The Human in Social

Why brands need to be friends with their consumers

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by Olivia Rasmussen
Content Manager

From the corn boy to the cranberry juice man on a longboard, we all consume viral content. And we want that to be our brand. Thumb-stopping content that inspires your consumers to create, engage, and continue the conversation extends and increases brand awareness.  It’s not something you pay for. It's something that must be earned with a level of trust and shared communication with an engaged audience. Organic social is your ticket to brand authenticity and relevance.

Your audience is telling you what to do.

  • Listen. It takes more than a consistent publishing cadence and using #FYP. You need to be in the social conversation for the long haul. Success is a result of creative storytelling, a deep understanding of algorithms, keywords, strategy framework, and the delicate balance of remaining culturally relevant.
  • Don’t bother worrying about the content you need to create for social. Yes, you heard that right! Instead, let the platforms tell you what to create. Extend a conversation rather than start a new one. Any content you publish should add to existing conversations in the digital ecosystem. This will get your brand reach, visibility, search optimization and most importantly, results.

Even paid content should be approached with an organic perspective. When considering paid content, ask yourself:

  • What's trending?
  • What’s our audience talking about?
  • How can we add something new to an existing conversation?

Consider a recent example of success. Together with our partners at Hasbro, we put the above thinking into action. Based on our social listening insights we recognized core culture and nostalgia were picking up steam on social. This gave us the perfect platform to bring back Hasbro’s infamous Furby. The TikTok campaign, "Furby’s Back Press Tour," capitalized on the early 2000s aesthetic, targeted millennial moms and tapped into their previous stint in the limelight. And Furby sold out. Literally, empty warehouses.

How to make friends.

Social media is the primary vehicle for a brand in the quest to attain and drive cultural relevance. Social allows you to do one thing traditional media counterparts can’t; be friends with the consumer. Being relevant and active on social media isn't simply a fun perk. This investment will drive sales, positive perception, traffic, and awareness. We know that, “when customers feel connected to brands, more than half (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.

Again with our partners at Hasbro, in collaboration with Monopoly, we took a legacy brand rooted in nostalgia and helped create a modern, culturally relevant social campaign - and the results were thumb stopping. “All is Fair Alter Egos” generated 43M+ views, 128K+ engagements, and 4.9K+ total saves and shares, which shows the potential of driving relevance through data-driven, strategic, and trend-savvy approaches.

Let your commercial barrier down.

Going viral is mean to an ends; the ends being brand relevance and awareness. The practice of going viral is a science representing a delicate balance of human emotion, timing, relevance, and connection. While influencer marketing or paid budgets give your content that extra push, spending money won’t create virality. Rather, it thrives on authenticity, relatability, and shared community. The data confirms it: “70% of consumers prioritize authenticity and relatability over polished, high-quality content.”

Your content shouldn’t mimic a traditional, polished ad with high-resolution visuals. 

Meet your audience on their level.

Imagine updating your friend about your life – it wouldn’t be a high-production TV spot; instead, an iPhone selfie “storytime” video (keep in mind #storytime has 599.8B views on TikTok alone) would resonate in a shared medium that feels accessible for both of you. Now that’s social. 

The viral equation can’t be measured. It can’t be copy and pasted. It’s unique to each authentic voice, offering, and positioning. Viral or not viral, with great, authentic content your audience will want to feel like they’re involved in something with you. And when this connection is established, sharing becomes second nature. That is the bottom-line that will drive brand growth.

It’s time to own your brand and share your brand’s stories.