Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: How Brands Will Stay Relevant in the Social Realm

Brands should be aware. On the level of engagement, online and offline, the brand is highly visible. It’s visible to competition, customers and employees. Social, mobile and online media are tools that brands should use to further bond with their customers, but these channels are only relevant to a brand if its customers can be found.

Being social and being relevant with these media can make a brand top-of-mind with its customers. If executed correctly, it can lead to future success of brands.

This week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post — an analysis of the week’s biggest PR and business news and commentary — explores the different approaches that brands can take in the social realm to gain an edge on the competition, strategically connect with key influencers and consumers, and remain relevant now and on into the future.

The 6 Pillars of Social Commerce: Understanding the psychology of engagement (Brian Solis.com)

This week marketing expert and Altimeter Group Principal Brian Solis discusses why social engagement is really what counts in measuring brand equity. The value of social media comes down to people, relationships, and the meaningful actions between them. As such, its value is measured through the exchange of social currencies that contribute to one’s capital within each network. Solis has identified six pillars of social commerce that any brand should be mindful of when investing in social engagement.

  • Social Proof — follow the crowd: Look at what others are doing to reassure yourself that you are on the right path. It’s also a great way to determine what methods work or don’t work.
  • Authority — the guiding light: Most consumers want a review from an authority on anything they might be looking to purchase or invest in. Becoming an authority on the products or services your brand offers means more consumers will rely on you as a trusted source.
  • Scarcity — less is more: Greater value is assigned to resources perceived to be less available.
  • Liking — builds bonds and trust: There is a natural inclination to emulate individuals that you admire. Liking a brand on Facebook or any of the content that they post is another way of saying our interests align with the brand’s interests.
  • Consistency: Consumers are far more comfortable with brands and brand operations that remain consistent. Big changes to products genres, logo designs, or the basic values of a company is seen as disruptive according to consumers and can be a big brand turn off.
  • Reciprocity —pay it forward: The greatest asset in social capital is that of benevolence. Those who invest in helping others earn a repository of reciprocity.

Channeling Anna Wintour: When Creating Branded Content, Think Like An Editor-In-Chief (Fast Company)

Anna Wintour is an icon in the fashion world. The executive editor of a popular online news site recently uploaded a photo of a poster to Instagram  that read, “I’ll be interested, if you’ll be interesting.” The photo caption explained that this sentiment echoes her “operating policy.” Companies and brands must tap the powerful ecosystem of influencers connected to brands that can help support their efforts to remain interesting and make their content stand out. Fast Company’s Crosby Norick explains the fundamentals of why brands should approach content strategy by thinking like a magazine publisher or a television producer and how this could become a very effective way to approach content development and promotion.  

8 lessons Bruce Springsteen teaches brands (Ragan’s PR Daily)

Bruce Springsteen is known for his tremendous energy level, powerful voice, under-appreciated guitar playing, engaging personality and songwriting. Despite being 62 and having created 17 albums in 40 years, he’s more relevant than ever. So what can brands learn from Springsteen? Answer: how to remain relevant after so many years, which is equally important for brands that have been around for ages and those brands that are new to the scene. Ragan’s PR Daily’s Andy Beaupre offers brands eight relevance lessons from the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen. 

Companies Will Adapt to the Intelligent Web, or Die (AdAge Digital)

The social Web has become the way of the future. This is where brands will learn more and more about what consumers are interested in, what catches their attention and what compels them to share. Statistics show that time spent on social-networking sites is increasing, as time spent on traditional ad websites decreases. The traditional pixel data that advertisers use to target ads is becoming less relevant. A company’s ability to adapt encourages financial growth based on their ability to integrate more customer reaching platforms which now includes social media. Businesses that are not tying services into the social Web and the social graph soon will be out of business, and this includes traditional advertising agencies. Traditional ad agencies will see great gain simply from making small adjustments and leaving room for transition within the evolving landscape of the social Web.

Change Now, Or Become Irrelevant (Edelman Digital)

Michael Brito of Edelman Digital, Silicon Valley, writes, “If you or your agency [isn’t] learning the ins and outs of social business, you will become irrelevant in this space.” The fundamentals of social business planning enable an organization to scale and have more meaningful conversations with customers, partners and more importantly each other. It is the infrastructure that enables a brand to listen to the collective intellect of the community, solve customers’ problems, and change the way it communicates and does business. Brito walks us through the advantages of adopting social business practices and explains how companies could become irrelevant and hurt their current clients by not becoming proficient in social business model.

Nicole Castro is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America

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