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Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
Social
Media Brand
Strategy: The
Four Districts
Approach
Diamond ...
Welcome
to the Districts
Social media is just over 10 years old yet in the past decade it has
catapulted artists from the ...
For VPs and Senior Social
Media Marketers:
For Brand Managers and
Marketing Managers:
As a defensive shield:
- To protect ...
Instagram
aesthetic
nostalgic
Facebook
continuous
co-created
Snapchat
disposable
intimate
Twitter
contemporary
consistent
...
Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
aesthetic
nostalgic
Instagram
District:
05 / 2...
Instagram
District:
aesthetic
nostalgic
District demographics:
Population:
300M active citizens
Key Age Segments:
52% of y...
Pizza Hut’s emotional affect is instantly
recognizable. They consistently deliver a
sense of comfort and living in the mom...
Following the Rules Breaking the Rules
Cultural Rule 2: Create instant nostalgia
The citizens of Instagram are conscious c...
Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
contemporary
consistent
Twitter
District:
09 /...
Twitter
District:
contemporary
consistent
District demographics:
Population:
244M active citizens
Key Age Segments:
33% of...
Breaking the Rules
Cultural Rule 1: Be contemporary
The culture of Twitter is occupied with breaking news, unfolding stori...
Following the Rules Breaking the Rules
Cultural Rule 2: Practice consistency
The citizens of Twitter look to people and br...
Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
continuous
co-created
Facebook
District:
13 / ...
14 / 23 /////
Facebook
District:
continuous
co-created
District demographics:
Population:
1.44B active users
Key Age Segme...
Following the Rules Breaking the Rules
Cultural Rule 1: Establish continuity
The citizens of Facebook represent the oldest...
Following the Rules Breaking the Rules
Cultural Rule 2: Embrace co-creation
The citizens of Facebook build the story of wh...
17 / 23 /////
disposable
intimate
Snapchat
District:
Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Ap...
18 / 23 /////
Snapchat
District:
disposable
intimate
District demographics:
Population:
100M active users
Key Age Segments...
Following the Rules Breaking the Rules
Cultural Rule 1: Embrace disposability
The citizens of Snapchat continually share s...
Following the Rules Breaking the Rules
Cultural Rule 2: Create intimacy
The citizens of Snapchat use the inherent privacy ...
Instagram
aesthetic
nostalgia
District demographics:
Population:
300M active citizens
Key Age Segments:
52% of youth 13-17...
22 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
Diamond Whitepaper
Contact:
Grah...
Diamond
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Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach

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Break the rules and your brand will suffer...

Social media is just over 10 years old yet in the past decade it has catapulted artists from the fringe to fame, re-invented journalism, toppled governments, and has become the biggest disruption to the media paradigm since TV was invented. Those who do it right, win big – but so many brands continue to miss out on the social media opportunity. Why?

It is time to see social media for what it is: distinct cultural districts with their own rules that determine what users and content become viral, and which are ignored.

This guide provides the key rules to follow for each district.

