Brands have a tall-order when trying to connect with an online audience these days. We know that social channels are always evolving and the struggle to stand-out is real.
In my varying roles leading social strategy and championing social creative, we vacillated between the right ways to operationalize and tackle creative. As I look at other brands struggling with the same challenges, there’s something I keep noticing that gets lost in the shuffle, as brands grow, and creative guidelines tighten. They seem to lose their heartbeat or pulse.
By heartbeat, I don’t mean evidence that they support a non-profit, or corny sentiment on Mother’s Day: I mean a pulse.
Content on social media is successful when it takes me, as a viewer, to a scene where I can feel my pulse beating in that scene. It feels like a person created it who wanted me to be there to connect with them. Lets look at some pretty pictures to see what I mean.
Starbucks Coffee did a good job here reminding me of what it feels like to be lost in a book with dappled light shifting over the page. The moving gif helps transport me here. I can feel my heartbeat in this space:
Here’s another one, from brand @Sonos sourced from the community while I worked there. I can feel this puppy in front of me, resting his head in a rare exasperated moment:
Thanks to Poler I am experiencing the sunrise from this tent:
I’m a fly on the wall, amazed at innovation here:
Human person, @waywardspark does a lovely job of taking me on a journey, showing me what it might be like to live off the grid:
What do these posts have in common?
Photographs taken from a natural perspective
Not too much post-production or filtering
Share a specific moment
Sell a lifestyle more than a product
Operationally, they most likely did not have too many people involved in the decision to create and post this content, not much red tape, but a clear confidence and faith in the brand identity.
When working with a brand that has beautiful product photography beware of ‘easier to pull-off’ trends like ‘things organized neatly’ or designs with lots of post-production. Push yourself to relate to one individual human. Ask yourself ‘does this have a heartbeat’? Am I telling my audience what to think or am I giving my audience room to be a part of my story? Am I taking them places they want to be?