The brand you get to do social media for, is not always your choice. Some of you are lucky to get interesting fashion or lifestyle brands, whereas there are others who have to strategise for ‘boring’ brands like financial or consultancy brands. One of the many woes of a community manager is to come up with interesting content for a not-so-exciting brand. And, this can be a task.
However, General Electronics (GE) teaches us how to make a ‘boring’ brand an interesting social media maverick. GE is into highly regulated businesses like healthcare, energy and financial services. GE’s success across social media platforms shows that at the end of the day it’s all about how you bring out the best of your brand values.
One of the key aspects that distinctly differentiates their successful social media marketing strategy is their alignment with real-time marketing across various social media platforms.
Linda Boff, executive director of global brand marketing, GE said, “Real-time marketing is the ability in near real time to produce a response through content, experiences or service to a live event or customer event that delights your audience or customer into engaging with your brand around a shared moment.”
Lessons from GE:
1. Interesting content buckets
They’ve split their content under various categories. For eg: Mind Blown or Lessons in science. What’s more interesting is the way they make science seem fun across all age groups. They’ve stated in their ‘About’ section of Facebook Page (which has 1million likes): We love science, technology, innovation and hearing from you! So, say hello.
Well they definitely combine their content with great visuals and call to actions to ensure that fans do engage with their posts.
New Year Post from GE – it’s simple and interesting:
2. Capitalize on brand-specific events
They’ve done some great campaigns on twitter and Facebook. One of their interesting campaigns was on Feb 11, 2013 which was the Inventor’s Day and also the birthday of Thomas Edison. They asked the tweeps to tweet about what they would like to invent using #IWantToInvent. GE selected the best of the tweets (about 70 of them) and converted them into graphic images and shared the images with the people who had tweeted. It was an absolutely interesting and a fun way to engage the followers with the brand.
— General Electric (@generalelectric) February 11, 2013
Boff also said in her interview with Digiday, “We’re fans of real-time marketing around brand-specific events.” What we as community managers should learn from this is that every brand can capitalize on the events that are related to the brand’s category. So we should identify and plan the content in advance to take maximum advantage of these events.
3. Experiment with various Social Media platforms
i) GE has got its presence on Facebook – with 1 million Fans
Their Facebook posts are planned, designed beautifully, and also keep the tonality full of interest for the fans. Being a highly regulated business legal aspect of sharing content, especially about GE reports and more is a matter of legal issue, and so – their Social Media team consists of a strategist, producer, designer and lawyer to be able to take efficient and faster decisions regarding what is suitable to be shared on social media platforms.
ii) GE has got an account on twitter – with 177,613 followers
— General Electric (@generalelectric) January 2, 2014
They share the same content (images) on twitter, as on Facebook. However, the style of tweet changes.
iii) GE on Pinterest – with 13,981 followers and 332 Pins
Their presence on Pinterest is interesting as they\’ve understood the value of sharing brilliant and interesting images from the industry. Below is a great example:
iv) GE on Instagram has – 158,185 followers
GE is also available on Instagram, sharing all the amazing photographs. They often run contests on Instagram as well to keep the conversation fun.
v) GE on Vine – with 95.9k followers
It’s kind of great that GE has also integrated Vine in their social media marketing strategy. Their Vines comprise of short, simple to the point storytelling about machines or any event their having.
You can view the Vine here.
As a community manager, we can learn from GE that it is important to try out various platform along with the right content strategy and see which platforms works better for the brand. You might not have a colourful brand, but every brand has a story to tell. It depends on your strategy, the way you wish to approach the brand and ensure the consumers relate to the brand – you can make a brand fun or boring.