder!
3. Plan as big as social media. Remember those millions and billions of hits and users? Give the same scale to your budgets, campaign duration and media integration. And don’t just release it into the wild and forget about it. Evaluate it constantly.
4. Use the tricks. Break taboos, make virals, tell stories, call for participation – but most of all, BE CREATIVE! That means take the time to understand what’s worked and why – and then be bold enough to break the rules.
Some of the social media campaigns I liked in 2012:
* American Express came up with Small Business Sunday, an idea that stayed small till Barack Obama tweeted about it. Then it got big. Presidential big!* Groupon. A flagging brand injected life back into itself by making one man live off Groupon coupons for a year. Nice for him? Probably not. But nice for everyone watching!
* And Dollar Shave Club, who made this hysterical viral video for $4,500 and outperformed a cut-throat industry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZUG9qYTJMsI
So be social! Think like your customers. Think like their friends. And above all, be inspired!