Tag Archives: brands

Are brands ready for Instagram Stories

Are brands ready for Instagram Stories?

Social media consultants used to talk about the difference between “broadcasting” and “listening”. You don’t hear that so much any more. One of the reasons Twitter isn’t the fun it used to be is the reversion to broadcast across so many profiles. (Combined with the rise of trolling – which makes Twitter like a party full of bores and bullies. And who wants that?)

One reason brands broadcast is because they can’t actually “listen”. Not in the true sense of the word. You can have all the monitoring systems you want, all the data gathering, all the analytics, but you can still completely miss the point.

Like puzzled parents trying to chime in with their kids’ conversations, or the proverbial dad on the dancefloor, many brands may need to face up to the harsh reality that they can never really be cool. At least, not that cool.  Not achingly hip, blink and it’s over, cool.

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Luxury brands like Burberry spend lavish amounts on Christmas campaigns

Less is more: the social media strategy of luxury brands

Christmas is coming – and luxury brands’ coffers are getting fat. We’re feeling festive so we’re happy to wallow in nostalgia and fantasy. And what’s wrong with that?

Luxury brands do their marketing very differently from everyone else. Whereas for most, social media is a matter of engagement, luxury brands have a different type of relationship with their audience: it’s all about aspiration.

So while an inexpensive fashion brand like (say) George at Asda might be super-chatty and responsive to its audience, Burberry will remain aloof, letting fans and followers do the talking. This is the “velvet rope” approach – discussed in detail in a panel I blogged at London Social Media Week.

This strategy of exclusivity is well-illustrated in a recent report from Brandwatch: Social Insights on the Luxury Fashion Industry. The report analysed more than 200,000 Twitter conversations around luxury fashion brands and found 99.63% of mentions (tweets, replies and retweets) came from consumers, with posts from luxury brands’ Twitter accounts making up just 0.37% of the conversation.

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Nobody can be whiter than white in this new transparent world

This week I started work at All About Brands plc, a London-based marcomms firm, pulling together a social media strategy. The first few days have been fantastic and I’m thrilled to be working with such a great bunch of people on some interesting projects.

One of the reasons I went with AAB plc was its expansion into emerging markets and in particular fast-growing economies like India and the UAE. These regions offer exciting opportunities, especially in terms of social media, when it comes to preaching openness, transparency etc.

Ironically enough, on the tube home on Monday (my first day in the office), I read an article by Gideon Spanier in the London Evening Standard about the purported role of London’s PR companies in reputation laundering. Okay, so the story has been around for a while now, but I’ve never taken it personally before.

Leading PR firms such as Bell Pottinger and Portland are being called to book for their relationship with authoritarian regimes in countries such as Belarus and Yemen.

Should PRs refuse to do work with such governments? It’s a tough call, but I would say the wisest words in the piece came from former Number 10 aide, Tim Allen:

“All organisations are professionalising the way they communicate. When governments which have previously been secretive do that, it is not an affront to democracy.

 In many cases, [good communication] is an essential part of that process. And getting good professional ethical advice is part of it as well.”

When it comes to social, culture is everything. I’m all too aware that the work I’ve done through Monkeys with Typewriters and associated consultancy has focused on Western democracies. The Middle East in particular, is opening up. I’m curious to see how MwT’s ideas translate. Watch this space!

Photo: Miss Mass