Disclaimer: This blog sadly has nothing to do with my mother or a song by will.i.am. However, this blog will be about assets – the good and the horrible.
Social Strategy for a company includes when to post, what channels, making sure the post is aligned with the mission and goals of the overarching company. What I will focus on today covers the expression of social strategy through assets, copy, and tone.
What is an asset you ask? According to Jeff Bullas, a business and digital world blogger, an asset is “any web presence that makes it easy for customers and prospects to find you and engage with you” on your social media pages and even blogs. Assets I am talking about today specifically include photos, videos, and gifs. Yet, many things can be considered as an asset to a company. Assets vary throughout social channel and campaign. Twitter needs longer, horizontal assets. Instagram needs assets that are able to fit into a square crop. Facebook has a recommended sizes for the profile photo, cover photo, and normal pictures. Banner ad and side ads need their own cuts and video and gifs may have time and size requirements. Also for advertising, companies can use carousels of pictures which must be strategically arranged to determine which pops up first. Publishing good assets is a strength a brand may hold because the asset is often a company’s first impression to a consumer.
This is an example of a good asset
compared to a horrible asset:
Both posts were published this summer (2017) and there are some basic expectations for companies posting assets. They are typically clear and representative of the product and convey the messages of the company while driving return on investments.
The first picture was posted by PUMA on their Facebook page. It was taken in high definition, edited, cropped and fit into the screen to show the entire product. It even offers a mix of color so the consumer has a glance into their options. You can tell how carefully the products were placed and arranged. With a PUMA watermark purposefully placed in the top right corner.
On the other hand, the pizza was posted as a tweet by Dominos Pizza. This photo is fairly low quality, it crops the pizza in an awkward way, and the bacon on the pizza looks burnt! Also, there is no indication that it is a Dominos Pizza beside the fact that it was posted by their account. There is no watermark or clear label. The company’s logo could be used to show a more authentic image.
Not only did I notice this as I scrolled through my twitter feed, but many other followers of Dominos reacted similarly to myself.
Customers jumped on the opportunity to share their personal experiences with Domino’s serving “crumbles” and how disgusted they were by the look of the pizza. This poor post caused an overwhelmingly negative reaction from users. Most replies on Twitter were either disgust at that specific pizza or their own disappointing story about a Dominos experience. The chain reaction of negative responses would not have happened with a high-quality, appealing, and pleasing picture. With an asset looks are everything because the image draws the attention of the consumer.
Companies should be very careful about the type of assets they post. Good social strategies specific to assets include; having a variety of assets (laydowns, action shots, close up product shots), incorporating user-generated content (UGC), using ambassadors and influencers, and using clear, crisp images.
Copy & Tone
An asset can tell a story on its own, but generally, it is accompanied by copy. Copywriters have the second chance a company to sell a consumer on a product. The tone of the company’s voice dictates the type of copy used for a post. Some companies have written out explicit rules for their copywriters, while others have unwritten expectations.
A company like CVS uses lots of exclamation marks and emojis to get their followers excited. They encourage people to comment on their pictures with stories, opinions, ideas, and recipes. In the image below, they ask a question to their customers and thank the users for their contributions.
Conversely, Nike maintains a serious and focused tone. Users are intended to be inspired and encouraged to reach their full physical potential.
You can see that Nike does not respond to their customers in the same way that CVS does, but that is because that is not the tone of Nike. Most retail companies save their engagements for customer service inquiries. CVS is known for being an interactive health brand for the whole family.
The Whole Picture
How to represent a brand well is pictured below; this asset has strong tone and copy.
Social media creates a persona for a company, this persona is what consumers need be able to relate to. These attitudes displayed by that persona of a company are reflected throughout all social platforms. Companies need consistent branding and messaging to show to the general public who/what they are. Assets, copy, and tone that are uniform with the voice of a company are crucial to firmly dominate a competitive position in the marketplace.
However, if companies get too comfortable with their homogeneous messaging they run the risk of losing their customers to braver and more exciting brands. It very well could be harming Nike that they are not responding to the popular comments on their Facebook page. Overall, the social strategy of a brand represents a company through assets, copy, and tone so carrying that out the right way is the key to success. So Dominos, Just Do It.