Recently, a buddy of mine on Twitter did something that really caught my attention. As a marketer that spends a lot of time on Twitter and follows a good number of people from a variety of different subcultures, it takes a lot to catch my attention. What he did was bold and it got me thinking about brand awareness and tactics you can use to raise it on social media.
My buddy is the Lincoln poet Paul Hanson Clark. He spends a lot of time on Twitter interacting with people and just tweeting his thoughts. He has tweeted over 43,000 times since December 2009. On May 10, 2016 he tweeted a picture of what I believe is a blue heron with the caption, “every tweet going forward will feature this heron.”
So far, besides retweets, it has. His pairing of the heron image with every tweet he sends (he has tweeted over 25 of the same heron image in the last 24 hours) is a fascinating experiment in the role of images and repetition in brand identity and awareness. Is my friend Paul a company? No. Far from it. But I would argue that, as a truly top-notch poet, he is a brand.
How the image of the heron relates to his personality and his ethos as a poet is probably a story for another blog, but suffice to say, it adds meaning to what is being said both implicitly and explicitly. And, perhaps most importantly, it sows the seeds of repetition, which help us remember and draw on stronger associations with that brand.
That got me thinking: How can/do brands claim certain words or images as their own? How can they employ them in a way that is surprising and eye-catching? What words or images does your brand own? What simple thing can you say or show that immediately brings your brand to mind?
If your social strategy is based on jumping on the bandwagon of whatever is already trending, (memes, news, etc) maybe it’s time to rethink that and instead gravitate toward what sets you apart. Should you post the exact same image with every single tweet you post? Unless your ethos is as radical as my friend Paul’s, probably not. But you can consider your use of repetition and imagery with a critical eye and look for opportunities to experiment.
Image credit: CC by AJ Cann