Published in: Marketing
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Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach

  1. 1. Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach Diamond Whitepaper Contact: Graham Candy DirectorInsights&Strategy gcandy@experiencediamond.com
  2. 2. Welcome to the Districts Social media is just over 10 years old yet in the past decade it has catapulted artists from the fringe to fame, re-invented journalism, toppled governments, and has become the biggest disruption to the media paradigm since TV was invented. Those who do it right, win big – but so many brands continue to miss out on the social media opportunity. Why are brands failing on social media? Brands are failing because they have been thinking about social media as platforms to communicate their brand message and content to consumers – but they are so much more than that. It is time to see social media for what it is: distinct cultural districts with their own rules that determine what users and content become viral, and which are ignored. Distinct districts mean distinct rules to follow. No brand would try to produce the same spot for radio, TV, and print. No brand would create a global ad spot and only use English. Similarly, each social media district has its own rules that need to be followed and respected as the base for every social media strategy. This guide provides the key rules to follow for each district. Break the rules and your brand will suffer 02 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  3. 3. For VPs and Senior Social Media Marketers: For Brand Managers and Marketing Managers: As a defensive shield: - To protect the value of your social media channels by ensuring that campaigns and content proposed by senior management align to the culture of each district. As a filter for posting content: - To tweak, modify, or elevate the brand content to better bolster your overall brand identity. As a pressure testing tool: - To determine if your agency is following these principles. - To analyze whether your team is posting content that aligned, maximized and customized according to the culture of each district. - To elevate proposed campaigns to best fit each district. As a toolkit for developing your presence: - Apply each rule to envision and design your brand’s entire image before it ever goes online. For Individuals and Companies just Establishing a Social Media Presence: How to use this guide 03 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  4. 4. Instagram aesthetic nostalgic Facebook continuous co-created Snapchat disposable intimate Twitter contemporary consistent FriendsFollowers StoriesNarratives 04 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  5. 5. Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach aesthetic nostalgic Instagram District: 05 / 23 /////
  6. 6. Instagram District: aesthetic nostalgic District demographics: Population: 300M active citizens Key Age Segments: 52% of youth 13-17 53% of adults 18–29 25% of adults 30–49 11% of adults 50–64 6% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 22% of males online 26% of females online District currency: Likes Followers The Challenge Share images with high frequency and ease without sacrificing consistency of sentiment or distracting from your brand identity and brand story. The Opportunity Craft a gallery with a cohesive visual identity creating a more tangible brand message that resonates with consumers and potential clients. 06 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  7. 7. Pizza Hut’s emotional affect is instantly recognizable. They consistently deliver a sense of comfort and living in the moment, through an aesthetically uniform gallery of images showing people enjoying their product by themselves and with others. Domino’s Pizza gallery of disparate images lacks a consistent theme and tone. Their mix of unprofessional food photography, screenshots, and product shots misses an opportunity to provoke a clear, central emotion in line with their brand identity. Following the Rules Cultural Rule 1: Be aesthetically legible The citizens of Instagram are concerned with visual identity and work to convey a specific mood through their collection of carefully selected visuals. To engage, brands must adopt this emotive capacity to consistently inspire and maintain their affect in every interaction. Brand Category: Pizza chain restaurant Breaking the Rules Pizza Hut’s aesthetically legible brand has earned it 65% more followers per post over Domino’s undefined presence. - Is your gallery legible to viewers so that they can draw out a distinct message from your visuals? Pizza Hut’s comforting presence Domino’s Pizza visual jumble Takeaway: 07 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  8. 