If you spend much time on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you’ve probably noticed a trend in the way companies market themselves to you. Instead of broadcasting their message old school megaphone style (“We’ve got great deals on pants! 50% off!”), they often seek participation (“Have you purchased a pair of our new pants? Post a pic of how great you look in them!”).
It’s a strategy that, though done in good faith, makes some faulty assumptions about what people actually want in their “relationships” with brands. In a recent article in Fast Company, Scott Fogel points out that the brands with the most magnetic brand loyalty don’t get there by soliciting opinions or participation, they just provide an experience that is satisfying in its own right.
So, instead of begging your Facebook audience to post their own content and praying it makes you look good, take control of the situation yourself. Below are a few things you can use to capture the attention of your audience, regardless of what kind of business you own.
Consistent standards of style. The visual aspect of any marketing is crucial if you want someone to stop and take a second look. What logo identifies your brand? What kind of font? What colors? If you can’t answer these questions, you may not have specific enough visual brand standards to really stand out from the crowd.
Professional-quality photo and video. The way your brand is represented visually is a continuation of your standards of style. Though behind-the-scenes, candid photos can be a good way to humanize your brand, a brand that is “all human” in that way comes off as amateurish. Professional-quality work grabs attention right away.
A compelling mission. It’s been said a million different ways, but people these days like their companies to do something besides make money hand over fist. Regardless of where you stand on any social or political spectrum, it’s impossible to look around and not be confronted by large-scale problems. Companies that vow to work towards solving one of those problems have a definite advantage in public perception over those that don’t.
A one-of-a-kind product. Last, but certainly not least, it helps to have the kind of product that is so unique, that is such an improvement over its predecessors, that it just naturally elicits rabid support. We can help you with the branding aspects…with this one you are on your own. Take a long, hard look in the mirror. Is your product head and shoulders above the competition? Do people evangelize for it already? If it’s not, are you committed to convincing people that it is that great?
I think I’ve made my case for why participation alone is a false metric and a fad for effective marketing. What will never be a fad is a killer product and professional presentation. Remember: Facebook likes don’t sell pants (or dinners or farm implements). If you’re not quite convinced, give this article a read. If you’re looking to improve your web presence, we’d love to talk.
Image credit: CC by Transmedia Storyteller LTF