There are many people out there serious about using social media platforms such as Twitter (and other social networks) as a tool for networking. With Skype, you have a chance to strengthen your online relationships you have using Google+ and Facebook friendship. Using Google+ Hangouts, making phone calls and chatting through e-mail will give you the chance of following up with virtual friends. Meeting them in person will help in building the relationships even more.
But how can this be translated to brands? Brands can be able to establish a deeper connection with their fans and followers by bridging the digital and physical divide. The stronger the relationship, the better the customer or client. It is smart to elevate the relationship beyond the 140 characters.
signkick’ – love you
- Go Mobile
A couple of trends will provide a solid foundation to build the bridge between the offline and online.
First, many studies have shown people spend way more time on their mobile devices than on PCs. People are always online and connected to the internet. Providing them with content they can access on the go, and having social media presence is an important step to take for any brands that want to establish a strong online presence. You should consider incorporating mobile-friendly websites, SMS campaigns, and even QR codes. Some are even integrating them with digital OOH screens similar to these from Signkick.
Want to go the extra step? There are brands that are trying out with niche mobile social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram.
Many retailers have seen benefits from geofencing (this is an advanced messaging tool that is used in sending texts based on the geographic proximity). Sites such as Yelp and Foursquare will offer mobile tools that will help businesses in connecting with customers.
- Add a digital layer to non-social activities
There has been an increased comfortability with the idea of “socializing” traditional non-social activities like television viewing. There are some popular apps like GetGlue that combined with in-show integration on X-Factor or The Voice will help in encouraging viewers to share experiences on social online networks.
To get into the action, you don’t have to be a media or entertainment company. To start, consider stealing a page from DKNY. The @DKNY Twitter account that is managed by the DKNY PR Girl live-tweets Gossip Girl weekly. She uses the hashtag #GG (Gossip Girl) to share her opinion and interact with other fans on style, fashion, and relationship.
This is a low-cost, fun, and entertaining way of having some fun with her network. This also adds a social layer to television viewing. What are some popular shows that cover some topics that align with the brand? Can you join the conversations and interact with some other fans using the hashtag?
- Turn Your Brand into an Experience
Morton showed up to an airport with a steak for a long term loyal customer earlier this year. Peter Shankman tweeted jokingly that he wanted a tasty delivery.
Outback Steakhouse built on the idea and they launched their own “surprise and delight” initiative for Dave Parsons (one of the most loyal Twitter followers) and created a great a great experience for him. Dave documented this experience on his blog, where you can see the surprise unfolding.
When Dave was getting his package, he was very excited to see that Outback Steakhouse had given him a gift certificate for a special birthday dinner. He got 40 wrapped boxes from the company. He could give these gifts to friends, local media, co-workers, Jack Hanna, the mayor, and many other important people in his life.
Without spending a lot of money, they managed to show appreciation to their loyal customers, and surprise spread fast on social media.
There are some brands that have effectively incorporated mobile media add social layers to the real-world experiences. They succeeding in the creation of unique experiences for their fans and help in building a deeper relationship. What is the result? You get a more valuable, responsive, interactive network both offline and online.