PR Training

4 Ways Your Brand Can Stay Hip Without Losing Its Cool

Everyone can think of a commercial that tries too hard or a company that #hashtags #everything.

In fact, for most brands, it’s surprisingly hard to be hip. But, when getting eyes on your content matters, you can’t lose out because of one ill-timed tweet or outdated meme.

In order to make sure that your brand can relate to all demographics and speak today’s language, your communications team will have to effortlessly engage in pop culture references and branding without trying too hard.

Here are some tips on how to stand out on social media without losing your cool.

Be genuine.

Consumers are smart — they can usually see through a brand’s forced engagement. That being said, when something good (or bad!) happens for your brand, don’t be afraid to get on your customer’s level and engage with them as…well, humans.

Of course, this is easier said than done. A good starting point for any brand trying to address customer issues or acknowledge the value they’ve added to someone’s life is to drop the stale, corporate lingo and go for something approachable and friendly.

Glad that someone noticed your new ad? Say so! Don’t forget that sometimes the company “we” can seem off-putting. You might even try assigning individual responses to build up a friendly feel, “signing” your messages with a name.

Be creative.

Creativity is key! Today, your audience will recognize a pre-packaged reply or outdated GIF! Take a leaf out of IHOP’s book: to revitalize their burger branding, IHOP created a campaign around a name change: IHOB. People everywhere went wild trying to figure out if the messages were a spoof, but the branding was so genuine, it wasn’t until IHOP announced the joke that everyone finally was let in on the secret.

Don’t be afraid to up the ante with your social messaging. Hold a good brainstorming session. Are there any ideas that you can execute on to drive brand engagement? If the campaign aligns with your key messaging strategy and doesn’t pose too much of a risk, then this might be the step you need to start trending.

Be funny.

Everyone loves a good laugh, and that’s why brands with comedic messaging are more likely to drum up site visitors and followers. Think about ways that you can incorporate a bit of humor into your social strategy.

Even car insurance companies have fun with their communications efforts; take Progressive, for example, whose face of the brand is a hilarious fictionalized saleswoman named Flo.

So, next time you’re launching a new product or pushing out evergreen content, try adding a bit of quirky humor to tap into your audience’s funny bone.  

Be relatable.

No one wants to feel outdated, so it’s important that your brand remains, above all else, relatable. This means keeping a tab on current trends: What’s happening in the world? What happened on television last night? What is popular right now?

By engaging in the common discourse, you can prove you have your finger on the pulse of all things current, earning your audience’s trust and increasing the likelihood that they turn to you for a fresh take. Just as you would monitor the media, monitor ongoing trends that might elevate your messaging to the next level.

So, take a stab at freshening up your social posts with these tactics and, who knows: Your brand just might become the next Wendy’s.

Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, an award-winning communications agency that specializes in video production, public relations, social media and strategic insights, constantly securing national exposure for major brands. Connect with Lisa on Twitter: @LisaArledge

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Lisa Arledge Powell

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