I’ve been out of the blog game for a while. Clearly.
The link between my brain and my fingertips has been rekindled, though - largely thanks to my job search.
A recent application asked for my thoughts on social media, and as I showed them, I may as well put my thoughts here, too. The good ole’ copy-paste.
What do you think will be the three biggest trends in social media in 2012?
Pinterest - Pinterest offers a personal interest profile that is much richer (and commercially valuable) than Facebook’s lists of interests can ever be. The format and content is both aspirational and actionable, inspiring ambition and motivation along with the capacity to act or purchase. Pinterest perfectly hits the sweet spot between social networking, discovery, and product marketing.
[I may have to expand on this one later. Pinterest as a lot going on.]
Recommendations - Search is aging quickly for a lot of verticals. There is enough rich social data on the web for retailers and content providers to offer a more intelligent way of connecting people to the information and products they seek. Foursquare is heading in this direction with their Explore feature, but they have a long way to go before their vision of tailored recommendations truly works.
Customer Service - Most larger companies see social media simply as a medium to broadcast their marketing messages. Social platforms are designed for a much richer two-way experience, though, and some smaller companies are maximizing their social media presence by quickly handling customer service issues. Being responsive and helpful with all issues on social media bypasses frustrating and impersonal support call systems and can leave a customer with a positive impression of the brand as a whole.
What are 2-3 brands that you think are leading the way in social, and why?
GoPro - GoPro chose to crowdsource their marketing content, encouraging their customers to circulate homemade videos through their own social networks. The result was an organic battle of one-upmanship in the form of crazy, visually stunning stunts caught on tape. The product message ran subtly in the background, but the effect was both aspirational and motivational. Their social strategy is engaging, interactive, and reads as one big challenge. How can you resist that?
Warby Parker - Warby Parker has done a great job delivering a consistent brand image through numerous social media outlets. They have a strong visual presence including Instagram and Pinterest that showcases the Warby Parker “look and feel” rather than a simple product lineup. You can really see who their target demographic is. Add in the demonization of competitor Luxottica and their one-for-one charity model, and you have a social movement. Finally, they encourage organic growth through their showrooms and try-on boxes, as prospective customers will want friends around as they try on the glasses.
TOMS - Aside from the word-of-mouth sensation that is the one-for-one charity model, TOMS does a great job integrating their many social media accounts. Like Warby Parker, their look and message is consistent, painting a strong picture of their consumer. The TOMS Facebook page has large and effective links to Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, showing that they have a number of ways for their fans to interact with the company and a range of content to offer. Finally, the TOMS Ticket to Give campaign successfully conveys the philanthropic message of the company, encourages fan participation, and is newsworthy to boot.
In other news, I have discovered Chai tea. About 15 years late, but hey, there’s progress. Thanks Karen Bonner.