It’s always nice to see brands executing social media strategies fantastically. The fact that we notice ‘good’ examples is perhaps testament to the fact that so many brands are still struggling with social strategy. Nevertheless, much can be learnt from those performing well, of which the Imperial War Museum is most definitely one.
I recently started following the IWM on Twitter. I did so after a friend re-tweeted some content of theirs, which I found interesting, pursued and subsequently visited their website, YouTube channel and Facebook page. This example clearly pays testament to the brand marketing power of Twitter, but alas; I digress.
In those social channels, I found some brilliant examples of great social media marketing. The reasons these were so impressive can be attributed to the fact that all of these platforms adhered to the following cornerstones of social media:
i) Adding value – giving consumers / brand advocates a reason to engage with your social presence through exclusive content
ii) Facilitating UGC (user-generated content) and allowing consumers to contribute to the ‘brand’
The brand’s YouTube channel is featuring four videos for LGBT month, ‘Military Pride’, highlighting the personal experiences of four gay servicemen. This clearly ties into a topical national event (LGBT month) whilst relating back to the museum’s raison d’être.
The content is engaging, eye-opening and of real interest and of course, offers ‘fans’, advocates and enthusiasts access to exclusive, relevant content.
The second piece of social media activity that caught my eye was the museum’s ‘Beauty and the Belfast’ competition. Users are encouraged to ‘find beauty’ on London’s iconic HMS Belfast and submit their photographs to the brand’s Flickr page, with the winner receiving a private guided tour on the 67th anniversary of D-Day this June.
Again, this utilises social media channels (Flickr) in an innovative fashion, all the while encouraging audience participation and relating the whole project back to relevant, on-brand topics.
Finally, the museum’s excellent Twitter feed manages to highlight useful pieces of historical information, publish news about attractions and deal with customer queries in an unobtrusive, informative and engaging fashion – Twitter nirvana.
So what can we learn from the Imperial War Museum’s social media artillery?
• Genuine social media kudos is leveraged through authentic interaction, engagement and participation
• Your customers are your fans – social media should be a platform for advocates to engage with, not a channel for one-way communications
• Social media should always be relevant, on-brand and topical – anything else is just noise
If we all followed the Imperial War Museum’s example, how refreshing – and engaging – would social media be? This iconic museum is taking audience interaction and engagement to a new, unprecedented level of authenticity.
I, for one, look forward to seeing more brands do the same.