Monday, March 26

Do you put your chocolate in the fridge?

Every Social Media book I've read this year is super keen to stress how important 'good content' is, and they all resist trying to explain what actually makes good content, in doing so they end up preaching to the converted, after all does anybody actually go out of their way to put bad content on their Social Media strategy?

In principal of course they're right. good content has to be the driving force behind all of your social media, successful engagement with your customers doesn't happen by bombarding them with product information, deals and idle boasts about how amazing you are, it comes from stories, in which customers can react, find themselves, and comment on.

Here's what I mean, I've got 2 Facebook accounts, my personal and my Citizen Page, comparing the numbers on this, I have over 700 Likes for Citizen and around 300 Friends on my personal account, but activity levels on my personal account exceed the Citizen page probably 10-fold. Here's an example;

Recently I posted a great logo I did for Colour Films, and managed to get about 2 'Likes' and no 2 comments out of it, now compare this to a question I asked about 'chocolate being refrigerated' that got over 20 comments and a bunch of 'Likes'. What this demonstrates is people don't care about how great you are, but they are comfortable engaging in something they've got an opinion on. If I'd have posted the logo with a question 'just created this, do you like it' it probably would have had more traction than just bragging about how good I thought it was.

Pretty basic stuff I know! Ask your audience question, that's Social Media 1.0, but what's interesting is how this demonstrates that it's essential for brands to appear human. People don't want to comment on or talk to a brand page that has no personality, that is all about the work, and that doesn't have the time to engage people in off topic and seemingly trivial subject matter. Why should they? There's nothing in it for them, people have more choices and less time than ever before, so don't cry if they don't give a shit how good your logo is and they'd much rather watch a monkey going backwards on a pig.

The creation of good content is a mystery, it can't be identified in a way you explain, it's about so many different factors. It's about responding to events, posting at the right time of day, reacting to arguments, being flippant, being reactionary, being stupid or opinionated and just not sounding like a made-up idea, of what you think your customers perceive as 'professional'.

Brand pages need to be about the people that run them, increasingly I'm considering just being my brand page, why should they be separate things? I 'am' what I do, and admittedly I'm not sure I want my customers to see all of the photos of me on Facebook, but more importantly, I do want my brand to be a living breathing thing, something with stories and something that people want to have in their lives. If you do this right it doesn't matter what your product or service is,, forget about selling all the time, make connections that people can carry with them, refer, develop and eventually use.

Now, I always put all my chocolate in the fridge, how about you?

Or call 07738 175 614

Monday, March 12

The future of retroism

You go up to any 15 year old interested in taking photos, and show them a few of your most treasured Instagram shots they'll probably tell you, you've got a shit camera. They have no reference point for the Instagram style, to them it just looks like you've taken it on a whack Nokia mobile phone, and they're laughing at you, then taking a photo of you in the kind of high resolution you used to be able to see in before you wore contacts. To them retroism is incredibly gay, they want photos so clear you can see the stitching on their oneseys, and it makes sense, the technology is there, why wouldn't they.

Let's be clear, I'm not attacking the app,  Instagram is by far my favourite app, it's amazing, and I'm not the only one who thinks so, since it's launch in 2010, it's already got over 27 million users worldwide. Personally, I love everything about it, the icon is amazing, the app functionality is life changing (bit much), and the filters on the photos are so great, I actually feel sorry for the people that have dedicated their lives to taking genuine Polaroid pictures that have a 'retro vibe' to them.

The secret of Instagram's appeal lies within our craving for nostalgia. This gateway from the present to the past gives us the fascinating ability to look at how our photos might have appeared if they came from a different generation, and we fall in love with them instantly, because that feeling of nostalgia is so potent that we have an instant emotional connection to it.

In 2012 the memories buried deep in our heads, only survive in yellowed, bordered, slightly blurred old photos, but they're reborn every time we publish a photo on our Instagram stream. As a proposition for Instagram it's untouchable, to be able to offer this human connection is something that supersedes the incredible technology behind the app and creates something beautiful.

What I find interesting is that, surely, this is only relevant to a generation that grew up in the non-digital photography era, to children of the 70's, to people that have seen and loved the references that these filters take inspiration from, so what happens to next for the app? How do they continue to be relevant and grow their market share from a constantly evolving and increasingly youthful market? How will they attract a generation who aren't interested in making their photos look 'shit'?

The challenge for Instagram is to encourage a new generation of users to embrace the style, and then inspire future generations to connect in the same way we have, pulling that strand of nostalgia back through the ages. It's a massive shift in the way people think, and a complicated strategy to pull off, so how are they going to do it?

Seriously, I have no idea, sorry if you were reading that hoping to find out, I was kind of hoping you might be able to shed some light on it, if not, let's sit back and see what happens.

Or call 07738 175 614

Monday, March 5

Lola Brown is born.

Lola Brown is born, and we're back in the office. Give me a call if you have any requirements (non baby related).

She's cute right?

Or call 07738 175 614