8. Following the Rules Breaking the Rules Cultural Rule 2: Create instant nostalgia The citizens of Instagram are conscious curators of their immediate past as the ultimate commemoration of themselves. To engage, brands must similarly use images to write their own histories as it unfolds, creating instant memorability through directed narrative. Brand Category: Breakfast chain restaurant IHOP demonstrates its presence in consumer’s everyday histories. The brand showcases imagery that is a mixture of food and experience; their brand is present at both the centre and backdrop of a consumer’s relationships and experiences. IHOP effectively illustrates its’ significant role in people’s personal histories and experiences. Denny’s Diner posts a variety of unrelated content. Mixing clips from recent promotions, random jokes, and product shots, the result is a feed filled with images without a sense of nostalgia or connection to the consumer experience. There is an incoherent brand experience. IHOP’s efforts to visually root itself into the daily experiences of the consumer are rewarded with 586% followers per post over Denny’s. - Does your brand’s use of instant nostalgia align with your brand’s messaging? Is the near-history you are creating relevant to viewers? IHOP’s warm memories Denny’s content dumping ground Takeaway: 08 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  9. 9. Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach contemporary consistent Twitter District: 09 / 23 /////
  10. 10. Twitter District: contemporary consistent District demographics: Population: 244M active citizens Key Age Segments: 33% of youth 13-17 37% of adults 18-29 25% of adults 30-49 12% of adults 50-64 10% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 24% of males online 21% of females online District currency: Retweets Favourites The Challenge Capitalize on open and direct communication and ultimate accessibility all the time, without devolving into chatter with everyone. The Opportunity Directed and purposeful conversations with events as they unfold, that fit with your brand identity. 10 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  11. 11. Breaking the Rules Cultural Rule 1: Be contemporary The culture of Twitter is occupied with breaking news, unfolding stories and ongoing events. To engage, brands must speak to what’s current, emergent, and newsworthy to their consumer base, as events happen. Brand Category: Sports apparel Following the Rules Nike celebrates the moment of the US win over Japan in the Women's World Cup Final with an embedded video of congratulations. Nike engages with both their sponsored team and the audience, drawing previous World Cup wins into the context of their present victory, furthering conversation and viewer excitement. Nike’s prepared video and its execution show their brand’s commitment to staying current. Under Armour might have joined in on the commentary during the World Cup final, but they failed to connect with the audience in the game's aftermath. Their congratulations arrived at 6am the next day and appeared as an afterthought, losing a sense of connection it might have had with its' audience. Nike’s immediate and passionate reaction to the USA win is acknowledged in the post-game aftermath: the congratulatory tweet earns over 7000 retweets and almost 15,000 favourites. Under Armour’s tweet, which appears the next day, failed to crack 100 favourites. Speed, or lack thereof, significantly impacts consumer response. - Is your brand boldly initiating conversation as events emerge and leading the response? Nike’s ‘World Cup’ celebration Under Armour’s time delayed response Takeaway: 11 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  12. 12. Following the Rules Breaking the Rules Cultural Rule 2: Practice consistency The citizens of Twitter look to people and brands for a clear articulation of their stand on current issues. To engage with consumers, brands must offer a consistent and recognizable opinion at each and every opportunity. Brand Category: Banks TD Bank consistently demonstrates support for the LGBTQ+ community as part of their longstanding, ongoing initiatives. Their brand is marked by continuous engagement with LGBTQ+ efforts, illustrated partially through their 6 year-long top scoring on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI)1 , and their sponsorship of Pride events across North America2 . As a result, they are a proven and reliable influencer in the values they aim to associate with their brand. RBC announces their support for the SCOTUS ruling on gay marriage on June 26, 2015, but the LGBTQ+ support is fleeting. By lacking consistent demonstrations of support, they have failed to develop an image of serious commitment to LGBTQ+ related causes. Their brand identity is thus ineffectual in aligning with a topical conversation due to the lack of a credible longstanding relationship. TD Bank emerges as a proven and reliable supporter of LGBTQ+ causes at a time when other brands are just jumping on the bandwagon. RBC, by joining the conversation that was producing 36 million tweets per minute at its peak, fails to gain many retweets and favourites despite having more followers than TD Bank. - Is your brand regularly seizing the opportunity to offer a consistent point of view on current events and issues to build loyalty? *TD is a client of Diamond Integrated Marketing TD Canada’s ongoing LGBTQ+ pride RBC’s one-off LGBTQ+ support 1 https://mediaroom.tdbank.com/index.php?s=30379&item=135306 2 http://www.td.com/corporate-responsibility/diversity/serving-diverse-needs/lgbta/lgbta.jsp Takeaway: 12 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  13. 13. Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach continuous co-created Facebook District: 13 / 23 /////
