We relate to people.
We use brands.
We invest in desired relationships.
We ignore Facebook requests from "friends" we don't care about.
If you're a retailer you already have a human face - that minimum wage cashier, that grumpy old sales associate walking the floor, that miserable angry woman at the "customer service" desk who is spending more time talking to her co-workers than servicing your customers. These probably aren't the faces you want your brand to have.
1998 - Walmart's Human Brand
Walmart "got" Human Branding a decade ago. The smiley face logo said it all. Their sales people were happy. They had a "greeter" at the front door. They made big box shopping into a compelling experience. Their stores were so much fun, that people used to go there as a social event. I cannot tell you how many teenage summer Saturday nights were spent "hanging out at Walmart" when there was nothing else to do (and we really were in the middle of nowhere with NOTHING else to do). It got to the point where we knew the sales people and they knew us. To us, Walmart was a human brand with a human face.
Digital Social Media is no different.
Many struggle when it comes to "getting" social media because it has the wrong title. Social media is far more than media as we know it - aka - paid media. Social "media" is an age old dynamic. The human species is by nature socially driven. The social dynamic has long been one of the strongest driving forces behind the evolution or mankind. Harnessing and utilizing the power and momentum of the social dynamic is the dream of every marketer.
The power of marketing in the social dynamic is easily accessible, if we can only get over the stodgy corporate culture that we have created over the past 150 years.
We need to teach marketers that social success requires going back to Kindergarten. With some help from my twitter friends, we pulled together some great tips for social marketing that we all learned as children. Please find our suggestions below:
Social Media Marketing Lessons In Kindergarten
- sharing earns you brownie points--even when you really want to sit in the corner and say MINE!
- sharing is caring
- no biting
- don't pull hair
- if you are the cool kid, everyone will want to be your friend
- nobody likes a liar
- no stealing
- imagination is more important than knowledge (my personal favorite)
- no yelling
- Bring the teacher an apple every so often (that is, give -- like information, access, etc.). Not nec a lesson, but good to do.
For some great discussion on human branding in a social communal context, check out PR Squared's great discussion here.