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How to beat the battle of the beige on social media

Lego has done it. Netflix has it. AirBnB is doing it. So what is it?

It is being remarkable. A remarkable brand that is memorable and distinctive, and all about their customers.

It is beating the battle of the beige — that will cut through the competitive clutter and get bought, again and again.

And it’s not just reserved for the big brands, it’s something even the smallest brands can do.

So how do you do it?

The brands that beat the battle of the beige on social media extend a brilliant experience from real life into the social world, and then back again.

The effect of social media then, becomes an amplifier to let more people know about the great experience. And the cycle continues.

Here are three tactics to beat the battle of the beige on social media.

  1. Create a brilliant product or experience

Want people to talk about your brand? Then create something worth sharing. Polish the diamond of your product or service and it may be the ultimate reason for growth, as you build momentum online.

When global fitness sensation Kayla Itsines started out as a 19-year-old personal trainer, she created a fitness program to battle women’s trouble spots that was so good – her clients spread the word like wildfire on social media.

“It was then I decided to build a presence on Instagram and Facebook, in order to share my training and nutrition methods,” Itsines wrote on her website.

Boasting more than 19 million combined Instagram and Facebook followers, Kayla’s hit the magic mark on creating a great experience that gets shared. And she’s had no trouble selling her ‘Sweat with Kayla’ programs for $19.95 a month to millions of people.

The proof is in the pudding, or the lack of it in Kayla’s case. When people buy or use a great product, they feel compelled to share it, because it’s that good.

For Kayla, the before and after shots of her bikini body transformations are pretty convincing – they’re of real people with real results. Her product is easy to use, it looks good and it gets results. Boom.

What you can do: Do you have raving fans for your product or service? What do you need to tweak? How can you keep getting feedback about what works and what could be better to create a product that people love to use and want to talk about?

  1. Make it easy to share

You want it shared? Make it easy.

Your audience love to share great content. Not only for their entertainment, it also gives them credibility and social proof with their followers. Photos and links are best to share, with videos a close third. It could be branded quotes and posts, or creative videos that are uniquely yours.

Don’t just focus on great content; some times it’s the simple things that make the difference. Like social share buttons on your newsletters, blog posts or written content. It’s also OK to politely ask your customers to share the love on your social posts.

And you can extend that experience to the real world. Perth hairdresser, Circles of Subiaco (@circlesofhair) have created textured featured walls in their store, so clients can snap their just-done hair to add to their social accounts before they leave the store. What a great way to share the great experience they’ve had.

If you’re a café could you create an interesting visual effect by plating food differently, to get your café-goers snapping? What about a window display that promotes a popular social cause incorporating your retail offering, that shoppers can’t walk by without snapping? Is your online store set out that promotions and discounts can be easily shared?

What you can do: What experience could you create that could be easily shared? What content works best to share?  Check out a recent blog post about what to share on LinkedIn.   

  1. Stay true to you

Are you clear about who you are as a brand? About the value you offer across all of your social platforms, and back in to the experience your customers have in-store? If not, this is a good place to start.

Whole Foods Market in US covers everything from recipe sharing, sustainable living and natural skin care articles on their social platforms. Aren’t they just a grocer? And yet wellbeing, health and green living is a natural extension of their brand – and it makes them stand out and meaningfully connect with their clients instore and online.

It can work for you too. Your unique and distinctive qualities create a contrast in the mind of your clients and your audience. And this is a sustainable point of differentiation. Why? Because you can’t copy a personality. This will help you to battle the beige to sell, stand out and endure.

What you can do: Have you considered your brand personality? Imagine your brand as a person. What makes them distinctive? How does that extend in to the colours of your social media posts and on your website? What categories of content can you create and share that’s based on your personality?

So go on, give it a try.

When you pick up your tools to try it you’ll find it’s a strategy that doesn’t just battle the beige, but also the battle for relevance.

There’s talk that retail is suffering because brands have lost their focus on the customer. Imagine the brand that amplifies a positive customer experience from the moment of interaction to the social world? Now that’s a battle worth fighting.

Kirryn Zerna is a speaker, writer and consultant who helps brands battle the beige and create remarkable brand communications.

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