Tag Archives: brands

Strength in Humans – The Power of People in Social Media Marketing

When we tell brands to be “more human” it’s rare that they immediately understand how it translates on social media. Tim Howell set the stage for this blog when he asked businesses to ask themselves why it was important to “be human” on social media. In this blog, I’ll look at how businesses can effectively be “more human” while still meeting their social media goals.

I believe that part of the answer can be found by looking to Humans of New York (HONY).

HONY is social media.

More specifically, HONY is a website that gives people everywhere “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City”.

These people aren’t famous. They are normal, everyday people walking the streets of New York. And their photos and stories have transformed into something almost magical – creating news, inspiring imitators, and serving as great platforms for calls to action.

It is visual. It is storytelling. It is measurable. And at its core, it is undeniably human.

So how can companies use the magic of HONY’s humanness to inspire their brand’s social media content?

Step 1. Highlight the Human Side.

Every business has a story to tell. There may be a single person who embodies the spirit of your brand, or an entire department that spends everyday living up to your brand promise. You are a company made up of people. Embrace it – your audience will.

Step 2. Write Well. Write Often.

You are as strong as your content. If you go to a party and tell the same story over and over, eventually people will stop paying attention to you. Social media is the same way. Part of the appeal of HONY is the stories behind the photos, told through short, platform appropriate captions. New content is posted daily to multiple platforms, which brings me to the next point…

Step 3. Know Your Platforms.

You wouldn’t use YouTube to post photos and you wouldn’t ask someone on Tumblr to “Like this post!” Great content will go nowhere if it was posted to the wrong platform. The visual nature of Tumblr and the ease of sharing across the network made it ideal for HONY. Adding in the virality and reach of Facebook enhanced the reach and awareness of the brand. Before you post, ask yourself: are the capabilities of the platform aligned with the needs of my brand?

Remember: the “Robot Revolution” hasn’t happened yet. If you want to successfully communicate with humans, you need to be human. 

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman drinks a lot of tea. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

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The Power of Social Media Storytelling: Facebook Timeline and True Corporate Communication

Author Reynolds Price once said of stories, “Millions survive without love or home, almost none in silence; the opposite of silence leads quickly to narrative, and the sound of story is the dominant sound of our lives,”

In cultures across the globe values are shared through allegories, pictures are painted with narratives, and emotional bonds are created through stories. This is as true online as it is offline, in life as well as in business; after all, aren’t the two woven together for at least 8 hours a day Monday through Friday?

If you ever doubt the power of a good story, look at the view count on Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 video. Whether you agree with the organization or not, over 79 million views speak to the power of using storytelling to drive people to action. If you were one of the 79 million views you probably noticed that they used Facebook Timeline to tell that story.

Visual: How Facebook Timeline Enables Storytelling

This is not a coincidence – Facebook Timeline is designed for storytelling.  While many assumed that the switch to Timeline was about aesthetics, it’s about a larger change that we’ve been watching happen since Make Me Social was founded in 2009. It’s the end of corporate doublespeak and the beginning of true corporate communication – where the audience talks back.

In a world where stories are written in 140 characters and the only walls that exist between nations are ones made of code, companies must learn to become storytellers…and the really good ones will learn how to make their audience a part of their story.

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys listening to books on tape and pretending that the words are coming from the storyteller doll that she made in 3rd grade. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

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An Army of Flones: Halloween in the Digital Age

Trick or Treat, Give Me Something Good to Tweet

I went out for a walk last night and found myself surrounded by brands. To my left was Tony the Tiger, to my right was a Facebook Profile, and just ahead of me was an iPhone being carried by Flo from Progressive and the Geico Caveman. Welcome to Halloweentown, USA, where the candy coating exists only to protect the crunchy core of consumerism. (Note to self: must #OccupyHalloween!)

Now as much as Halloween is an opportunity for people to break out of the mold and express themselves by dressing up in ridiculous costumes, decorating their homes by sticking candles in rotting fruits, and purchasing large amounts of dry ice, it is also fantastic for the economy. The National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend $6.86 billion dollars this year on Halloween, which comes out to about $72.31 per person.

So how does a marketer get a piece of those dolla dolla bills for their brand?

Progressive launched an all-out campaign to build an army of Flo clones (Flones) and they then armed them to take over the internet. The website was set up, the Google Ad campaign was built, the community manager was active, and the army of Flones grew.

Radio Shack aka “The Shack” has been on a quest to bring back their DIY customers – what better time to reach out to them than Halloween? With a step by step DIY guide to building a robot costume with eyes that light up, their blog made the case for a little holiday shopping trip to The Shack. I would have loved to see them take this a step further, and build out an entire campaign around Halloween, promoted on more niche channels in order to really reach their target market.

Halloween is something that gets people excited, and many will spend weeks planning their costumes. If you can get people excited about your brand, using your brand as a resource for a costume, and tagging your brand online, you win. Your brand will forever be tied to a story in their life and will always be a part of their memories – especially the digital, easily shareable ones.

So next Halloween, remember the song of the season:trick or treat, give me something good to tweet!

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When she’s not working as a marketing manager for Make Me Social, Mandi Frishman enjoys dressing up in “Pageant Casual Couture” and smiling with her eyes. During her time studying at The University of Florida, Mandi became convinced in the power of learning through play. She has since committed herself to playing (and learning) all day, every day.

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