Social Media & Creativity

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ENTREPRENEUR has an interesting article that asserts “social media is nothing without creativity” and simply from reading the headline, I got the point and have to agree, from a marketing perspective.

Not every brand using social media for some purpose needs to create interesting, unique content… there are many brands that use platforms like Twitter or Facebook primarily to provide customer service, such as your local cable company or telecom provider. Those accounts need to focus more on being effective than spinning out a constant stream of content. But many of us (and our clients, if you’re an agency type) are using social media in an attempt to achieve a greater reach and awareness from marketing messages, and creativity is going to win the attention in this game.

The day Nike launched the FuelBand, for example, they also launched a Twitter-centric page with athletes tweeting about it in their #makeitcount campaign. They could have simply used their social media accounts to promote the launch of the FuelBand, as they had many physical events promoting the product, but they wanted to do something unique social online and so crafted this creative, interactive campaign, knowing it’s easiest to get people talking about themselves and their own accomplishments (I made it count) than it is to get people to share your wares all day long in an effort to promote you. The narcissistic reality of human nature can really work in your favor if you have the right type of product or service to promote. But you’re going to have to get creative to make it work!

The article asks a question every company using social media should be asking themselves… “How can you create a marketing campaign that blends the offline experience with the online one?” Your online persona is simply an extension of your physical business. Are you managing it that way? Search Engine Land has a list of some creative social campaigns that is worth a look. Intel’s “Museum of Me” works on the premise that no one is as fascinating to moi as, me myself. So it uses my Facebook data to build a visual museum of my social life online. While this is neat and creative, there isn’t a direct tie to purchasing an Intel product that I can see so I guess it’s just a way to be recalled as a brand who did something cool using social media. It would somehow be neat if they could have created a visual museum of my computing history, and that would mesh the online/offline world of Intel a little tighter perhaps, though that wouldn’t be as easy as using the Facebook API.

Peugeot, the French car brand, did a fun and relatively simple-to-execute campaign using Pinterest where they posted images of cars with pieces missing, and fans could locate the missing pieces from their website or Facebook page in order to complete the car and win prizes. Turning your product into a game like this is a neat way to create a memory hook in people’s minds, associating the product with something fun to do for the folks that participated.

In a superb social media campaign by Heinz (who sells soup in the UK) and mentioned in Ad Age’s 10 Best SM Campaigns of 2011, friends of a sick person could send that person a can of tomato or chicken soup for just $3, and it was shipped to them with a personalized Get Well Soon greeting! If you get a can of soup (or imagine, 15) via SM friends while ill, you’re not soon going to forget it, strange as that may sound!

So go out there and get creative with your social media marketing. I’ve got to do that myself this week. Have a great one!

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