Why Follow-for-Follow Creates an Inauthentic Brand Experience

Outside of social media marketing, I hear it everywhere.  “Follow me, and I’ll follow you back!” and advice suggesting that a Twitter user follow every one of their own followers.  Usually, this is the type of thing said by motivational speakers, life coaches and other types of people who don’t truly understand marketing.

To some people, a Twitter follow-for-follow seems like an even exchange.  Or, perhaps it just seems like “the nice thing to do” in order to help please your customers and loyal fans.  But unfortunately, a follow-for-follow pattern can also result in tarnishing your brand’s image and brand experience.

First of all, it’s important to remember that your followers can see who you follow.  If you end up being followed by a spam or ghost account, and you follow them blindly, you are, at the very least, subjecting yourself to spam.  But, you’re also providing incentives for your own followers – the people you influence – to follow spam or fake accounts, which doesn’t seem good for anyone.

Much in the way that it doesn’t make sense for Pepsi to follow Coke, or for Mercedes Benz to follow Kia, it doesn’t make sense for your brand to follow the things that aren’t on-brand.  Sure, you may love the tweets from your friend Albert who constantly tweets funny comments about celebrity gossip, but if your company doesn’t align itself with celebrity culture, then it’s better to keep that follow to your own personal account.

A good brand influences behavior, and if you don’t want to dilute the value of your brand, it’s important to realize that the brand’s Twitter page (and Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram pages) are extensions of the brand identity.  In many ways, it’s like aligning yourself with the people you believe you are aligned with – and just because a million people may identify with your brand, it doesn’t necessarily mean your brand needs to cater to them.

Perhaps when the Twitterverse was smaller, it may have made more sense to follow each person who followed you or your brand.  But, with more than 200 million active users as of this month, it’s easy for bigger brands to get lost in the haze.  Imagine being Lady Gaga and trying to follow each of your 39 million followers.  Even she follows some 136,000 people, which seems to me like it would make it hard to sift through the noise.

Another trend that we’ve seen marketers attempt in order to be more successful on Twitter is the practice of buying followers.  All over the internet, people are eager to help businesses raise their Twitter fan bases by purchasing followers at an agreed-upon sum.  However, our team of genuine marketing experts frowns upon this practice because ultimately it doesn’t matter who your followers are if they’re not quality, and are not actively engaging with you.  Additionally, while some people assume that buying followers will help bolster their credibility, in actuality there are now a variety of social media tools that help shed light on fake followers.

If you are looking for more ideas and ways to establish a strong brand presence on Twitter, follow our Florida advertising agency at @BIGEYEagency.

Part II – Creating a campaign around your brand identity

Once you’ve figured out your brand identity, it is essential to determine how to move forward with a campaign that strategically addresses your target consumer.  While the types of campaigns you can run are as varied as the types of businesses themselves, you can use some of our tips to help you design something that works efficiently and effectively to help target your ideal consumer.

Go Where Your Audience Is:  Think you know your audience, and that they’re all on Facebook?  You may be mistaken.  These days, Pinterest is extremely popular with adult women, while male geek-types may use Reddit more than Twitter.  Some children even view Facebook as something that only their parents use – certainly, no 12-year-old wants to hang out where his mom hangs out.  If you don’t know where to find your target consumer, it’s imperative to find out before you develop a social media campaign.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic:  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years as a strategist, it’s that no one can make a video go viral.  This is particularly true if it doesn’t reach a person on an emotional level, such as through humor or heart.  If you think simply telling someone about your product or service in a video will garner millions of views, it’s important to review your strategy.  Instead, consider what will appeal to your audience, and market toward their emotions.

Remember the Brand Power of a Comprehensive Campaign:  Your Twitter strategy is getting tons of interaction, and your Instagram account gets hundreds of “likes” every time.  But something still seems amiss in terms of success.  What’s going on?

Perhaps it’s first important to address whether there is a clear call to action established within the context of the campaign.  If the goal is to get new followers, then reaching out to the people on Twitter who already follow your company doesn’t do much good.  In order to create the best interactive campaign you can create, our Orlando ad agency advises you to find ways to efficiently integrate several multimedia platforms if possible.  You can talk about your Instagram photo contest on Twitter and sync it with Facebook, or you can create a TV ad with a clear call to action to ask people to follow you on your various social media accounts.  Carefully consider the medium, the message and the desired goal.

Keep It Agile:  Even amazing ideas may fail sometimes (remember Friendster, the precursor to MySpace [which was the precursor to Facebook]?).  But, if you’ve formulated a strategy that you can pivot as it takes shape, you’re far ahead of your competition and, in some cases, can prevent major PR disasters should your plan go awry.

Learn From Mistakes:  Every single company in the world makes mistakes from time to time, and often these mistakes involve failed marketing strategies.  Examine what went wrong, and what you could do differently.  Even in the case of a successful campaign, it is important to examine the results in order to help duplicate success in the future.

Follow these brand identity tips, and our Florida advertising agency assures that you’ll hit the target consumer with the target strategy at the right time.

Take a second to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’re witty and we know it!

Building brands by storm: The real mad men

The real Mad Men are long gone, but they’ve planted fertile seeds in the ever-evolving processes of advertising. Famed founder and former CEO of world-renowned BBDO, Alex Osborn, brought brainstorming to the ad world as the building block from which great ideas were born. Initially phrased “to think up,” Osborn employed this creative thought cauldron as a way of generating bigger, better and more brilliant ideas for BBDO clients. His philosophy followed that if two heads are better than one, then 20 heads would lead to gold mines.
Orlando advertising agencies, and creative shops worldwide, still utilize brainstorming techniques to generate winning campaigns today. In addition to bringing otherwise untapped objectives to the table, brainstorming sessions strengthen teams within the workplace. They foster camaraderie and a true sense of belonging amongst coworkers. Encouraging your group to develop big ideas from inklings promotes a fearless well of inspiration to fill the air. People stop holding back and the notion that “there are no bad ideas” begins to take over.

