Brands are flocking to Facebook in greater herds than ever before. Facebook has become an integral tick box on just about every marketing plan.
Yet setting up a Facebook page alone won’t suddenly make a brand more social. The question for a brand to ask is not whether to use social media. The question to ask is how to make your brand more engaging. An antisocial brand using social media is still an antisocial brand.
After drawing “how brands talk” a few weeks ago about the self-promotional way that many brands talk with consumers, I’ve been thinking about where these brands talk to consumers. Many brands use social media to talk at consumers the same way they talk at consumers everywhere. They blab about their benefits, products, and services.
Yet there is no captive audience in media nowadays, particularly online. Brands should think less about transactions and more about relationships.
Think about the Nike Livestrong/Chalkbot campaign, which deservedly won the digital grand prix at Cannes a few months ago. Nike sponsored a computerized road painting machine that “chalked” inspirational messages along the Tour de France. People submitted 36,000 messages through social media. Each message was printed on the section of the course, photographed, tagged with GPS coordinates and emailed to the person who submitted it.
What made this campaign social was not that it used social media tools. It was about the cause, not the shoes. It’s not where brands communicate. It’s how brands communicate.