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Stepping Out of the Social Media Rut
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Not gonna lie; social media is tough. Every brand needs to be in it, but of course that’s only the beginning. There are questions around who will manage social media, if there will be a team, which ones the brand will play in, and of course what the strategy is. Many times brands start out strong, but then they seem to find this social media rut and comfortably stay within it. They run contests, talk about products, and just make sure to have a presence for their followers. And that’s when programs fall flat. Customers want more; they want to get an inside look at the brand and understand what makes it unique. They want to see real people and real images that gets them engaged instead of product highlight after product highlight. So instead of talking about what brands are doing wrong, it’s time to take a look at a few that have done social media right. Those that have a strategy for each outlet and make it seem so simple that customers latch on.

One of the most well-known social media rules is to make sure a brand uses each outlet in a specific manner. This doesn’t mean that a brand blankets the same content over multiple channels. What works on Facebook won’t garner the same results on Twitter, so each strategy needs to be different and specific. Rue La La is one of those brands that is doing social media right. The brand is specific about what each outlet can deliver and tailors messages to make sure results are achieved. For instance, Rue La La uses its blog to discuss style and design, which is a core concept of the flash sale brand. But then take a look at Rue La La’s Instagram page and it’s completely different. This is where the brand lets loose and showcases the people of the brand, life at the office, and of course its fun and engaging humor. The images on Instagram aren’t staged, there’s no photo shoot, but instead they are easy shots that allow the brand to move quickly while still engaging customers on a consistent basis. Brands can take a lesson from Rue La La: don’t take everything SO seriously. There are specific social media outlets that are meant to showcase the day-to-day of brands instead of the styled product shoots that are used in print ads. It’s okay let loose a little.

Another important factor to succeeding in social media is to be responsive. There are some brands that are great with this and others that simply ignore. In a customer’s mind this is like calling the brand to ask a question and all of a sudden the line goes dead. It’s disappointing and frustrating for customers, so don’t do it. OXO does a great job of being responsive through all of its social media channels. Take a look at the brand’s Twitter account and notice the amount of re-tweets the brand does as well as the questions it answers. This in turn has created a two-way relationship with followers and OXO, so now the brand has a consistent flow of mentions within the Twitter world. So get out of the social media rut, take some risks, and most importantly showcase the brand. The real brand. 

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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