COM0011 – Blog Post 6: Effective Content

Eventually, my personal brand will be that of a communications, media, and design guru, so I will draw from those already existing to describe content that I think would be relevant.

Adele Chan, founder of a special events and PR business called Blank Communications based out of Vancouver, is a lovely example of what I hope to achieve. She works with clients of the beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and consumer brands of Canada and customizes unique communication strategies to enhance brand awareness and growth. If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll notice that she regularly posts ‘features’, ‘client news’, or ‘as seen in’ posts to showcase her clients and what they’re doing, outside of the raw promotional efforts she establishes and organizes with her clients…almost as a way of bragging about them. She also posts short updates or photos on events she has helped organize, or events that she personally cares about. I think this is the kind of content that would matter to her audience because not only does it reinforce her commitment to work with them and help them grow, but it also showcases her work to prospective clients, who may have just been wanting more information about an event and not knowing that she was the force behind it.

I think from a design professional’s point-of-view, any graphic work or videography they may be working on is really relevant, because that type of content is the most snackable and shareable content as far as social media is concerned. So if you were working on a brand launch or a video project, updates on progress or actual video snippets of what’s to come are really relevant and would also generate some excitement leading up to whatever it is you might be launching.

I look forward to all of these aspects of my future!

Blog Post 2: Listening to Online Communities

There are two things that I have learned since I started listening to online forums (and ultimately working with social media at an institutional level): that brands need to be engaged, and that companies no longer dictate who they are or how good they are, audiences do.

What I mean when I say ‘brands need to be engaged’ is that they need to listen, find forks in the road, and ultimately opportunities to insert a reminder of their brand and its offering. For instance, a guy was traveling from Toronto to Ottawa, and after so many delayed flights, he decided to take to Twitter and start venting about the airline. He got a reply, but not what he had expected – Via Rail had seen the tweet, and informed him that trains travel back and forth everyday at multiple times a day between Toronto and Ottawa. He ended up making his way home and waiting it out at the airport, but what ViaRail caught on to and acted upon is worth mentioning. Delayed flights and and broken expectations were the fork in the road, and ViaRail saw this as an opportunity to reinforce the frequency of their travels between the same two cities this man was traveling between. Ultimately, the point here is that brands need to always be ‘on’, thus, always engaged and always listening for forks in the road similar to the one in this story.

In addition, brands are learning that permeating social media with information about the company or little facts here and there are not enough to have a positive and lasting effect on the online audience; I will give the example of RedBull here. RedBull is an energy drink, everyone knows this. It metaphorically gives you wings (this notion was under serious scrutiny, which is why they needed to add in the blurb at the end, but I digress), but RedBull is not just an energy drink. RedBull is an experience. RedBull is a combination of the liquid courage and heart rate (without it being alcoholic) the drink is said to give you, along with the FlugTag competitions and Felix Baumgartner’s mission through the sound barrier. Because of the hyped up, out-of-the-box events that RedBull holds to reinforce what the brand is all about, it’s almost grown beyond the drink and become a way of life, as well as being an energy drink distributor. Posts about company events such as the ones RedBull holds are what keep people’s attention. They want to know you’re relevant and have things going on, however big or small, it’s another chance for them to interact with the part of a brand that taps into their emotion.