Just because you’re dull doesn’t mean you don’t deserve some social media love…
The stigma surrounding social media presence is that your company needs to be fun, edgy or at least somewhat interesting if it's to have a worthwhile existence online.But let’s face it — not everyone gets to work for a trendy organization with exhilarating stories about all the amazingly cool things they are doing. Some of us work in consulting. Or insurance. Or some odd niche industry like file storage.
Most industries are hardly glamorous. And constituents are quick to believe that there’s nothing about them interesting enough to share on social media. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Take some tips from these boring companies gone bold and spice up your organization’s insipid image…
It doesn’t get more boring than the tax industry. But H&R Block is crushing it on social media.
Tip No. 1:Get real. Start social conversations that relate to your product or service by videotaping impromptu on-the-street interviews.
H&R Block started a video campaign they call “Dollars and Sense” to get people talking about how they manage their money. What makes this campaign successful is the casual, authentic nature in which money is discussed. It’s not a stuffy tax nerd pointing his finger and lecturing audiences on the rights and wrongs of money management. It’s real people talking about real life.
BambooHR makes human resource software for SMB’s. Not exactly a riveting job description. But that doesn’t stop them from painting themselves as a vibrant place to work.
Tip No. 2: Create a company culture video that captures the colorful character behind your organization’s seemingly boring facade. Even if your products or services aren’t all that insightful, that doesn’t mean your story has to be dull.
BambooHR’s company culture video is attention-getting because it’s genuine, and blends numerous video and animation styles to keep audiences engaged and fascinated. They chose to tell a bigger story than the typical work with us because we offer competitive benefits spiel. Instead, the message is, We are the kind of people that work so we can live and adventure. Join us, and find the kind of work/life balance that makes you truly happy.
The Maersk Group is a container shipping company. Seriously…their claim to fame is providing transport infrastructures…yet, their social media presence has been the talk of the marketing world for nearly two years.
Tip No. 3: Be consistent. The Maersk Group posts to all their social media sites almost every day. They also use eye-catching original images and intriguing statistics about the markets they support to capture attention (facebook.com/MaerskGroup).
Tip No. 4: Use time-lapse video to make the uneventful — eventful.
The Maersk Group used time-lapse video in one social media campaign to showcase the construction of a 400-meter Triple-E vessel. In most cases, audiences wouldn’t care about this event. But time-lapse made it interesting because it showed rapid change. Case in point — the video got over 350,000 views.
If I had a nickel for every blender infomercial I’ve ever seen — i’d be rich! The moment a manufacturer starts talking about how their blender is the most powerful and versatile, I immediately doze off.
Tip No. 5: Use your boring product or service in an unconventional way and videotape the event to surprise your audiences.
Blendtec brought excitement back to blenders with their video campaign series, “Will it Blend?”. Each episode, they put random objects into their blenders to find out. You’d be surprised by what happens when you puree’ an iPhone.
Ok, twitter isn’t exactly a boring company, but I’ve chosen to highlight them in this article because they took an employee recruiting approach that any company can mimic.
Tip No. 6: Don’t be afraid to use sarcasm and humor to sell your organization as a great place to work.
In Twitter’s recruitment video, they chose to mock those horrific training tapes from the 1980’s that use corny gestures, vague employment buzzwords, terrible acting and unprofessional video production. It’s hilarious and says a lot about the company culture.
Home improvement stores…they’re old news. The same campaigns run every season in one variation or another. It’s entirely too predictable.
Tip No. 7: Try using a unique animation style and offer valuable tips or tricks via short, “snack-able” video clips.
To break the monotony, Lowe’s rolled out a “Fix in Six” DIY video campaign using stop-motion animation. As a result, they have become the shining example of how to do Vine videos. Audiences love the animation style, and they walk away with simple DIY activities they can perform at home.
Nothing is more awkward to talk about in public than feminine hygiene…but that didn’t stop Always from gaining major attention for their campaign, “Like a Girl”.
Tip No. 8: Instead of focusing on a product or service, focus on a cause. Use video to tell that story and issue a call to action for others to join whatever movement your organization supports.
The Like a Girl campaigns aren’t about feminine hygiene. They’re about crushing commonplace insults that diminish the aspirations and confidence levels of young women. Always ended up going viral with this video campaign and never once did they have to mention pads or liners.
The Grand Takeaway
You don’t need to be GoPro, Apple or Google to be fun, interesting, exciting or inspirational. Even the most boring organizations are capable of delighting their audiences through the art of storytelling. And as science repeatedly proves, there is no better format for your story than a video. Put these tips to the test, roll tape, and discover your social media potential!