social media

Social Media is NOT Distribution!

gary vI’m just now realizing why I wasn’t gaining any followers on Google+ or Twitter! Why? Because I wasn’t interacting with anyone & all I did was attach the links to my website & content that people could know where to go. I don’t know how I was so naïve to believe that it would help build a following, but because of one of our greatest marketers of this new era (Gary Vaynerchuk), I’ve learned how to build a SOLID following on ANY social media channel!

People don’t care about you, unless you show them how you can benefit their life. For example, in order for me to build a following on my Twitter & Google+, I MUST interact with people who need help in he area I’m an expert in! In other words, I MUST FIND THE RIGHT PEOPLE TO INTERACT 1-ON-1 WITH! Instead of spamming my timeline with links to my blog, why not communicate with them, LISTEN, figure out what their problem is, & create a unique experience that’ll eventually lead them to my site. That goes back to treating my audience as human beings & NOT just consumers!

Marketing in The Year That We Actually Live in!

Gary Vaynerchuk couldn’t have said it any better! It’s 2014 & if we are still stuck on trying to figure out how to understand something that happened 5 yrs ago, then we’re gonna get left behind! I believe that marketing is storytelling and we must be able to communicate our story to our audience that will keep us relevant! Meaning, as a brand, we MUST stay ahead of our competitors! In order to stay relevant in this NOISY marketing world, we cannot sleep on what’s coming next, but we must also capitalize on what’s happening NOW! Is there a new app or channel that will allow you to connect with your audience on another level? In order to stay ahead, I believe that we must ACT early on & FASTER than anyone else can! If you see that your target audience is interacting on a certain platform that can benefit your brand, WHY NOT ACT ON IT?

Talk Less, Listen More

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Brands and their audience must have a healthy relationship. In order to do so, a brand must listen in order to give their audience what they want.  The more you listen to them, the more you learn about them. The more you study, pay attention, & listen to your audience is what I believe the key is to getting their attention. What do they talk about? Where do they interact on a daily basis? What channels do they use? How often are they using these channels & at what times? Once you’re able to address these questions, creating a strategic plan will become more powerful & clear. The more you know about someone, the easier it is to figure out how to get their attention. By doing so, you’ll be giving them what they want, which will enable you to receive whatever it is you may want in return! :)

The Power Of Thinking Small

Focus intensely on your target audienceYour opportunity lies in finding a neglected worldview, framing your story in a way that your audience will focus on it & go from there. Just think about how the biggest brand became so large. Nike for example: They make clothing for ATHLETES, but because of how they tell communicate each story, people all over the world wants to be apart of it. Nike doesn’t target your normal everyday people, they target ATHLETES, but create stories with morals that everyday people could relate to. DON’T target the world, focus intensely on a small audience that shares the same “worldview” as you. You have to have values & create story morals that will convince your target audience on why they should believe in you (& not your competitors). Study your audience & focus intensely on creating those stories that will get them to become emotionally attached to your brand.

Engage, Equip, Empower

 

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Engage—Give your audience the gift of you. Engage with them. Listen to what they are telling you. Be part of the conversation about your brand. Be a presence in your audiences’ lives. @NikeSupport is a prime example of customer service done well. They constantly respond to followers on Twitter, whether it’s about their apparel, Fuel Band or other products. Every few minutes, you can watch them respond to someone new.

Equip—Give them reasons to talk. It can be amazing products, great service, insider knowledge, social elevation, incredible stories, unbelievable facts or even funny disclosures. It’s on you. It really depends on you understanding your consumers and what they like about you and providing whatever it is they need from you. Apple revolutionizes technological devices and delivers amazing products to its consumers, allowing them to naturally raze about the newest iPhone. Another area to excel in and that’s on the rise is social customer service.

Empower—Give consumers different ways to talk and share. Let them know that they are important to you and that sharing their opinions is important to you. Help them find ways to share within their circles and find ways to help move their conversations around. Lay’s is an excellent example to highlight how they empowered their fans to “Do Us a Flavor,” and allow consumers to create a new flavor of potato chips to hit store shelves. Over 3.8 million submissions were sent in 2013 making it one of the biggest marketing campaigns for PepsiCo owned Frito-Lay.

Avoid Brand Selfishness

No one wants to listen to someone who only speaks about themselves! If you’re a brand, you should be here because you want to do something that’ll benefit others, not just yourself. Just think of the huge brands: Nike, Apple, Beats by Dre, or even Coca Cola. If you watch their commercials & campaigns, you’ll see how every move that they make is a move that will show how much they honor & appreciate their audience. Let’s use Coca Cola for example; In EVERY commercial & campaign I’ve seen, they’re giving their audience a unique experience. In the commercial above, they used a Happy (soda) machine & instead of charging, they gave away their drinks for free (you can’t beat free coke)! But most importantly, they gave their audience an experience that they will NEVER FORGET! Instead of putting the soda machine there & charging for each, Coca Cola charged for only ONE & gave the rest of them away for free! That’s what I believe most brands should make their EVERY move around. Coca Cola didn’t make their brand a priority however, they gave their audience a feeling of importance, & make them a PRIORITY! When you make people a priority, they’ll never forget it, & will do the same in return! :)

What Kind of Ideas Survive?

 

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STORIES! Not stories about you, but stories honoring your audience! People want to feel important and know that they’re appreciated. The reason that most athletes wear Nike is because of the way that the brand makes them feel. Nike communicates a story that ALL athletes can relate to, & since they do this remarkably, most athletes want to be a part of the Nike brand. The ideas that survive are the ones that are created based on a set of core values with morals that the audience can connect with on an emotional level.

 

How To Be A Mentor For Your Audience?

MENTOR

Most people see their brand as a hero, meaning, everything is all about them, which is why most of them FAIL! I don’t believe that brands should be out here to save people (leave that for themselves) instead, acting as their mentor, & showing them that you understand. STOP enforcing, let’s start supporting, STOP talking about yourself, why not embrace your audience, & let them know how great they can be? There’s too many selfish brands in the world & there should be more of them uplifting their audience. GIVING to them, making them feel special, & reminding them how important they are.

“Appeal to a man’s heart, not his brain.”

Think of Your Brand As A Story

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I believe that thinking of your brand itself as a story will make your strategies & campaigns become emotional, clear, & authentic. EVERY communication is another chapter with you & your audience. Just think about.

When J.K Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books, from the beginning, she made it clear  that Harry would be the hero of it all. Even though Harry Potter is a brand that J.K Rowling created, it didn’t seem that way while I was reading ALL 7 of them! Why? Because J.K Rowling is an excellent storyteller & knows how to create characters that her audience could relate to.

Even though Mrs. Rowling was the creator of one of the largest brands of all time, she wasn’t the hero of it all. The most compelling stories come about when the author (founder) creates a brand that will act as a mentor to its audience, while keeping them as the hero. Think of Nike commercials & how most of us can relate to many of them. Even though Nike clearly targets athletes, they communicate a story based around the values & morals that their audience relates to.

 

Allow Room For Brand Growth

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I don’t believe that brands should get caught up in “brand consistency”. Meaning, sticking to the same campaigns, same voice, same experiences, same design, & that same message! Yes, you should know what your brand stands for,  but also knowing how to market from that place to the best of your ability. Trying new campaigns, new voices, new experiences, new designs, & new messages is what I believe will take brands to the next level. Once people start sharing & connecting with your brand, they may use it in ways you hadn’t planned. Your audience may suggest changes or even create hashtags for you. Don’t shoot them down because they aren’t sticking to the same old stories! Instead, why not embrace the new, and see it all as an opportunity to GROW…..fast!