What it means to be a social brand in 2016

Strategy consultant
Valtech France
Romain Chataigner

December 17, 2015

One of the most complicated challenges in digital this year was how to play your cards right in the social media game. And let’s be honest: in 2015, a lot of advertisers failed. There were numerous traps: new platforms, revised algorithms, cases of force majeure, underlying stagnation… But don’t you panic! So you can thrive next semester, we got your back with this sweet cheat sheet.

1. Let social media settle so they become clearer

Consider each platform’s singularity for its purpose, uses and the communities it brings together. Go on a safari off Facebook’s beaten path and get a first grasp of where your brand is orbiting in the social ecosystem.

2. Elaborate your digital brand identity

It is a necessary step that will integrate your digital thinking within a more holistic strategic approach. Contextualizing your digital brand identity will determine your brand personality while legitimizing your objectives. Set your values, your emotions, your tone of voice.

3. Instagram, a baptism of fire to reach aspirational shores

It is the perfect medium to field-test a specific strategy through practical exercises. With 400 million users, Instagram is an oh-so popular giant, which hasn't lost its esthetics and codification. Mix that with your brand’s values and give it a - little - push!

4. Listen up, now

Notoriety and e-reputation are great concerns for European companies. Treating them seriously (listening tools, precise inquiries, reporting) is an excellent starting point towards an integrated reflection and more advanced indicators.

5. Spread the love

When it comes to social media, some countries’ marketing executives or departments are way behind. Know how to prove your know-how and share the results of successful initiatives. Identify collaborative proof of concept opportunities to promote transversalization.

6. Go vertical

This is not the world upside-down, just a little bit twisted. Snapchat, Periscope, Vine and others put us on the first row of real-time experiences. Sneak peeks and avant-premières of glamorous runways, backstages, influencers’ confidences, are the type of juicy content that teenagers go crazy for. For brands, these are good places to test and learn, but above all to be creative.

7. Shed into a digital butterfly

These principles aim at digging you out of your advertiser shell and allowing you to blossom as a strong brand: a brand that progresses in the same temporality as the consumer in a rich, sincere and service-oriented approach.