Different ways to think about growth: a creative approach

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You may have seen the furore over recent comments by Kendall Jenner about her hot-wiring of the fashion industry through her elite family connections. But, unless you are an affiliate of the Jenner - Kardashian ilk, there’s no real sure-fire way to become an overnight social media star. Their friends may stick to them in photos hoping for that much-coveted tag, drawing millions to their profiles, but it’s unlikely doing this with your friends in a picture holding happy hour cocktails is going to yield the same volume of traffic to your Instagram. So we have to think a bit differently when it comes to generating growth in our personal and work profiles. Building your personal brand and spinning the ordinary are two of the approaches you can take on.

Building your brand

Building a profitable personal brand online takes time and careful cultivation. Being generous with likes and follows will help you to get noticed, but once the fish has bitten, you need to reel it in and keep it in the net. Your content must be polished, grammatically correct and engaging or no one will follow you. Don't aim for perfection early on. Instead allow your brand to evolve naturally over time and concentrate on providing massive value and focus on over-delivering to your target audience. It’s perfectly fine to emulate other profiles that look how you want yours to, but be sure to put your own distinctive spin on them. This will clarify your message and crystallise your brand in the process. Think of your profiles as a person that you are creating: they need a personality, a face and a voice. It’s up to you to decide what those are.

Spin the ordinary

Trends come from everywhere and can be reworked, reinvented and repackaged. What starts off as an absurd idea is soon absorbed into the ordinary, especially in popular fashion, just take a look at Vetements clothing. For example, Vetements spun an ordinary DHL workmans t-shirt into the must-have item of 2016. They did this by taking a recognised item that would not have been looked at twice in the fashion world, and put it on the catwalk. This idea was so bizarre, that it transcended boundaries and made run-of-the-mill into high-end. Notwithstanding the huge impact this had on how one views high fashion, it enabled Vetements to charge 41 times more for the item than DHL did. 

But in PR and Comms, this is where you can go viral, generating huge sales and returns from relatively little effort. What is an area of your business that you could turn upside down in a way that would get people talking, and tell their friends about it too?

Thinking differently and conveying a message that resonates with people will cause them to attribute positive feelings to your brand, which should result in them spending their money, or time, with you.

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That is some following to follower ratio! The main KFC Twitter account is incredibly selective with the accounts that it follows. The selection is reflective of their ‘secret’ recipe which includes a mystical variation of herbs and spices. For this reason, KFC follows the Spice Girls and six guys named Herb. This is a quirky and fun use of the conventions of social media, which generates traction to the page, conversation and furthers brand awareness.

So what are the ways that you can use this concept to see growth in your personal or work business?

Is it the 31st of July, or is it Avocado Day? The unofficial world calendar is teeming with dates that can be exploited for a wealth of social media opportunities. Take Avocado Day… if you are, for example, a car insurance company, you could create a campaign around the phrase:

“Happy #NationalAvocadoDay! We do smashing deals on #car #insurance… but it’s essential that you avo-ca-do” 

It is important to clarify, here, that if you do decide to use a “national day”, to make sure that you are doing it for good reason. That being, that there is a clear connection to your business and to consider a good will initiative of some form. Not everything has to be about monetary gain and it can build positive connotations to your brand if your genuine good nature is reciprocated in your social media output. 

If you want to drive more people to your profile, compliment those who know you. People enjoy being complimented in real life and you can guarantee that they are  well received within the online world. A further example of a date-harnessing opportunity could be to use National Coffee Ice Cream day on 6th September. 

If you are in a shared co-working space, you could set up a makeshift stand at your desks, where people have to share and tag you in a post if they want an ice cream, or (cheaper!) a coffee. This way, you’re showing a jovial nature to your company and, effectively, creating your own targeted adverts. The ice cream and coffee devourers will be followed by relevant accounts to their sectors, which are very difficult to target directly without seeming overbearing with sponsored posts. By getting onto their timeline through a mediator, who is singing your praises whilst you sing theirs, represents a ‘win’ all round for your Twitter analytics that week. 

Now, where was that stand…...? 😉

BY JAMIE GRIFFIN, JUNIOR AT CEW COMMUNICATIONS.