Being Social: Three Principles of the Social Brand

Mixed up and overlapping social media icons

Capture a two-day social media conference in six words? Here goes: Be useful. Be honest. Be there. Sounds simple, but it’s just the beginning.

At Social Brand Forum 2013 last week the topics ranged from video to marketing automation, mobile devices to ethical practices, but the principles of being useful, honest, and present remained unbelievably consistent throughout the event.

Be useful

Jay Baer opened up the conference with the concept of “Youtility” —creating marketing so useful your audience would pay for it. Picking up the baton, Laura Fitton encouraged us to “solve for the humans.” Marcus Sheridan closed the conference on the same theme, explaining how his business found success creating content to answer the customer questions his competitors avoided.

Being useful comes from thoroughly understanding the needs and experiences of your audience — even beyond your product offering. Developing content for key moment throughout the customer journey empowers you to be useful when the time is right.

Be honest

Gini Dietrich delivered a fantastic presentation on the pitfalls of unethical marketing and PR tactics, and why “Spin Sucks.” All of the presenters touched on being transparent and authentic.

“But of course we’re being honest! We don’t lie to our customers!” Honesty and transparency are evident not only in the facts you present, but in the tone of voice your writing uses to present those facts. Setting voice, tone, and readability guidelines for your brand can help your audience to not only know you’re honest, but feel you’re honest.

Be there

DJ Waldow reminded us that it’s all about getting the right content to the right person at the right time. Monica Vernon and Nick Westergaard presented results from the Social Scene Midwest research project, helping us to see where ‘there’ is for social media users in the region. Presentations from Tim Washer on video and Tim Hayden on mobile gave us new options for reaching our audiences.

The message? Get your content where your customer is, when they need it — whether that’s on mobile devices, in video format, or setting up marketing automation to provide a personalized customer experience.

How do we get there?

Radar chart showing content quality ratings
Blaze makes it easy to audit content quality.

Wondering where to begin? The foundation of all of this is great content. As Jay Baer recommended in his opening keynote:

“Go back and look at your current marketing and ask ‘what can we do to make these things more useful?’” — Jay Baer

A content audit is a great way to see where your organization is at today. Blaze is designed to help you collect your web pages, blog posts, and other online content into a single place. Our web-based software makes it easy to evaluate all of that content in a consistent manner. You can quickly begin to see if your content is “Useful & Relevant”, “Clear & Accurate”, and “Usable and Findable”.

By comparing different areas of your site or assessing content geared for different audiences, you can then prioritize and focus the work needed to take your digital marketing to the next level.

Ready to get started?  Request a demo 

Want more? See what other Social Brand Forum 2013 attendees had to say:

“As you return to the office invigorated and ready to reinvent your organization’s social media marketing, we thought we would provide some event recap and resources to assist you.”

The official recap: Social Brand Forum 2013 Recap: Speaker Slides, Photos, & More by Nick Westergaard (@NickWestergaard)

“…in case you are wondering what you missed, I have captured the major speaker themes followed by a personal story or two from my time in Iowa to demonstrate why the suggested marketing concept works so well.”

Nutella Pizza with Bacon & Other Things You Missed at Social Brand Forum 2013 by Michelle Schenker (@CSM_Michelle)

“In a world where advertising and promotional campaigns are getting more and more aggressive, Youtility stresses the importance of ‘being a farmer, not a hunter.’ Take the time to discover how you can be the most useful to your audience.”

Is Your Healthcare Marketing So Useful People Would Pay for It? by Nicole Knoll (@nverhey)

“The main takeaway from the two-day conference, for me, was the need for content to be helpful, informative and relevant to the customer when and where they need it.”

A writer’s experience at #SocialBrand13 by Albert Maruggi (@MaruggiAlbert)

”Be helpful, be transparent and making better content are all things we can and should do more of in our lives and our work.”

#Social Brand Forum 2013 Recap by Kimberly Kurimski (@kkurimski)

Being Social: Three Principles of the Social Brand