helping brands make perfect sense of social media, from IAB UK’s social media council

by Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing, Torchbox. Follow

Back in 1987, BROS’s top quality (in my opinion!) pop song demanded an answer to the question: ‘when will I be famous?’

It is a question that I reckon thousands upon thousands of social media campaigns could ask of their owners.

You could have the best content offering in the whole wide world (we looked at the importance of social media content last time round) but unless you go out and shout about it, there’s a good chance it will remain anonymous.

Back in the late nineties, I was the sponsorship manager on Carling’s Premier League sponsorship. We paid lots for the rights – but then we paid lots more to make the sponsorship famous through PR, advertising, relationship marketing and via a competition website.

In my mind, social media campaigns should be no different. You get the offer up and running. Then you do all you can to make your target market aware of it. ‘Build it and they will come’ might work for a minority of campaigns but for the majority you’ve got to get out there and shout about it. Think Tears for Fears – ‘Shout Shout Let It All Out!’.

So how do you do that? By utilising all the marketing tools you have at your disposal.

Let’s take the example of a Facebook page with the simple objective of growing a community of brand loyalists (yes, I’m sure you’d have more comprehensive objectives that that…)

Advertise: There are hundreds of thousands of Facebook pages. To achieve stand out, consider advertising it with Facebook. It’s not rocket science to say that if your target market is aware of your offering they are far more likely to interact with it.

PR: Get out there and PR the new page. Source relevant blogs, forums etc. Let them know about your offer and what makes it newsworthy.

Your Media Channels: From email newsletters, to website integration to TV commercials, to business cards (surely you’d be better off listing this than a fax number?!) to email sign off. Put it out there. Shout about it.

Do this sort of stuff for a compelling offering and you’re far more likely to trigger a viral spread where friends share with friends who share with friends…

Whatever you think of BROS and their infectious pop songs. There’s one thing you can’t deny. ‘When will I be famous?’ was a massive hit. If you want your social campaign to be similarly successful, it’s worth asking your agency how they are going to make it famous.

PS If you have no idea who BROS are, I’m guessing that it is down to the fact you are lucky enough to be too young to remember them. Hey ho. Fear not. You can view ‘When will I be famous?’ on Youtube.

by Rob Salmon, Director of Digital Marketing, Torchbox,

Did you watch any of the ski cross in the Winter Olympics? The one where four top class skiers line-up before racing down a rocking and a rolling rollercoaster of a track over bumps and jumps at blistering speeds in a quest to beat the rest and make it to the bottom first. Like a James Bond ski chase where you don’t know whose going to triumph. It was incredibly compelling content.

I made a point of watching as much as I could. I told my family. My friends. My workmates. Maybe they too went and watched and then told their circles.

So what relevance does this have to social media?

Well, if you want people to become a fan of your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter or share your iPhone app, I reckon you had better make sure it has a compelling content offer.

Otherwise, you’ll end up with a Winter Olympic discipline akin to watching paint dry. And I don’t think watching paint dry is ever going to command a large or highly engaged audience (although maybe this YouTube link which has been watched 33k time proves that wrong!?). Read more…