The pace at which social media communications occur can often lead us to focus too much on executing and too little on thinking.
Sometimes a good checklist, smart planning or an honest proof of concept can provide the best solutions, or better yet, help us avoid executing the wrong ones.
Our work is largely based on what Hugh MacLeod calls “social objects”, which are basically topics around which people gather, talk about and share. And he has an awesome list of nine principles for creating them:
1. Make Meaning: The market for people wanting something to believe in is infinite; make your products “worth it.” 2. Create/Find a Purpose: People often confuse purpose with meaning, but the purpose relates back to the reason you get up in the morning and do what you do. 3. Create Play: Humans innately like to play; it’s the way we first start negotiating the world, so give people a reason to want to interact with your product. 4. Create New Language: If you want to evolve your product, you have to evolve marketing. You have to talk to people in a way they have never been talked to before. 5. Create share-ability: Don’t make it easy for people to share your product; Make it easy for them to share THEMSELVES. 6. Push Boundaries of Design: Design matters! It has the ability to differentiate your product. 7. Facilitate Community: Turn your product into a place where people gather rather than thing people that people buy. 8. Create New Context: Allow people to see your brand in a new light. 9. Enable “Meatspace”: Bring people together to facilitate discussions around your product.
I’d specifically like to highlight principle number 5, which sometimes is the most forgotten (or simply unconsidered).
Often we get digital briefings where social media is a must to “promote the brand”. No one ever mentions that we’re there to meet the customer (or prospect) and make him feel awesome.
Because people who feel awesome like to show the world they feel that way. So if we can play that role of enabling daily feelings of awesomeness, that means they’ll be more likely to share those feelings with other people. And we might just be among the things they’ll share.