I can tell in less than five minutes if a brand’s content and social media presence is going to drive success. It starts with a two-minute conversation with the CMO or CEO followed by a three-minute conversation with the person that manages the brand’s content and social media channels.
The conversation/questions for the CMO/CEO are:
1) What is your brand position?
2) What is your value proposition?
3) What is the tone of your brand?
4) What is the compelling reason to buy your product/services?
5) Who is your target audience?
The questions for the person managing the brand’s content and social presence are the same five questions plus two more:
1) What conversations do you monitor and how do you monitor them?
2) How do you determine if you should engage in a conversation?
The answers to the first five questions should be almost exactly the same from the “Chief” and content/social media manager. Unfortunately, they rarely are. This is because a) the brand definitions and answers to the brand questions are not simply and concisely defined or b) if the brand definitions are defined within a company, they are not explicitly defined for the content manager such that they insure all communication reinforces that brand definition, or at a minimum, does not align with the brand definitions.
Regarding the two additional questions I ask communication/social media managers, they reveal whether or not a company uses target audience biases, perceptions, and tone to shape their communication. Explicitly stated, you must monitor what your target audience is saying as it relates to your brand, your competition, and product category your brand resides in as a whole. You must also actively engage with your target audience in these three scenarios:
1) When they speak directly to you,
2) When they speak about you, by mentioning your company or brand, and
3) When they mention something specific about the product/service category you are part of.
When it comes to brand communication, you cannot just do it. It seems that a focus “performance marketing” has minimized companies’ concentration on brand strategy and planning. “Hackers” replace strategists. Truth is you need both.
Necessity dictates that brand marketing, as a discipline and practice, requires resurgence. Brand communication, story telling, content marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing cannot be successful without it!