Friday, July 27, 2012

Why big isn't always better

Something Justin Flitter said at the recent Social Media and Mobile Apps conference got me thinking about the way brands approach social media.

What he suggested was:  in the real world our best friendships are made up of many lightweight interactions - and that brands who truly want to build a friendship with their fans might be more successful if they acted the same way.

Think about it like this. Say you made two new friends today. One of them you will only see once over the next three months spending a long weekend hanging out together. The other you hear from every other day – a quick text, a coffee or perhaps they comment on something you posted on facebook. Which person do you think you’ll have the better relationship with?

Now apply this to a brand:
Brand A puts a lot of time and effort into creating a whiz-bang new app – it’s cool and fun so you download it, but after a while the novelty wears off.  Brand B has a twitter account where they regularly share links to interesting and useful content. Which brand do you think you’ll have the better relationship with?

Delivering big ideas and big results is what every agency (and some clients) aspire to – but it shouldn’t be at the expense of doing the day-to-day well. 

In fact there is no reason why a successful social activation has to be big. At the same conference Mike Wilson from .99 explained how hard it is for agencies – and corporates – to pull together a truly integrated idea. When this does happen those involved deserve every award they win, but in the meantime go for something smaller and more perfectly formed.

Lots of small but clever interactions could deliver better engagement that one big all-singing, all-dancing, here-for-a-good-time-not-for-a-long-time activation. 

A lot of time, money and resource can go into creating a video which gives just one – or if you are lucky 2 – status updates to Facebook. It might be really clever and engaging, but once that status update is posted you’re back to wondering what to do with the other 364 days of the year on your conversation calendar.

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