LET’S GET SOCIAL SAVVY!

I love beer conversations. No need to break the ice since the ice is already broken once that first ice cold drink lands on the table. No need to seek topics of conversation because they miraculously pop up with every sip. Strangers are almost instantaneously bonded in a drunken camaraderie. God bless beer!

I’m not a drunk though; just an ardent proponent of the exchange of life improvement teachings amid merriment. Incidentally, this is the kind I have been having of late with strangers turned acquaintances turned friends. Imagine if one day we all woke up drunk, all across the world! Oh, how social we would all be.

There are lessons we can all learn from Beer, Nokia and Steve Jobs (a social genius in my opinion, and Nokia agrees with me), which might just help you identify the Achilles heel in your company’s social strategy.

  1. Get everyone ‘Drunk’!
    Drunken people have two things in common; an unwavering sense of unity and the weird tendency to speak in unison. Now imagine if a bunch of drunk people felt united by your product and even composed a drunken song about it!! So how do you get everyone ‘drunk’? You ask. Enter Steve Jobs. When Steve Jobs is about to release an apple product, he (almost literally) gathers a bunch of noise makers (often bloggers, evangelists and other media personalities of repute) and (probably over several rounds of ‘keroro’) shares with them the legendary sexy design features of his new toy. Steve is so ‘drunk’ with his own creations that he naturally imbues his ‘drunkenness’ into these influencers, who go out preaching the one tag line he has shared with them first hand. The uniting factor? Ask any Apple fan and they will tell you they belong to the “League of Extra-ordinary other people” Drunk! Half of Apple’s IPhone marketing cost is taken care of by the market way before the official ad slots are bought. What is it about your product/service that would make people go ‘drunk’ about it?
  2. Convince them you care too!
    Whether this is the case or not is beside the point. I have been a dedicated Nokia user ever since my dad walked into the house with a Nokia 3310 almost 10 years ago. Technically speaking, the Nokia phone is far superior to the IPhone. From battery life, to robustness to network reception to mapping features, Nokia has a stronger case when it comes to a true to God value for money proposition. The IPhone on the other hand is so cool and sleek it makes you want to cry! A key question that you can’t miss in your Social strategy is ‘What do they care about?’ Next question is, “How do we convince them we care too?” Realizing that Africa and the Middle East is their key to remaining the No. 1 mobile handset company in the world, Nokia is going to great extents to convince us that they care too. From recycling initiatives, to mobile developer training to research centers, Nokia is positioning itself as Africa’s mobile development partner. A great social strategy in my opinion. Drunk or not, I can bet you this, Steve would need to adopt a whole different strategy other than pomp, hype and glamour (which works quite well for the western world) to win over this market. Money is just too tight for us to afford that much vanity!!
  3. Manage the Hype
    Here’s the main problem with drunk people; they easily get out of control. You have them over in your house, they love you like crazy and there they are breaking glasses and waking up neighbors while singing you praises for being such a great host. How do you keep them in check? Here is where the question of social platforms, ambassadors, influencers, media relations, analytics etc comes into play. I assure you; the ‘drunk’ managers at Nokia and Apple almost certainly have this in place to ensure their social strategies to not blow up in their faces. What’s yours? It is my honest opinion for instance that the Makmende fame was a clear case of point no.3 gone wrong. What could have turned out to be a million dollar brand identity is sadly already material for the archives.

Waiter!! Another round please! This one is on me guys.

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