22squared, as evidenced by the success of many social campaigns, is one of the first full-service agencies to integrate a social department into the traditional agency model—an integration that entails creatives, social strategists, producers, media, client performance, brand planning and client leadership working intimately at every level of the process.
The result of this approach is work that is not only innovative, but also strategic, amplifying natural user behavior across social channels. But what makes a campaign effective in the social space? Below are just a few of the learnings we’ve derived from some of our successful social campaigns like Costa Rica’s Gift of Happiness or Buffalo Wild Wings’ WOMMY winning, Flavor Fanatics campaign.
Social insights driving strategy: Understanding how fans are organically engaging with a brand gives clear direction on how to build out the campaign. Traditionally, planners have depended on focus groups or surveys in order to understand these behaviors, but why miss an opportunity to listen in on the online conversations or amplify the interactions that are already going on? For example, Baskin Robbins fans were checking in through Facebook Places by the droves. We built out a local tab that aggregated that behavior, thereby also providing real-time insights about markets where consumers were highly active and could be targeted for local promotions and deals.
Takeaway: It behooves any brand to take advantage of the incredible focus group that is their Facebook community—you have a captive audience that is actively providing their opinions about your brand so pay attention to how they are naturally engaging with your brand and amplify it. Also, your community can give you a real-time pulse on overall brand sentiment—a crucial lifeline that can help alleviate or divert potential brand crises or catastrophes.
Make the user experience enjoyable and simple: We never build something that would confuse our fans or force them to engage in a user experience that would be unfamiliar. Let’s be honest, the average user is too impatient to figure out a complicated app, and with simple, intuitive design becoming the industry standard, they shouldn’t have to. Look at native behaviors inherent to the space and piggyback on them— Facebook, along with many social platforms, have an open API that is ripe for a developer’s picking. Just check out our Tampa Bay Lightning Seat Seeker that leveraged the Twitter API.
Takeaway: Want to build engagement? Don’t reinvent the wheel—the most successful apps and executions are the ones that supplement natural user behavior rather than augment that behavior. To do this right takes not only an understanding of the space, but also an understanding of the predilections of your consumer.
Integration across digital and social: Where most traditional agencies miss the mark is keeping these departments in separate silos when they should be working in tangent. Of course, what kind of media you buy and the digital destinations depend on the overall campaign goal, but there are opportunities to run content across several platforms or to make your placements more sharable and social. Most publishers are accommodating for these digital/social integrations and leveraging the technology available with the right partnerships can create some truly unique creative. A Break media partnership for our Flavor Fanatics campaign for Buffalo Wild Wings created custom brand content that was used on Facebook, YouTube and a branded break channel.
Takeaway: No matter what your budget is, integrated campaigns are more efficient and more impactful. Find opportunities to maximize your relationships and strategies to create a cohesive brand experience, regardless of the user entry point (whether it’s a banner or social channel). Additionally, with the ability to share across social channels, ensure that the brand message showing up on user’s Twitter feeds, News Feeds or emails drives to the appropriate platform for where its being shared (i.e: Facebook updates should drive to the page, NOT to a website).
Ever notice how random things look like they have faces? Like this:
There are a few Tumblr blogs that pay homage to these occurrences of anthropomorphism and now that I’ve pointed it out, you’ll probably start noticing these faces everywhere. You’re welcome.
Jumping on this micro-trend, Nike just released an app for Nike Free shoes in Japan called Nike Free Face, where users can bend and twist the Nike shoe to match their face. Leveraging facial and expression recognition technology, it photographs the users’ contorted face through a webcam and matches their face to the shoe’s form.
The app does an amazing job of highlighting features of the products—the flexibility of the shoe and the ability to personalize it—in a subtle and engaging way. On top of showcasing product features, the app gets people thinking about the shoe differently, positioning them not only as a utility product, but also as an expression of self.
These kinds of interactive opportunities that present products through a different lens are a clever approach for legacy brands like Nike to ensure they stay relevant and fresh. But more importantly, Nike’s Free Face app is fun, silly and shows that the brand doesn’t take itself too seriously. Allowing consumers to play with a product and have fun with it are the kind of online experiences that people remember and talk about.
Just think, when was the last time you had this much fun with a shoe?