Think outside the norm to succeed in social media, but understand your customer first.

The Page Group feels that to be successful in social media you first need to understand your customer and how engage in social media before you build your first campaign or strategy.  You further need to understand how they would use social media to interact with your company/brand/products.

To many companies follow the herd into new technologies without a clearly defined objective or understanding of how their customer will engage in that activity.  They further will not have a clear understanding of the important values and attributes that the consumer might see in utilizing social media with their brand before they start.   There are significant risks associated with Social Media to, and without proper research, and a deep understanding of your customers use of social media the risk of failure rises.

Lastly, TPGBrandstrategy also feels that you must have a general understanding of the scope of the market that you will reach via social media, and how that equates to the investment you make into it.   To build a staff to manage social media can be costly, but if your a fortune 1000 company with millions of customers and your social media engagement has a 90% activity rate from the 3201 customers who connect with you via social media are you really getting a good return on investment.    You need to know your audience, and have a good understanding of how  your customers use social media before you begin.

5 Not-Too-Sexy Brands Killing It In Social Media

CMO EXCLUSIVES | November 26, 2013

by Giselle Abramovich
Senior & Strategic Editor


Social media is easy for hip, sexy brands like Taco Bell, Red Bull, and Pepsi. But for brands in less glamorous sectors, such as manufacturing and finance, adopting a brand persona can be difficult. And the more regulated the industry, the harder it becomes.

Yet some brands in these tricky areas are finding their place in social and are doing a great job to engage consumers. Here are five that are thinking out of the box.

1. Allstate

Insurance isn’t a topic you typically talk about on social media. But the newest addition to the Allstate Twitter strategy is @Mayhem, the character we’ve all come to know–and laugh at–in Allstate television commercials. Allstate’s Mayhem Twitter strategy is for the character to personify the uncertainties and vulnerabilities that consumers face every day, and to give consumers a deeper understanding of Mayhem beyond TV. The @Mayhem account launched Sept. 25 and already has almost 50,000 followers.

2. Siemens

Electrical engineering may sound like a bore, but Siemens has a lot to show and a pretty visual Facebook strategy to support that. People are engaging with the brand. The most recent 20 Facebook posts at the time this article was written averaged 316 likes. Reading through the posts on the company’s Facebook page gives you a look inside and helps better understand the company’s impact on the world. There’s no hard sell anywhere to be found.

3. Staples

If office supplies tickle your fancy, then you might be one in a million. But office supply giant Staples has proved that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. With 263,000 followers on Twitter, the company’s tweets are both funny and conversational. Staples is not solely focused on promoting products either.

4. Sharpie

Promoting your brand on social media can be difficult if you’re a pen maker. And yet Sharpie is unexpectedly really good at it. Its Instagram presence is quite impressive with some product shots, but also amazing art all made using Sharpie’s very own permanent markers. The company has 110,000 followers on Instagram to date, and its posts get tons of engagement.

5. General Electric

One might assume the average person wouldn’t think to “like” the Facebook page of an industrial manufacterer. But, on the contrary, General Electric–which prides its social strategy on the company’s roots in innovation and science–has more than 1 million likes on Facebook, and engagement is high in terms of both likes and comments on individual posts. That’s likely because of all the images being shared, which studies have found get much more more engagement than links, videos, or text-based updates. A consumer can’t just walk into a GE factory. Social media is its way of giving people a look inside.

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