Started as music journalist Music manager Marketing agency — how can corporate brands reach audiences the way musicians do? Street team company — face-to-face interactions, based on relationships Today we help Fortune 500s and other leading brands do the same thing, sometimes using technology and other available tools
Social Media is kind of like your brand on drugs. Bill Cosby said he asked a friend why he did cocaine. His friend replied, “it intensifies my personality.” Cosby says, “but what if you’re an asshole?”
Quote from Merlin Mann: “Social Media is not about what you have to say, it’s about having a tolerance for what people have to say about you” A lot of companies think “Zappos is on Twitter, we have to be on Twitter.” Being on Twitter doesn’t make your brand Zappos. Investing in company culture and customer service does. If you’re using social media to “fix your brand,” that isn’t going to work.
For example, Comcast is on Twitter. Great follower count, but it isn’t making people love their brand.
Note. This doesn’t mean Comcast shouldn’t be on Twitter, or that a consistent commitment to engaging consumers via social media won’t pay off for the company, but it means that social media alone won’t fix the problem.
Do: Be like Zappos, who has woven openness and conversation into their culture. They have 400 employees with Twitter accounts. Whole Foods has 120. I’m sure GM has hundreds too, but the difference is that companies like Twitter and WF empower their employees to represent their brands in social settings. For most brands, the PR guy is the one with the official Twitter account. That doesn’t work
Don’t focus too much on getting your message out, or promoting your product. They have names for people like you.
Instead, use social media for research, so you’re always learning more about your customer. For example, you might find that a passion point for your audience is an underground sport like wakeboarding, and then you might find that there are tons of opportunities for engaging them in conversation around their passion.
More wakeboarding opportunities.
Engage people about topics that interest them, like we’re doing for Hyundai. They came to us with a challenge to help them move the needle on people’s perception of the Hyundai brand. They’re selling a lot of cars this year because they’re cheap and they run, but that doesn’t carry them when things turn around, and it doesn’t help them when they want to make moves like the Genesis.
Gas Lock promo. We engage people around the topic of summer road trips. Where they’re going, how they’re getting there, what music they’re listening to, travel tips, etc.
Another example: Scion. Give people reasons to like you. Scion wanted our help building a brand that’s relevant to Generation Y.We helped them develop products like a lifestyle magazine that talks about the things young people are interested in. They give this out instead of traditional car brochures.
We also created music compilations and original recordings, becoming a branded record label that gave people content they would like. What does that have to do with social media? It’s about the approach of giving consumers content that they’re interested in. Touching on their passions in a way that makes them want to have conversation with you.Scion is the #1 automotive brand for millennials and has brought a customer base that is 85% new to the company.
Don’t: Think of social media only in promotion terms. We started the campaign for Hyundai and they had no followers, so we spent more than half the campaign just trying to build up an audience. In week one, we had 39 followers, so that’s a lot of energy to talk to a really small group of people. Develop this 24/7 and over time you’ll have a big enough audience to matter when you’re promoting something.
Speaking of Don’ts, here’s one from me. In addition to my personal account, we set-up one for my agency. As I was putting this talk together, I realized that we only really use it to blast out announcements, usually of new blog posts. So as of this week, we shut it down and invited everyone to follow me personally. When we decide we’re able to support an agency profile, we’ll consider setting it up again.
JOSH LEVINE WORST PRACTICES: WHAT NOT TO DO (AND WHAT TO DO INSTEAD)