The recent discussion on Ellen’s oscars-selfie has generated a worthwhile discussion of it’s marketing value. The digital marketing industry gave a warm response. It got people chatting about the Oscars and Ms. DeGeneres’ talent for handling the event. However, the most important thing is that Samsung got good mileage from them.
In the hierarchy of social engagement, the simple likes and re-tweets come at the bottom. Just a click is required for your audience to decide if they like you or not. The engagement ends the moment it happens. As it has got a short shelf life, beyond a click. Brands need a huge volume to make a difference.
The level next involves sharing of brand-related content. Even though a brand does not have a powerful platform to launch sharing as Ellen or the oscars, providing something entertaining is always works. If it is accompanied by a compelling call to action, the crowd will respond with vigour.
In case of basic sweep takes, the engagement value comes in volume easily as there is an incentive involved. Some brands do this on a weekly basis in their Facebook newsfeed. The brands also ask for comments, as well to increase participation and challenge the fan to think a bit more about a brand than they normally do.
Brands can enhance these promotions by looking for ways to get the fan to share their participation. This does not happen usually with the Facebook’s newsfeed promotions as the participation is not seen by many, however, the most watchful friends of the participants will always keep a track.
The contribution of user-created content, such as photos have a higher social value as compared to others. Twitter has reported a study that shows tweets that have photo links that boost re-tweet engagement.
A brand may initially ask fans for a photo that shows specifically how that fan interacts with the product and how they wear it, cook with it, play with it, etc. For example, Tourism Australia sources all photos on their Facebook page from fans and have got tremendous success.
Asking your audience for a story in video requires more effort and this will result in a fewer numbers, but have more valuable content. Digital video is itself is engaging as brands are expected to spend generously on digital video content as it has potential.
Video creation is also not trivial. Success will take place if the prize is really worthwhile as the recent “Turner Classic Movies” Ultimate Fan video contest.
Lastly, there are real world events like scavenger hunts. Brands should think before embarking on these marketing efforts without appreciating the efforts of the participant. What are the perks? You can generate entertaining content and engaged fans that need to be rewarded.
Engagement is considered the numero uno goal for brand marketers on social, even above sales, service or lead generation. The value of a single click, such as a like or a re-tweet comes with a huge volume, and this is the principle behind display advertising.
On the other side, participation on the part of the fan results in fan sharing that calls out for the fan to create and deliver content that will compensate for potentially lower volume with higher inherent value. The brands need to understand the difference, and measure accordingly.