How to Promote Social Content in Your MarketingJanuary 24, 2014
Social media content represents a potential well of meaningful information when it comes to marketing and promotion. When used properly, businesses can leverage it to learn more about their customers, power more personalized marketing campaigns, and even cultivate brand advocates. However, exploiting social media users, rather than engaging with them, can do more harm than good.
Take the high-profile example of Inside Llewyn Davis movie promotion, where CBS films took out a full-page advertisement (pictured below) featuring a single Tweet from New York Times film critic A.O. Scott. The only problem? The Tweet was used without Scott’s permission or knowledge.
Needless to say, this example has sparked controversy. But we’re here to tell you that marketers can effectively use genuine, user-generated social content for brand promotion. All it takes is dedication to these simple rules:
1. Know & Respect Your Audience.
CBS Films overstepped specifically because they asked Scott to use his Tweet, and he said no. Scott’s status as a New York Times Critic made him a high-influencer in the movie industry—yet, he still wasn’t interested in being part of the conversation. The clear warning: a social user with clout does not always translate to a high-influencer for your brand. Respect your audience by trying to engage that person to grow your relationship for the future (read: not sell them!), or refine your social curation for high-influencers that are relevant and interested in your message.
Read also: A Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing.
2. Be Timely.
Re-hashing user-generated content years after the message was posted leaves you open for major criticism. Because social media moves fast, user opinions can change over extended periods of time—making real-time engagement that much more important. Put it this way: if the user can’t remember he or she posted it, it’s no longer viable for use as an advertisement.
3. Don’t Try To Blur The Truth.
Although we don’t know the intent, CBS Films’ decision was further criticized because they modified Scott’s original Tweet. No matter what the goals are, social content should never be taken out of context, especially since the original post will live on somewhere over social media. When your ‘genuine customer feedback’ is found out to be fake (and, trust us, it will be found) your audience is likely to turn on you, causing backlash that can ruin both your campaign and your brand as a whole.
In summary, user-generated social content can be powerful marketing messaging, because it puts confidence in your brand for potential customers. However, before you can publicly showcase anyone as a brand loyalist, it’s important to engage with that user first—thus building relationships with influencers for the long term.