Social media has a sense of fun and excitement attached to it. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social tools are trendy and exhibit a unique energy unlike other marketing methodologies. Brands like Pepsi, Doritos, Dove, Taco Bell and others always seem to be embracing the latest phenomenon in a very successful way. For instance, Taco Bell introduced the return of its Beefy Crunch Taco on Snapchat.
Dove is another brand that seems to never fail. I mean, has there been a Dove video that hasn’t gone viral?
So, what’s the deal? Is it that these brands have the coolest products that automatically mesh with social media? Well, it helps that they have cool products and very established brands, but the real secret is that they do an excellent job of marketing themselves.
Does this mean that boring, non-sexy brands can also be successful on social media? Absolutely. Yes, even contractors, feminine hygiene brands, office suppliers, plumbing businesses and others can be successful on social media too. It takes a little more effort, but it is possible.
Integrating humor is one of the first ways these not-so-cool brands can utilize social media. Many grandmothers make a habit of saying “laughter is the best medicine.” The same principle applies to somewhat difficult brands and social media. Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs is a perfect example of taking something that the majority of society would not view as either fun and exciting and making it into a hit show through humor. Even politicians recognize that poking fun at themselves is often the best way to respond to a circumstance.
Now, you obviously have to be careful with this approach. Humor can be effective in most situations within reason, but there are instances in which it just doesn’t work. A financial firm, for example, would have to be more cautious about poking fun of what they do than the local plumber. It’s all about context and your audience.
A second approach these challenged brands can take is to become problem solvers. Whatever your product or service is, the need exists in which consumers need what you offer. There is nothing glamorous about plumbing, but it’s a necessity. The same is true for garbage companies and countless other businesses that we all use regularly. They may not be viewed as cool, but we couldn’t live comfortably without them.
You can become a problem solver by sharing customer stories – even adding humor like mentioned above – answering common questions, capitalizing on events in which their services are needed most, and relating many other messages showcasing why you’re needed.
Thirdly, brands can go one step beyond the problem solver and become a resource for customers. By doing this, brands can keep in continuous dialogue with their customers. Blogs are perfect for this type of goal since it keeps consumers coming back for more not only when they need a product or service. Video is also another great avenue for this type of brand building. You can create how-to videos and also encourage customers to submit questions or issues via video. Images and infographics are additional ways for feeding information to consumers. It’s always recommended that brands try various forms of media to see which form resonates the best with the audience.
Lastly, brands that aren’t Apple and Mercedes and that struggle to be trendy, should be complimentary. In other words, as you communicate with your audience, your message should not be only about you and your products and services. It’s okay to tell your story and apply the above tips, but you must do more. We’ve said before, and we’ll continue to state it – social media is not about selling.
Now, sales are very often involved with social media strategy, but it cannot be the basis of your message. Brands, especially the ones that are considered boring, need to align themselves with other brands, products and services to be relevant to consumers. Take the time to think about their lifestyles and tailor content around it. This will let them you know you care, and it still ties the conversation back to your boring offering.
So, while dirt, sewage, hygiene and other non-sexy brands have a tough challenge on their hands, they can still be successful on social media platforms. WhoIsHostingThis.com put together a wonderful infographic depicting how some brands have risen above their challenges and embraced their boringness successfully across social media. It just takes creativity and strategy such as the above steps.
No one wants to be boring, so make yourself stand out.