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What does your brand drink at parties?

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2009 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Social Media

image001Social Media is like high school: you want everyone to think you’re cool and hang out with you. You never want to be known as “that boring kid in the back who no one knows jack about”. In an ideal “social media world“, everyone would name drop you as if you were their best friend and the coolest kid in school.

In social media, a brand’s voice and identity is one of the most important components in building their brand online. A brand’s presence cannot be the cold, flat, boring, kid in the back of AP Calculus who no one notices (or cares) is missing from prom night.

Each brand needs to decide who they want the class to see them as:

Are you the super smart kid whose intelligence is to be emulated (or cheated off of)?

Are you the class clown everyone wants to listen to just to see what witty thing they come up with next?

Are you the one-in-the-know who knows where to get a copy of the upcoming mid-term?

Possibly are you the coolest kid in school everyone calls on Friday night to find out where the party is?

A brand’s voice allows their social community followers to get to know what the brand is all about. A consumer who knows a brand’s identity can then decide they like the brand, identify with it, and want to hang out with it.

So how does one go about figuring out who they are?

  1. Market Research: Most established brands will already know who they want to attract. However, if you are releasing a new product, have waning market pull, are rebranding, or just are smart, you should check in and make sure you are not trying to hang out with the wrong crowd. This should be an holistic research process (aka in the real world).
  2. Social Media Community Research: Find out who is already talking about your brand, product, industry, or what you did last weekend. Find out who you should be hanging out with (key influencers) (Twellow, TweetFind and WeFollow are good ) and what everyone’s saying behind your back. Are they talking smack? Go the customer care route.
  3. Are they confused and need answers?  Go the informative buddy route. Are they bored with you/ the product/ the industry? Take a tone to re-engage them.
  4. Find Out where the party is: Is everyone just irritated and tweeting about it? Are people really into your product and making fan pages on Facebook? Get on there and get your foot in the door!
  5. Listen to them: No clever analogies here. Just shut up for a second and listen. Set up profiles on the appropriate channels, utilize the appropriate monitoring systems, and figure out what tone your customers will identify with. Figure out what they think is cool, what bugs them, and what conversation already exists to partake in.
  6. Show up with a six-pack you stole from your parents: Go to the party. Start talking. Be who your customers are seeking. Do not over impose yourself on them. They honestly do not want to read 15 tweets about your 15% off deal. They are not interested in dry blog posts being reposted on all channels.

The goal in social media brand identity can be thought of in this way: If your customers saw your brand hanging out at the local bar, would they know what to buy you to drink? Are you an entertaining brand who does tequila shots? Are you a refined industry staple who prefers a good red wine? Are you a casual helpful friend who deserves a trendy micro-brew? Would you like a little paper umbrella in your Mai Tai?

Think about it. I’m buying the next round!

About Kate Shaw

Hailing from the high desert where I began my love with all things shiny by working with film production. Abandoning my love for film for a “real career”, I started marketing and PR for a non-profit in Sacramento. Having lived from Europe to Central and South America, I can ask for a beer in any regional Spanish accent one can imagine. Settling in Argentina, I did social media marketing for an international tourism company for 2 years before landing in Santa Monica and The Search Agency.

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3 Responses to “What does your brand drink at parties?”

  1. Barbara says:

    Really great post. Great analogies and so true. For me, the best is just shut up – and listen.

    Corporate America has a tendency to drink their own kool-aid and think that they are ubiquitous. That myopia tends to poor decision making and then confusion when they don’t see the results that they projected. Take the blinders off, LISTEN and react based on what customers really want. Saves everyone a great deal of time and effort.


  2. The biggest challenge for any brand is to stick with the drink thatpeople know them for.

    The brands that try to ‘adapt’ by breaking away from their core competency just because it’s trendy, tend to lose the focus and following of their customer base.

    If you’re a brand that drinks Jack Daniels (Harley Davidson), don’t suddenly order a Gin Fizz and expect to maintain the respect of your clientelle.

  3. guitars says:

    Hello everyone! I’m Julie and just wanted to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s… Come by my site sometime ok!


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