A look back in advertising will show us that bad ideas do exist, however. We’ve seen them launch and we’ve watched them crumble, as we’ve quietly said to ourselves, “what were they thinking?” Chances are they were thinking… together, but not thinking together. They may have all been in the room, but they all weren’t on the same page. Concepts that start without direction can lead a team to the endzone with a well-developed campaign. But if a plan is not in place before the team hits the table, your chances for success decrease dramatically.

  • Define specific objectives.
  • Do your research.
  • Set a time limit – and don’t go a minute over schedule.
  • Keep an open mind and listen to everything that is said.
  • Give everyone a chance to chime in.
  • Encourage participation
  • Narrow it down and walk away with a few agreed upon concepts to build upon.

Most importantly, bring your pad and paper and be ready to write down anything that comes to mind. The most successful ideas have come from the strangest places, so don’t be shy and enjoy the ride. Depriving yourself of other people’s ideas will only limit your brand’s potential. It may be your baby, but sometimes it truly does take a village to raise a child.

Contact us today to help build your brand!

Attire in the workplace: To suit up or not to suit up

One of the many benefits of employment in the Florida advertising industry (post “Mad Men” era) is that “casual Fridays” apply to nearly every day of the week—as long as clients aren’t scheduled for meetings or visiting the office. Coming from a previous work environment where suits were the norm, this was an adjustment for me, but one that didn’t take very long to settle into. I found that being comfortable in your work environment actually does wonders for productivity. I actually feel that we work harder and better in less “stuffy” clothing.
Just look at other successful companies out there today, like Facebook and Google. These Fortune 500 companies embrace comfortable, casual attire. When you’re comfortable, you’re more relaxed and more open to new ideas, creativity, and innovation. It’s a win-win for employer and employee.

However, there is a time and a place for business attire. I was once told by one of my mentors in the industry that when dressing for meetings, one should dress in attire that embodies the “feel” of the client or their industry. For example, if you’re meeting with an upscale law office, professional dress would be expected. But if meeting with an artist, jeans and a blouse are appropriate.

Either way, my advice would always be to put your best foot forward when meeting clients and business associates. Just think about it—You wouldn’t show up to a wedding in jeans and a t-shirt (well – most weddings), or a graduation ceremony in board shorts and a tank. So why risk showing up to a business meeting in a sundress and sandals only to learn you’re the most casual one in the room? There goes your credibility… and your confidence!

Ultimately you’ll only look as good as you feel. No matter what you’re wearing, there’s nothing worse than constantly tugging or messing with your clothes while in a meeting, whether it’s casual or not. Make sure your attire fits and is comfortable. Self-confidence is more visible to others than you might think!

I truly appreciate the casual dress code in the advertising industry, but I firmly believe, regardless of your trade, that if you want to make the best impression and represent your company in the highest of lights, business attire is a sure bet. Save the jeans and t-shirts for those days when you know you’ll only be seen by your coworkers or when pulling an all-nighter at the office.

What do you think about casual office attire in the advertising industry? Share your thoughts below.

Written by, Sandra Wilson –Account Manager at BIGEYE Creative

Ideas + Process = Unlimited Umbrella Drinks For Days

A lot of people are enjoying a well-deserved summer vacation. The vacation you are enjoying probably started with the simple question: Where to go? Do you want an adventure experience or a more relaxing getaway? After a little location research, most of us dust off the calculator to match our budget to a location. Then we start to plan our vacation experience, making tour arrangements or restaurant reservations.
The bigger the vacation, the more planning it requires.

While we all want to get to the fun part (really, who doesn’t love an umbrella drink poolside?), it’s all the work you’ve done before departure that makes the vacation so much fun.

Much like a summer vacation, the creative process is a whole lot of fun. But behind every logo, video, website or marketing campaign is a thoughtful creative process. This process digs into the weeds of your marketing needs, and it is what turns a great design into a powerful marketing tool.

For example, a logo advances your company by supporting desired perceptions. Brand identity expresses itself in every touch point of the brand, and becomes intrinsic to your company’s culture and a constant symbol.

Wow! That brings into perspective why branding requires a disciplined process. Admittedly, it does take some patience to complete a logo design questionnaire (yes, every question) and spend time in conversation about the nuances of your product/company. Clarifying brand strategy through a full discovery makes it possible to design a logo that frequently appears in a space of about 1 ½” x ½” to represent your brand.

Sometimes the excitement of the creative process can overwhelm one’s patience for the process. It really is important for you to compile all your logo design feedback into one document. This step brings your focus away from the individual elements and back to the big picture. Your feedback written down into one document also gives your team a chance to make sure everyone is on the same page. Our designers will use your specific direction to move your logo through several rounds of revisions until the final concept is achieved.

With this perspective, you can see this outcome, your company logo, is worthy of a thoughtful and intentional creative journey.

We love bringing our clients into the artistic world to explore colors, style, fonts, etc. But just like the roadmap to your summer vacation destination, it is our creative process that gets us to our destination — the right idea and design to meet your marketing needs.

Thanks to all our clients for the awesome road trips we have experienced together to market your brand.

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Juliet said it best, “what’s in a name?” Well, there is a lot

I don’t know about you, but here at BIGEYE we’re pretty glad the rapture didn’t happen. For the past few months we’ve been immersed in the rebranding process, and it’s finally paid off. We’d like at least a few months to enjoy the fruits of our labor. October should be just fine.

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