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Is your social media strategy C.U.T.E?

19 11 2009

What do fans have in common? Why is it easy to have a conversation with some strangers and not others? Having moved around quite a bit (living in 4+ countries and not done yet), I tend to think that my village a gypsy type one. The more I think about social media, the more my ‘village fool, not so fool anymore’ analogy makes sense. Common experiences and preferences carry influence and communities are the new influencers. Consumers are influence-able, their friends do this very well:) Rethinking a brand’s community or audience’s common interests certainly makes a lot of sense.

Brands are like villages. They have constituents and those constituents certainly have things in common beyond just buying its product. I think a common mistake brands make using social media is to avoid defining their intentions with the community. Is the brand social to build a brand presence or to sell stuff? What value will your conversations create in the eyes of these customers? Brands belong to fans and twitter followers. It’s the brand’s page but it’s connected to many private spaces which belong to individuals.

So here’s a long term idea that I’m finally inking. Does your social media strategy have the C.U.T.E factor? You heard me. CUTE. CUTE stands for: “Common Unit of Transferable Experience”. A social media strategy should not only try to activate common units of experience between constituents or fans, but should also look at how transferable those units are. If a brand engages in media creation, will users share it? Such an engagement strategy should be moved from a brand or product centric intent to what consumers or customers have in common. They have more experiences in common than we would suspect (especially if the product or service is not Mac or iPhone appeal-esque…).

A brand should ask itself the following questions:
– What experiences do our customers have in common (not of your products) but around or while being empowered by your product or services? Would they transfer/share these experiences?
– What do our products enable them to do? Would they share this ability?
– How can a brand highlight the most interesting things customers do? If you sell TVs, talking about homebrewing may be okay… don’t they go together?
– If they don’t know your brand, what would they like to see first to help them build trust? Product and features or how customers are empowered with this product of service?

The CUTEs are conversation starters and sustainers and can create a great backbone for any social media strategy. You might want to think about that…

Am I a fool? Join me 🙂 Thoughts? Comments?

@YannR

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1 12 2009
10 Social Media benchmarks, what are your plans for 2010? « Extanz – Social Media Marketing and PR 2.0

[…] – Activation: Brand activation or community activation is better if social media is community supported. Brands aren’t all born equal (not every brand has the cool factor) but if a brand is in business, they already add value and activating a community should take different angles. If your brand is boring or your subjects are IP protected, make a lateral move and focus and look for common themes in your client’s interest. Activation is grounded in what I call the CUTE factor. […]

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