  14. 14. 14 / 23 ///// Facebook District: continuous co-created District demographics: Population: 1.44B active users Key Age Segments: 71% of youth 14-17 87% of adults 18-29 73% of adults 30-49 63% of adults 50-64 56% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 66% of males online 77% of females online District currency: Likes Shares Comments The Challenge Leverage the narrative format and connection mentality without the risk of appearing one-dimensional, or ignoring the fact that brand identity is built together over time. The Opportunity Collaborative content building over time that transforms fans and followers into friends, for a more meaningful connection to your evolving brand identity. Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  15. 15. Following the Rules Breaking the Rules Cultural Rule 1: Establish continuity The citizens of Facebook represent the oldest demographic online. Citizens of Facebook have layed down digital roots and cultivated a chronological (hi)story of themselves and their friends. To engage, brands must also display their roots and future hopes: demonstrating where they came from, where they’ve been, and where they’re going, creating potential for multiple connection points with citizens over time. Brand Category: Video game consoles Nintendo’s Facebook timeline captures its technological progression over a century, connecting the brand to fans by providing opportunities to reminisce. Today, their story continues to grow with frequent posts about new games, events, and contests. Playstation plays a prominent role in the lives of millions of millennials and Gen-X’ers around the world, though you wouldn’t know it from their Facebook timeline. There is no documentation of historical facts, or milestones reached in their brand narrative, thus missing an opportunity to connect their brand history with their consumers’ lives. While PlayStation has nearly 10x the page likes, the average post generates far less brand engagement than Nintendo’s fan base, which averages in the hundreds-thousands of likes and dozens of comments per post. - Does your brand have a life that resembles a living person, with a past, and growth over time, or does it feel more like a series of disconnected advertisements and communications? Nintendo’s Rich Timeline Playstation’s Timeline Takeaway: 15 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  16. 16. Following the Rules Breaking the Rules Cultural Rule 2: Embrace co-creation The citizens of Facebook build the story of who they are, together, through commenting, tagging and posting directly on another person’s timeline: no person operates alone in crafting his or her story. To engage, brands must champion a collaborative spirit that facilitates fan engagement while retaining and building a meaningful and legitimate identity. Brand Category: Automotive Honda features one of its dedicated fans: an artist who has hand-engraved his Honda EG. The reaction from other Honda fans is positive, and the artist himself even responds to others’ comments and questions. The choice to feature a fan’s unique engagement with the brand results in a truly collaborative and dynamic timeline post, spurring discussion and helping to build Honda’s identity in the eyes of its viewers. Nissan attempts to engage their fans through a video promotion which crowdsources ideas for their “Will it stick?” series. By only letting fans contribute in through a campaign mechanic, Nissan’s individual posts do not garner nearly as many likes, shares, or comments. Nissan misses the opportunity to let fans interact and connect with other fans. Nissan’s timeline posts fail to engage any significant portion of their 13 million followers, while Honda manages to create genuine buzz with a photo album that compels over 3000 people to like, comment, and share—and with 10 million less followers than Nissan. - Are you allowing and encouraging fans to actively co-create your brand in a meaningful (and positive way)? Honda’s Bespoke Fan Content Nissan’s Crowdsourcing Takeaway: 16 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  17. 17. 17 / 23 ///// disposable intimate Snapchat District: Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  18. 18. 18 / 23 ///// Snapchat District: disposable intimate District demographics: Population: 100M active users Key Age Segments: 41% of youth 13-17 45% of adults 18-24 26% of adults 25-34 13% of adults 35-44 10% of adults 45-54 6% of adults 55-64 1% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 30% of males online 70% of females online District currency: Snap screenshots Shares The Challenge Maximize the value of rapid, disposable, brief, and intimate communications without defaulting to throwaway content. The Opportunity Purposefully craft communications that allow brands to get playful with their identity and message, while creating an avenue for greater intimacy with an existing consumer. Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  19. 