musings on life

Here, you'll learn about my journey of adulting in the Windy City.

Social Branding | Everybody (Should Be) Doin' It

Recently I did a post on how social media increases the buying power of brands. But starting a Twitter account for your company that's headed by an old-head who probably thinks social media is a waste of time, doesn't make your company social in the least bit. A social brand is an organization that engages in a real-time dialogue with its community using social, mobile, and gaming technologies to build its reputation, profits or social impact.

I'm sure by now everyone has seen the three-word tweet from Pres. Obama shortly after we found out he had this whole election thing in the bag. The simple message, "three more years" garnered almost 900,000 RTs (that's the abbreviation for re-tweet--trust me, someone will read that with a look of utter confusion) on Twitter and was favorited nearly 300,000 times. In this case, the brand was the President and the message he chose to send gave expression to his supporters' voices rather than congratulating himself.

By being so succinct, as we know Pres. Obama isn't necessarily a man of few words, it was readily shareable (given Twitter's 140-character limit), even leaving room for people to add their own comments as they RT-ed the message. As such, this seemingly simple message was a powerful example of using social media in a community facing rather than self-centered ways to leverage the powerful emotions sweeping the country to amplify the message; content marketing at its finest. Equally instructive is the image the President and his team chose to represent this truly historic moment. It struck at the heart of powerful storytelling by sharing an image that was intimate and vulnerable instantly humanizing the President and First Lady, making them accessible and the image compelling to share.

Doesn't this photo just make you feel ridiculously fuzzy and content? A major part of social branding is the ability to evoke some sort of emotion from visual imagery. Photo: @BarackObama

Doesn't this photo just make you feel ridiculously fuzzy and content? A major part of social branding is the ability to evoke some sort of emotion from visual imagery. Photo: @BarackObama

But the Prez and his team aren't the only ones who seem to have this social branding thing on lock. Everyone seems to want the Chicago Bulls point guard, Derrick Rose to recover from his torn ACL so much so, Rose has partnered with Adidas to create a web series known as "The Return." It's impossible not to be moved by these videos that follow Rose's steps to recovery. Chicago sports fans are some of the most passionate people I've ever encountered--they make someone like myself, who's never been much of a sports head, somewhat excited about sporting events. Even if the team is terrible, these fans are still committed. But when news of Rose's injury broke, it was as if the entire city shared this man's pain. Rose even talks about the series and his recovery process on his Twitter with the hashtag, #therecovery. The hashtag encourages others to get in on the conversation too.

The videos are personal. They're relatable. They give us something to look forward to. They educate us about a product, the d rose signature collection (let's not forget this is still a business)  without being obnoxious like Lebron James and this Samsung Galaxy Note 2 commercial. No one actually believes he uses that device. Well, at least I don't.

Since Campbell's Soup Co.'s first digital marketing and social media director Adam Kmiec has taken over, the company has made some pretty bold, brassy and boisterous (for alliteration's sake) digital decisions. First, they increased their digital budget by 40 percent this fiscal year, which began July 30, cutting the company's overall marketing budget. But digitally, they're great at what they do! Have you seen their fan page on Facebook? It's one of the most captivating brand pages I've seen. I don't even care for Campbell's, but they make me want their food. They're successful at having discussions, creating polls, photo/video sharing and posing open-ended questions. The posts are authentic, inclusive, concise and amplify the positive. Facebook allows brands to engage digitally with customers--it's been found that users are 51 percent more likely to buy a product after "liking" a page. Campbell's has 466,641 likes...

What other social brands can you think of?