The secrets of shareable content?

In this new social media landscape, it seems like new platforms are entering the market every day. This is a major distraction for PR people, marketers, agencies, small businesses and non-profits alike.

These new types of media make you ask questions like, “Should I be on Twitter?”, “What can I do on Snapchat?”, or another popular one: “Should I build a branded app?” According to research by Deloitte, 80% of all branded apps are downloaded fewer than 1,000 times—meaning that not many brands are getting it right.

Yes, we’re putting more money into digital and social media, but are we doing it the right way? It’s not (just) about shifting your budget to these new platforms, because how you reach the people who are important to your brand is not what’s most important; it’s what you do for them that counts—no matter what medium you use.

Not only are businesses distracted by the growing amount of platforms, they are also screaming for people’s attention. On top of that, 5000 advertising messages are thrown at people every day. So the only way for your brand’s message to be heard in the current super-clutter is if people want to hear it. And they will only want to hear it, if it offers them something truly worthwhile.

To demonstrate how this works, the book introduces the concept of the Brand Bank Account . This new marketing framework identifies a simple four-step plan which will enable brands to become social at the very core of their business.

If you were to describe a social person, you would use words and phrases like generous, giving, takes time for me, listens to me. The same goes for brands. If you want to engage in social media, you have to be social.

In this way, social media isn’t just another media channel to drive your message home, but an environment in which you can engage in a social relationship. In order to be social you have to give people something they value.

The Brand Bank Account is a metaphor to keep tabs on how much you give to people who use your brand and how much you take. The more deposits you make, the more trust, understanding, and eventually connection people will feel with your brand. The more withdrawals you make, the less likely people are to be loyal to your brand, forgive it when it makes a mistake, or be willing to try a new product that it launches.

In my opinion the majority of our marketing spend goes toward things that are, at the end of the day, a form of taking. When someone’s watching their favorite TV show and an ad bothers them halfway through? Taking. When someone checking out a new website and a pop-up appears to get their attention? Taking. When someone wants to leave the house and their doormat is filled with promo-leaflets? Not really giving.

Once you have established a credible and authentic brand mission, the Brand Bank Account showcases how in this social era there are countless opportunities to make deposits; to give people something they truly value whether that is a great piece of content, an important branded event or a compelling online tutorial. Something that actually adds something to people’s lives. If you master this, only then, will people seek your brand out and share it with others – not only will your business thrive but so will you and your employees; because as we all know, giving is a very rewarding feeling.

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The author is the Marketing Director of one of the world¹s most prominent brands. The author has a master’s degree in business and marketing and studied these subjects in three different countries. He has worked for five global brands, made more than 100 TV commercials, organised more than 50 events (and produced the equivalent amount of TV and web content), and created more than ten different web platforms. It is through this tried and tested experience and study of the industry that he believes he has found the recipe for becoming a successful brand in the social era.