I recently explained SMM to my mom. Or, at least, I tried to. All I know is that she came away from that conversation wanting print outs of all the front page google strings I’ve SEO’d, so she could hang them on the fridge. Since the conversation wasn’t even about SEO to begin with, I think I can safely assume that she’s not going to jump on the social media marketing bandwagon any time soon.
However, I do know that soon after that convo, my inbox was suddenly inundated with requests from her friends for advice about how to make this social media thing work for their books, brands, businesses, etc.
Now, as much as I love telling people what to do, the problem with trying to teach someone SMM is that it’s not exactly a black and white branding tool. There’s all sorts of nuance to navigate when it comes to effectively selling your brand on the social web, and getting your product to the top of that search result page.
Sometimes, even the most well meaning, well educated brands get it completely wrong. Even media giant Sports Illustrated isn’t immune to a little blogosphere backlash. And then, just to muddy the marketing waters up even more, there are plenty of cases where a company pisses people off and still manages to get people amped for their product. With all the mixed marketing messages out there, it’s hard to tell people what is and isn’t going to work in totally definitive terms. A lot of it is a judgment call, based on knowing all the info about your given vertical, keeping up with the trending topics at any given time and being able to know your audience well enough to give them what they want, when they want it. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to have a unique angle on whatever it is you’re trying to sell. And viral videos are always a plus too.
All in all, that’s why Volvo’s latest ad campaign is so brilliant. At least imho. It’s unique, well timed and — most importantly — well suited to its audience, both in terms of content and distribution. Not to mention the fact that it’s just plain cool to watch. Well done, Volvo. If I could, I might even consider hanging this baby on the refrigerator.