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Developing a Creative Social Media Strategy

Julie Walsh

Our favorite Old Spice Man is back, and he is bringing his A game. The Old Spice YouTube videos first aired earlier this year

and have been declared the most creative social media strategy for a brand. The first campaign was a hit, taking on everyone from celebrity super stars to tech geeks. Now after taking some time off, which he attributes to being busy negotiating the NFL lockout, he is back and ready to duel Fabio where the winner claims the title of Old Spice Guy.

The duel is still in its early stages, and it is too soon to gauge success; however, everyone agrees that the first campaign was wildly successful because it was both creative and hilarious. It is a great example of how to effectively use social for your brand. Shortly after the series of videos aired, many other brands were ready to jump on the social band wagon. But before your client asked to you have a presence on every social channel possible, let’s first look at how Old Spice did it, before we evaluate how others can do it.

How Old Spice Did It:

  • Integration: the tweets and the videos were a part of an existing campaign. They had been putting videos on Facebook and Twitter for months.
  • They listened across multiple sites and platforms, and made responses to what people were saying on Reddit, Twitter, etc. They did not just listen on one channel; they monitored and responded to numerous sites.
  • Worked tirelessly on a marathon 18 hour video shoot that combined pre-recorded and “on the fly” content from a hilarious actor, comedy writers, social experts.

But before your client declares they need a Facebook page, make sure they develop a creative strategy that is tied their business objectives, and not just a tool (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube Channel).

How You Can Do It:

  • Define the brand’s audience
  • Define the depth and breadth of the brand’s problems
  • Develop detailed audience insights

Old Spice identified key audience insights: that people associated them with dads and grandpas, the brand is old and antiquated, and that it smells and not in the good way. By identifying key insights, they were able to develop a creative strategy that was much more effective than deciding “we need a Twitter page.” The strategy could then be tied to research and clear goals for the strategy can be developed.

So, once you have gathered as many audience insights as possible, and you have determined your target audience can be reached on a social platform, lay out your business objectives and begin testing your social strategy. Start by evaluating the existing campaigns your brand has to see if social can fit into one of them to enhance the campaign, instead of creating a whole new one. While you don’t need to create your campaign in an 18 hour marathon session, I would recommend taking after Old Spice and integrating the campaign across multiple platforms.

Still not sure if your social strategy is ready? Test drive it a small audience for feedback before it is completely launched, and always reference your business objectives and audience insights to keep you on track.