Everyone knows that in order to be relevant, you need to be social. Being relevant is the one thing that companies seem to struggle with most and it’s one of the highest values in social currency. It’s not impossible to do and some brands have been super successful at it. Take for example, GAP. Recently GAP took advantage of the Presidential election by offering 20% off anything if you were wearing an “I Voted” sticker. Or how about when Papa John’s in D.C. offered a pizza deal every time the Redskins scored a touch down on Cyber Monday.
“The point is that it is easy to be relevant and tie your brand to current events in a playful, yet beneficial to the consumer kind of way. The key is beneficial to the consumer.” ~ Tracy Sestili, CEO Social Strand Media
So why do so many brands struggle with it? How can they nail it?
Here’s my recipe for creating relevant content:
1. Check the calendar. Any holidays coming up? There is almost always something to celebrate in every month of the year, why not tie a promotion to it:
- January – New Year’s, Martin Luther King day
- February – Valentine’s Day, President’s Day
- March – St. Patrick’s Day
- April – Easter, Passover (Don’t Pass-over this deal!)
- May – Mother’s Day, Proms,
- June – Father’s Day, Graduation
- July – Fourth of July, Summer fun
- August – Summer fun
- September – Labor Day
- October – Halloween
- November – Thanksgiving, elections (local or national), cyber Monday, black Friday,
- December – Holidays
2. Read the news. Admittedly you have to be careful with this one. You can’t pull a “kenneth cole” and crack some half-ass witty comments about current events that only you think are funny otherwise it will backfire. But you can post a thoughtful comment to a news story that is related to your brand or just relevant. If it’s what everyone is talking about, why shouldn’t you? It keeps the dialogue social and makes your brand look more human, too.
3. Don’t over plan. Planning is good, but what’s not good is when people plan and schedule things out and then don’t read the news. Their “scheduled” post still goes out mixed in among tragic news such as Hurricane Sandy or the tragic Connecticut shooting and Sandy Hook Elementary. Remember American Apparel’s faux pas when they tried to capitalize off of a tragedy with an insensitive promotional offer and tweet. These are big no-no’s and will for sure get your brand boycotted by many. Good grief!
4. Tie your content to what your customers care about most. You need to get to know your constituents to understand what they are looking for when they come to your website, Twitter feed, or Facebook page. Ampush Social, a San Francisco social analytics firm, hosts happy hours for their customers on a regular basis. You can also just get to know them by conversing with them online.
How do you stay relevant?