Manish Sinha
Jul 7, 2011

How to make your brand more social

Manish Sinha, Chief strategy officer of Digitas India, gives some pointers on getting your brands out on social media.

Manish Sinha
Manish Sinha

Did you know that being social is just one part technology? The remaining three parts are behavioural, cultural and 'psychological'. Social media is nothing like any other medium that has come before. Here are some pointers to make your brand more social.

A whole new mind. To make your brand social, you need to embrace openness.  You need to relinquish the obsessive need to control. You will have to be transparent. Be okay with your brand being imperfect. You really can't be a social brand unless you are prepared to embrace a culture of sharing and participation across your company.  Any brand can be engaging and entertaining for a while in social media. But to really excel and be a social brand you need a company-wide change in mindset.

Listen more. Talk less. As brand owners and managers we are still coming to grips with the new imperative of listening. I mean really listening, not just pretending. If you want your brand to be social, start listening to what the consumers are saying in real time and respond. Listen to the ones who do not buy your product or service; listen to the ones who rave about your competitor and listen to customer service experiences. Then do something about it in real time.  

Customers are people, treat them that way. We need to recognise that consumers are people. They may be buyers and customers, but brands need to tap into their interests and passion points to really connect with them.  A large part of the brand conversation today needs to be about stuff that really excites and interests people in the category in which the brand operates. Don't talk about the brand, its features and benefits all the time. For example, if you are a camera brand today, you would need to converse and engage people about photography, memories, travel and not just talk about the camera!

Are you delivering value? Being social demands fretting about the value you offer your customers. This value can be transactional like a price-off, discount or deal, or it can be from solving a nagging problem in their lives. Being social for a brand demands always thinking, 'Can I offer some value beyond a hard sell?'

It’s about your story. To make your brand social means moving beyond the confines of messaging, USP and positioning into the complex contours of story-telling. Are you clear about the story you want to tell? If you're an automobile brand, are you telling a story of technology, or of craftmanship and design excellence? Now everyday, social media platforms present an opportunity to tell a consumer your story and not just to sell. Today's brand ambassadors are the evangelists and story-tellers amongst their consumers and employees and not just a few paid celebrities who loan their face to brands for a price.


Campaign Asia

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