You are probably thinking: What can I possibly learn from celebrities about brand management? What can one learn from following celebrities on the social sites? Where they are having dinner tonight? The hottest spa in Miami? The latest fashion trends straight off the Chanel runway?
Actually, there is more!
Do you remember the days when people used to wait for months for a music album to be released? You remember how, back in the days, the only time it was possible to get a glimpse of a celebrity is on TV or in a magazine? Well these days, all of that changed, hasn’t it? Celebrities are now on the social sites and very accessible to their fans via platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
From announcing an upcoming vacation in London to taking a relationship public to announcing the death of a dear one, celebrities share everything on the social sites and followers have real-time and first hand access to photos, videos and tweets from their favorite celebrities.
Did it ever happen to you that someday you log on Twitter and you see a picture of your favorite celebrity and you think to yourself: What was he/she thinking putting up an obscene picture like that? The next day you see the same picture splashed all over the mainstream newspapers. Clearly, when it comes to managing a brand online, there are things that one can learn from the way celebrities manage their social media accounts.
If you are stumped as to what you should manage your brand online, a good place to start is to monitor the social channels of your favorite celebrities. Observe how they bring their social accounts to life, what they share on the social sites, how they connect with people and the mistakes they make.
What Online Businesses can Learn from Celebrities about Brand Management
1. Backstage Access
One the reasons why fans love following their favorite celebrities on the social sites like Instagram is that they get a glimpse of their inside world: Who they hang out with, where they go on vacation, unseen pictures and videos.
The social sites provide a kind of real-time access to movie stars, athletes and popular singers making them more real, more human and more relatable. The content that fans read and share are coming directly from the people they idolize, not the mainstream media.
The takeaway: In addition to offering coupons and discounts to people who “like” your brand, also give away some insider information about your business on the social sites to make your followers relate to you more. People like to feel connected and in sync with their favorite brands.
One of the useful things about social media is that is allows for a two-way communication channel between businesses and their audience. Currently, many companies and brands are substituting their traditional marketing techniques with social media. The companies with the most successful social media engagement plans have a few things in common:
- The communication channel is designed with intent and purpose
- Conversations are monitored
- Content is developed based on demographic data
What is a Social Engagement Strategy?
It is pretty obvious that social media has radically changed the way people perceive everything in life. For a business to thrive, a social media engagement strategy is essential. A social engagement strategy is not very different from having a content strategy. It can actually be seen as an extension of the latter focusing primarily on how information is shared to promote communication and interaction rather than what information is shared. Basically it’s all about how you say something instead of what you say. When it comes to social media marketing, a content strategy without a social engagement plan is the equivalent of holding a press conference but not allowing Q&A.
The Essential Components of a Successful Social Engagement Plan
On the social sites, in particular Facebook, Twitter and Google+, most people will return to your company page if they feel the place is inviting, friendly and has an appealing vibe. If you want your page to do well, you want to build a community and set a positive tone for your company profile. Remember that sites like Facebook and Twitter were created so people could connect with friends and other people so stay open, fun, enthusiastic and most importantly unique.
For social media success, you want to encourage fan participation as much as possible. This is very closely related to the example used above. You can’t hold a press conference and withhold Q&A. On the social sites, the single most important purpose of your business updates should be to encourage fan participation. Don’t embark on a journey of self-promotion. Ask questions, take an interest in the opinion of your audience and share the content of your fans and followers.
Right now, pretty much everyone who pays attention to social media news is talking about the upcoming Facebook search engine, Graph Search. So what’s the deal with Facebook Graph Search? How does it work and what are the business applications of this new Facebook pillar?
First thing first, what is Facebook Graph Search and how is it different from the existing Facebook search tool?
Facebook Graph Search is a semantic search engine conceptualized by Facebook in March 2013. It’s purpose is to allow Facebook users to search for more information than was previously possible. Once launched full-fledged, Graph Search will enable users to use simple phrases and keywords to search for places, things and people and explore the connections between these items.
For instance, say you are moving to a new city for a new job. With Facebook Graph Search you will be able to search for friends in the new city. These people could be the friends of your friends or people you have something in common with. With Graph Search, you can pair up keyword phrases like “Photos of” and “coworkers” and “current city” to make new discoveries and explore connections you would probably never have made before Graph Search.
Currently Graph Search is only available for limited preview to a restricted number of people using Facebook in English. It is still being rolled out and should be fully available later in 2013.
How does Facebook Graph Search Work?
Facebook Graph Search might still be rolling out but everyone is excited about this new Facebook pillar, and with good reasons: Graph Search is Facebook’s solution to personalized search results as provided by search engines like Google only that the results will be far more contextualized in line with specific data from your social circle.
Till date, how Graph Search really works is a mystery but generally, to understand how Facebook Graph Search works, it’s worth it to consider Facebook as an ecosystem with Facebook friends, posts, photos, pages and groups forming a large web. According to a schematic diagram released by Facebook’s engineers, within Graph Search, friends, posts, pages and groups are called ‘Nodes’. These nodes are related to each other via arrows called ‘Edges’. Edges include Facebook attributes like “Tagged,” “Like,” “Comment”. Essentially, Facebook is mapping out a network based on our social nature.