Five Creative Ways To Use Social Media And PR For Branding
Here is a mind-blowing little statement that other articles on this subject have missed out on. In order for something to be creative, it doesn’t have to be original. There are plenty of creative ways to use social media for PR and branding that are not even remotely original, yet they work because we live in an attention economy and if you can capture people’s attention for a little while, then you can convince them of anything.
1. Demonstrate The Extremes Of Your Product
This is such an underused method that people still make videos about the videos people have made where they do this sort of thing. For example, when the Smart Car first came out, Mercedes tried to prove that their small car was safer than any other. They could have released all of the files on safety checks, metal tolerance, and all the technical jargon few people actually read. Instead, they sat their chief executive in one of their cars and hit it with a wrecking ball. The video was well received in the UK, Russia, Australia, and several European countries, but was censored or banned in several places like the US, Japan, and Canada for fear it would give people dangerous ideas.
2. Use Social Media as a Troubleshooting Forum
Let people voice their problems on your dedicated social media accounts, and then employ customer-service-oriented staff to answer them. Over time, these are seen and promoted on Google search results. You have likely seen them yourself. When you Google “how to get the batteries out of a toy piano,” the top highlighted answer is actually from a Facebook business page. Helping customers get a quick answer through the use of Google and social media is better than frustrating them with slow message responses and live chat with your tech support people.
3. Demonstrate Your Prototype and Ask For Opinions
In many cases, you don’t even need to create tangible 3D prototypes. You can show people drawings and pictures if you wish. For example, there are bike modifiers who do this sort of thing all the time.
If you are in an industry where innovation is constant, a prototype is a great way to grab the attention of potential customers. You may hit upon something that people actually (really) want. Part of this process is that you are using social media as market research. However, most of the process is simply engaging with your potential audience so that they are thinking about your brand and innovative new products, and not your competitor’s brand or products.
4. Tell Big Stinking Lies…
So, here is the thing, social media is full of lies. Oddly, there is a subculture on TikTok that actively exposes the sheer amount of rubbish we see on social media. For example, a teen influencer said she would run every day for a month to raise awareness for cancer. She was later videoed running onto a track, throwing water on her face, taking a photo, and then leaving without actually completing a workout. Another questionable stunt is a recent Greta Thunberg arrest incident where she is videoed laughing, joking, and posing with officers moments before being “arrested” and carried off by them.
Yet, it doesn’t always matter if you lie. The lie will be spread and in several cases, no negative repercussions will follow. With ever-shrinking attention spans, people don’t spend energy feeding into or following up on stories like these. Unless you tell a really stupid lie, like how you cured cancer with weed (oh wait, that lie has been done and quickly faded from headlines), then at a minimum, all you will receive is publicity.
It is important to note that this strategy can generate a quick and large following on social media, but is likely to be affected when the truth surfaces– in general, people don’t like being duped, so many who have attempted this strategy have lost followers, endorsements, and credibility.
5. Social Media Saturation Marketing
Simple but effective, you should create the same message and promotion with graphics, and rework it for each social media network. You can then utilize a website like Fameswap and buy Instagram accounts or accounts on other social platforms (hopefully that have robust and active follower numbers). When you are ready, you then carefully pick a time and release your message across all of your social media accounts at the same time. Not only is your message saturated throughout multiple social media networks, but the bots, crawlers, and web spider tools also pick up on the noise and begin thinking it is a trend. Again in this scenario, the worst thing that can happen is hundreds of people see your message. The best-case scenario is that your content is recommended by social networks so that your views spike upwards.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.