Are You A Brand? Don’t Forget To Be A Human

October 23, 2015

This morning I went to my first Social Media Breakfast, which focused on the growing impact of social media on health and fitness. Presenters on the panel included:

  • Perrie Finland, social media manager at Boston Scientific
  • Laura Kaslow, senior public relations specialist at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MN
  • Matt Lechner, senior digital consultant at HealthPartners
  • Tony Saucier, director of social media at Life Time, The Healthy Way of Life Company
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I’m not a community manager, nor have I ever had any health and fitness related clients – however there were some great overall takeaways on social media that any brand or brand manager can relate to.
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Be Human 
The greatest overall message I took from this seminar was: Brands, be human. People want to know who they are talking to, they expect to be responded to, and they will likely gain more brand affinity if you can find ways to speak directly to them.

Arm People With Relevant Information
For years brands have been spitting out words at people, telling them to do things. But that’s not working — people want to know why they should be doing these things. Today, we’re all information seekers. We want to research TVs before we buy them, we want to know why the gym in our neighborhood is the best gym to join, and we want to know that the hotel we’re staying at on our next vacation isn’t going to have cockroaches crawling in the shower. As a brand on the internet, you should figure out what type of information would resonate with your audience and tell them about it.

Draw Insights 
The other great thing about social media and the internet, is that they’re real-time, direct, human-to-human communication platforms. As a brand, you can put a piece of content out in the world and get a response from your audience — drawing insights and improving content for the future.

Be Friends with Legal 
Understand what makes your brands’ legal teams tick, what worries them, what keeps them up at night — and figure out ways to avoid those issues. At the same time, be willing to push the bar — if what you’re pushing for makes sense and has reasoned support. (Tony, I guess this means lunch is on me).

Interestingly enough, when the panel was asked what social-media channel would be their main focus for the next two years, @tsauce from Life Time responded that overall video content would be a huge focus. Others agreed that due to the evolution and improvements, Facebook is the main channel of focus for the represented companies. To quote a witty (and bald) Matt Lechner: “Facebook has gotten so smart, they’re not marketing shampoo to me anymore!”

If you’d like to be part of the next social media breakfast so you can get super smart, make sure to visit smbmsp.org for more information.
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