1. React To Current Trends
Create a piece of content that reacts to a current media trend. Use Google Trends to find out what people are searching for and hijack it for use on your own blog or social media channel. People love to use social media to prove they are abreast with current affairs. Chose a hot news topic and give it a spin to fall in line with your brand message. I Did this recently when I wrote about the effect of the NSA spying scandal on online privacy. More famously, Paddy Powers made a great advert that celebrated the retirement of Alex Ferguson from Manchester United and the death of Margaret Thatcher. Their ‘Some scouser has one wish left’ billboard generated an inordinate amount social sharing in the week after both news stories broke.
2. Be Disruptive
This one can be very difficult to get right and used inappropriately could easily lead to an online brand meltdown. Try to stay clear of powerful subjects like death, race, religion or sexulaity unless you really know what you are doing. KitchenAid made one of the greatest Twitter ‘faux pas’ of 2012 when they posted this following the death of President Obama’s grandma.
Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president. #nbcpolitics
Grey Poupon (an american mustard brand) created a fantastic social media campaign that promoted their mustard as an exclusive, premium condiment enjoyed by the social elite. They created a Facebook application that screened prospective members of their ‘Society Of Good Taste’ group by checking their spelling, use of grammar, taste in art and restaurant check-ins on their Facebook profile. Although a little risky, they kept the feel of the whole campaign very tongue-in-cheek, in the end it made for a highly entertaining and engaging experience.
3. Make It Valuable
There is no turnkey solution to making your content valuable. Value can have a range of meanings dependent on context. If, for example, your business operates in a highly technical b2b environment, use your knowledge and skill from within your niche to offer a unique piece of content that nobody has produced before. Entertainment can have value, but so can information. Be sure to look very carefully at your potential audience when assessing the value of a piece of content.
If you can produce something targeted, unique and interesting people will share your content.
4. Make them smile
The late, great David Ogilvy once said
The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
Social media is a playground of fleeting whimsicality. It is often a haven from the serious nature of the real world, people flit from one post to the next looking for something that makes them smile, without having to think too hard. Remember this notion and create something that makes people smile. Be original, honest and creative, but be warned, you can’t fake funny.
Here is an example from Old Spice – the kings of branded comedy. Just to get your creative juices flowing:
5. Be Original
I know, I know, originality is almost impossible in today’s over saturated online space! But originality doesn’t have to mean a completely new concept or idea. It just has to be new to your customers. Try not to get too stuck in the social rhetoric of your industry. follow tweeters from outside of your industry, read a range of blogs and other media that don’t directly apply to your business and repurpose some the best ideas you find.
The french philosopher Voltaire once said:
Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.
Originality doesn’t always come in a flash of inspiration, more often than not those ‘Eueka’ moment are few and far between. But by being clever about where you draw your inspirations from you can still develop an original authoritative voice for your business or brand.Joe White