Last week I had the pleasure of attending Digital DUMBO, a monthly networking event in Brooklyn for developers, investors, designers and digital media industry leaders. If you live or work in DUMBO, Brooklyn, I’ve already categorized you as digitally forward and equally as hip member of this burgeoning community. It took me a little while to adjust to the level of creativity and talent that surrounds me daily starting with my own brilliant co-workers.
My colleagues and I were part of a welcoming/check–in crew at this event. The table was complete with color–coded name tags, stacks of names and lots of sharpies. After writing down about fifty names, it hit me that no one has yet requested to have their Twitter handle as their “name” instead. In a digitally forward community, I was amazed that not one person would have requested this change. I was also amazed that we were still looking for attendee names by rifling through pages upon pages of paper in a list of names ordered alphabetically by last name.
This was all slightly disappointing but got me thinking about how many brands make the same mistake of failing to harness, and leverage, its social media outlets to drive conversation. If in 2012 your brand is asking “IF we should participate in the conversation,” you’re late, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the whole party.
Many brands now understand what social can do to ramp up sales and awareness but the truth is, social is bigger than that. If done right, it can nurture a kind of stickiness that can’t be created overnight: culture.
How is culture built? I find that the best way to define something is to understand what it is not.
Here’s the list of how culture IS NOT built:
- Pushing your product/service at every chance you get (turn off)
- Assuming your client/customer already knows about your product/service (another turn off)
- Failing to address the “not-so-nice” comments you may have received regarding a particular experience around your product/service (missed opportunities)
- Ignoring your community (there is absolutely no excuse for this one)
The truth is, as anything else worth doing, there is no easy answer. However, if you’re living and breathing the brand at every chance you get, you’re doing it right. Surprisingly, this approach is the most underrated but carries the most weight. When you’re in love with your brand, it shows. On top of that, you’ll probably discover a creative genius even you never thought you had in you. When you become borderline obsessed and crazy and don’t exactly know how to do the “controlled crazy” thing, give us a call. That’s when we step in!