In a recent article for my column on The Marketing Society blog, I argued that marketers need to go beyond 'media' thinking, and use every element of their brand to inspire, engage, and fuel meaningful conversations. The Marketing Society have been kind enough to let us republish the post here.


Social Isn't About Media
Social media success isn’t just driven by your brand’s own tweets and Facebook posts.

Indeed, the most ‘talked about’ brands use activities across every dimension of their marketing to inspire conversations between audiences.

So, when it comes to planning your social strategy, think beyond the ‘media’ aspect, and plan to inspire conversations with everything you do.

Here are some great ‘non-social social’ ideas to help boost your brand’s organic social success.

‘Share a Coke’ is a great example of a social packaging idea, and the activity has already generated more than 550,000 user-tagged photos on Instagram alone*. What’s more, even though the campaign is more than 3 years old, it still generates more than 2,000 organic tweets per day*:


Innocent Drinks also include a variety of ‘share-worthy’ elements on their products’ packaging. This ‘animal humour’ series has been especially popular with Instagram users:


Traditional Advertising
There’s a saying that people hate advertising, but love adverts, and this is particularly obvious in social media. In the past year alone, people have made more than 2 million English-language posts about adverts they love.

This recent advert promoting the launch of IKEA’s new catalogue has been particularly popular, with the term ‘bookbook’ driving 50,000 mentions on Twitter alone*:

It’s not just adverts for mainstream brands that drive high volumes of sharing, though; this spot for Volvo trucks was one of the most-viewed clips on YouTube last year thanks to the effects of social sharing:

Customer Service
People love to share stories of customer service – good and bad – so it’s perhaps no surprise that the best stories gain considerable attention on social media.

There are loads of great examples out there, but this support exchange from Amazon has enjoyed particular attention in recent weeks:


Image via imgur

A good job ad doesn’t just help you find the right candidate – it tells the world about your brand too, and done properly, can deliver a powerful message even to those who won’t want the job. Even better, candidates are more likely to fight for positions in job ads that go viral, as they will benefit from the associated kudos of being able to say, “I got that job.”

This recruitment billboard for Google gained worldwide attention across social media. Candidates that could decipher the link were taken to a website designed to find potential engineers, but the clever wit left a lasting impression on many others who had no intention of applying:


Image via SmartRecruiters

*Numbers and stats from We Are Social research