For brands which are looking to get onto social channels beyond Twitter and Facebook, a good starting point is to first define their digital role and then look at the specific channels where they would like to have a presence.
This begins with a definition of what part social media plays in their overall marketing ecosystem. Brands need to decide whether social media will be a space for customer service, or a platform where they will listen to their consumers, or where they can co-create product ideas with consumers. The focus on what social media can do for a particular brand is the first port of call for a strong and effective social strategy.
It never pays to be edgy for the sake of being edgy. It is true that on social media it is difficult to create content which is interesting enough for consumers to actively engage with. But being provocative is not the only route to this goal. It can be a route if, as a brand, you are provocative. For other brands, it is critical to find a social voice in sync with their points of view. This can potentially range from consultative to playful or even educational.
Then, we go on to define what inherently each channel can bring to the table for a brand. Both Instagram and Pinterest for instance, are more visual channels, lending themselves to brands in categories like travel, fashion, home décor, F&B, or colour cosmetics for instance. Instagram tends to be a channel much more suited to user generated content. Typical cases include picture taking on the go and the hashtags allow for topical indexing and searching of easy content. Instagram also is a great channel for brands which use events. Event pictures and video streaming via users and KOLs is a powerful way to leverage the platform for brands.
Pinterest is a great channel for curated content, where the brand can create thematic visual content to get across ideas, information and how tos for consumers. It is also an interesting channel for brands to run visual content-led contests. Inviting consumers to create boards around themes is a great way to engage them.
Eventually though, the channel discussion has to come after the definition of the brand’s overall strategy and approach to social media. After that, the brand has to decide what each channel can do to achieve that strategy.
By Tripti Lochan
The author is CEO, VML Qais