19. Following the Rules Breaking the Rules Cultural Rule 1: Embrace disposability The citizens of Snapchat continually share singular and disposable moments of their lives with friends. To engage, brands must experiment with equally disposable personalities and tones, highlighting that your brand identity is alive and evolving. Brand Category: Clothing company Lacoste brings playfulness to the forefront of their brand by playing hide-&-seek within a temporary campaign. Followers were invited to find the crocodile hidden in their 10 second snaps to win discounts off their next purchase; as a result, the brand created a campaign that engaged followers with brief interactions that create intimate, disposable moments of engagement with consumers. Free People attempts to invoke exclusivity through the reveal of an upcoming product. Opting for predictable product shots, Free People fails to dynamically express their brand in a way that utilizes a sense of brevity. While behind the scenes exclusives can be intriguing, the brand’s snapchats do not capture a sense of urgency that emerges from disposability. Lacoste’s campaign embraces disposability – rooting its campaign in ephemerality as a playful way of engaging users. Alternatively, Free People’s snapchats plays it safe; the content fails to explore their brand’s identity and take advantage of the ephemeral format. - Does your brand’s content encourage pro-active engagement from the consumer side, while still allowing for malleable messages? Lacoste’s Hide-and-Snap game Free People’s gallery Takeaway: 19 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  20. 20. Following the Rules Breaking the Rules Cultural Rule 2: Create intimacy The citizens of Snapchat use the inherent privacy of their district to share different and personal ways of expressing themselves. To engage, brands must be equally open and offer a window into the real brand behind the façade. Brand Category: Soft drink and N/A Mountain Dew develops a close relationship with its followers by sharing playful visuals. With the story of a freshly liberated thumb enjoying a day out in NYC following the removal of the “hold to view” feature on Snapchat, the brand shares a unique response to the platform’s updates. Through creative storytelling and relevant references like these, they position themselves as a brand with character. The permanent channels of Snapchat’s Discover feature are not only unpopular amongst users, but also shun originality by using pre-existing content from the Web. By embedding themselves amidst calculated and impersonal content, brands lose the prospect of casual intimacy and creative expression that comes with using a Snapchat account. Brands become distant to viewers on the very platform created deliberately to facilitate interpersonal engagements. Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach Brands embedded in Discover lose their intimate connections by getting lost in regurgitated content, while Mountain Dew’s flexibility and willingness to play with its brand image in-front of its followers sets itself apart as a leading brand on Snapchat. - Is your brand creating intimacy with its consumers, coming across as having a real personality behind your carefully crafted public image presented in above-the-line marketing? Change unique to uniquely personal Brand advertising embedded in Discover Takeaway: 20 / 23 /////
  21. 21. Instagram aesthetic nostalgia District demographics: Population: 300M active citizens Key Age Segments: 52% of youth 13-17 53% of adults 18–29 25% of adults 30–49 11% of adults 50–64 6% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 22% of males online 26% of females online District currency: Likes Followers Be Aesthetically Legible - Is your gallery legible to viewers so that they can draw out a distinct message from your visuals? Create Instant Nostalgia - Does your brand’s use of instant nostalgia align with your brand’s messaging? Is the near-history you are creating relevant to viewers? Twitter contemporary consistent District demographics: Population: 244M active citizens Key Age Segments: 33% of youth 13-17 37% of adults 18–29 25% of adults 30–49 12% of adults 50–64 10% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 24% of males online 21% of females online District currency: Retweets Favourites Be Contemporary - Is your brand boldly initiating conversation as events emerge and leading the response? Practice Consistency - Is your brand regularly seizing the opportunity to offer a point of view on current events and issues to build loyalty? Facebook continuous co-created District demographics: Population: 1.44B active citizens Key Age Segments: 71% of youth 14-17 87% of adults 18–29 73% of adults 30–49 63% of adults 50–64 56% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 66% of males online 77% of females online District currency: Likes Shares Comments Establish Continuity - Does your brand have a life that resembles a living person, with a past, and growth over time, or does it feel more like a series of disconnected advertisements and communications? Embrace Co-Creation - Are you allowing and encouraging fans to actively co-create your brand in a meaningful (and positive way)? Snapchat disposable intimate District demographics: Population: 100M active citizens Key Age Segments: 41% of youth 13-17 45% of adults 18–24 26% of adults 25-34 13% of adults 35-44 10% of adults 45-54 6% of adults 55-64 1% of adults 65+ Gender Breakdown: 30% of males online 70% of females online District currency: Snap screenshots Shares Embrace Disposability - Does your brand’s content encourage pro-active engagement from the consumer side, while still allowing for malleable messages? Create Intimacy - Is your brand creating intimacy with its consumers, coming across as having a real personality, behind your carefully crafted public image presented in above-the-line marketing? FriendsFollowers StoriesNarratives 21 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach
  22. 22. 22 / 23 ///// Diamond Whitepaper Social Media Brand Strategy: The Four Districts Approach Diamond Whitepaper Contact: Graham Candy DirectorInsights&Strategy gcandy@experiencediamond.com
  23. 23. Diamond

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