After participating in the #likeablechat last night which was hosted by the NYC social media agency Likeable – I wanted to create a post on some great likeable brands out there – and some simple ways your own business can become more likeable using social media and online networking. Sometimes we get lost in the marketing side of things – and forget what social media is all about: and that’s – being social. Being social doesn’t comprise of ignoring people, or forgetting about people, being social is all about getting stuck in, communicating, befriending, emphasising, having fun and helping people out.
Being social online should be no different to be social on a night out (minus the cocktails of course). Whether your online profile is a branded one that represents your company – or whether you’re a freelancer and it simply represents yourself. You’ll get nowhere with your social media marketing if the only thing you’re thinking about is the word “marketing”.
So what examples can we give you of awesome brands that are leading the way in likeable social networking and social media marketing? OK, so here are a few of my absolute favourites:
It’s hard not to “like” this brand (no pun intended haha). Everything about their branding, both online and offline is incredibly likeable and it’s all geared towards me – their customer. They don’t write mass press releases or mass-copy aimed at a whole group of us – everything they write feels like it’s been specially put together just for me. If you check out their twitter too – you’ll notice they go out of their way to reply to everyone about pretty much everything. This makes me like them a lot. Plus they make yummy smoothies.
I know I bang on about this brand and how good they are – but I really do love their whole approach to social media. It’s pretty hard to draw the line between funny and annoying – but these guys have got it perfected. Their adverts (you can find them on YouTube… here’s a link) are pure genius and then you realise they make personal video responses to their fans on a regular basis- and your mind is just blown. Congrats Old Spice – You really are the social media God of my dreams.
This one comes from a personal airport horror story. Last Christmas I was due to fly out of Heathrow to visit my Mum for Christmas (she lives very far away) and I had I not made it out – she’d have been spending it alone. Unfortunately Heathrow was completely snowed under and every flight but ours was cancelled. I’d already made it through customs – and our flight had been constantly delayed for 5/6 hours. No one in the airport was giving me any useful information about whether I’d actually be able to fly (I was pretty sure, eventually my flight would be cancelled too) – but the guys in charge of the Heathrow Twitter account went out of their way to help me. They found me the information I need and I couldn’t have been more impressed. Now if anyone says a bad word against Heathrow Airport I jump to defend them quicker than my dog jumps for sausages. (By the way, I caught my flight).
I don’t know who is in charge of the Skittle Facebook and Twitter accounts but I want to give them a hug. Some might think there’s not much you can really do with a confectionary brand’s social presence – but these guys have perfected theirs. If you’ve ever seen the weird but wonderful TV adverts for Skittles – you’ll recognise the same randomness and hilarity in their social updates. The updates don’t mean anything – they’re just funny. I like funny. And I like Skittles.
This brand has a few social media accounts (across different countries) but what I love about these guys is that their brand identity online is so strong. They’re always willing to advise and help you out – but they’re also always on hand with plenty of offers and deals for their fans and followers. If you’ve never heard of their Travel Internship Scheme – this is also an amazing online marketing / social media marketing tactic they have in place – which encourages young people to apply for an internship where they get to travel the world for free all summer. I love any brand that encourages this kind of behaviour – and any brands that encourages you to be creative, expressive and social (then gives you a free trip around the world if you win) is OK by me.
I was relatively unaware of these guys until a friend of mine started working there. After then following them on Twitter, I’ve come to realise these guys do “likeable” very very well. I think you’d struggle to find anything negative to say about them – and that’s reflected in their Times Top 100 placing. As a marketing company – they’re tweeting to fellow industry people and admirers of the brand really (not direct customers, so to speak) – and that works really well for them. Their tweets are a mix of handy tips and articles, funny observations and company photographs.
Curvy Kate Lingerie
This great lingerie brand are leading the way for online campaigns using social media. Their recent “Star in a Bra” competition is a modelling competition for women who are customers of their DD+ bra range. Their Twitter and Facebook has a great brand voice and the updates are always friendly, sociable and completely targeted at the right audience too. They are perfecting the way a female brand should interact – and they’re brave with their campaigns too – which I love.
So there you have it. That’s my list.
But what can you learn from these brands, and what can you implement into you own social media strategy to become more likeable online…?
- Perfect your brand voice – and cusotmers will want to interact with you
- Reply to people if they interact with you. Even if it’s as simple as saying “thank you” for a retweet
- Listen to any complaints – and be gracious and understanding when replying
- Express the personality of your brand, it’s this that sets you apart from corporate accounts
- Give away deals and discounts to fans and followers – show them you appreciate them taking the time to follow your brand
- Share a joke with them – if you tripped up on your way to work, tell them
- Smile when you tweet (people might not be able to see, but they’ll be able to sense it)
- Be sincere (fakery doesn’t get you anywhere)
Thanks to Likeable Media for inspiring this post – and thanks to all of these brands for putting a smile on my face at some point. Now I’m going to go drink an innocent smoothie, I’ve been craving once since I wrote about you in the first paragraph. Yum.