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Last updated on 3/8/23

Find Your Place in the Community

Ask yourself what you can provide. What promise, as an organization, can you make?

Articulate Your Values

Start from a set of values that conveys your company, organization, association, personality, etc. Whatever your organization, it has a reason for being beyond making a profit. Your company may already have defined its values, in which case, you may easily recall them. 

Dig into your organization's foundation: what motivated the founders? What creates buzz about your company? Remember the happy times and events in your company's history, and think about what your role was at that time.

How can you extend this promise to your community every day, both offline and online?

Engage Your Community Around Your Values

Be Sincere

The values you choose must resemble your organization. If you are at the core of your organization, you probably reflect these values personally. It's an opportunity to put your personality at the center of your thinking. Learn more about this idea by watching the "Start With Why" Ted Talk by Simon Sinek.

You must absolutely must be vigilant about the topics and communities that you want to address. If you take up a societal issue like the environment, inequality, or women's rights, you must follow through. The internet doesn't forgive a brand taking a stand without any real action.

Be sincere, consistent, and irreproachable in your approach; if this is not the case, then stay away from these subjects. Let's take a look at a few examples where a brand's message did not match their actions.

For International Women's Rights Day: McDonald's symbolically flipped its logo upside down. Although it was commendable, internet users pointed out that the brand still had a gender employment gap. McDonald's did not respond to these comments.

Screenshot of McDonald's Twitter account on International Women's day when they flipped the M to make a W.
Source: Twitter

This example is comparable to other clumsy and opportunistic communication on the same subject. There are, also, negative effects:

A post by Victoria's Secret on International Women's Day. A user responded negatively.
Source: https://twitter.com/VictoriasSecret/status/310069371911426050

By contrast, a sincere and well-managed approach from A to Z involves much less risk. L’Oréal understood this and launched For Women in Science, in partnership with UNESCO, a scholarship for women scientists to promote gender diversity in science. 

Source: https://www.forwomeninscience.com/en/awards
Source: https://www.forwomeninscience.com/en/awards. Source: L'Oréal For Women in Science

Post Content In Line With Your Values

Imagine that you work for an ice cream parlor who celebrated the first day of spring with free ice cream to everyone who showed up! The weather was fine; there were water jets, and children enjoyed themselves. You witness moments of joy, and you participate in the neighborhood's enjoyment!

If you extend your mission onto social media, you promise to offer moments of pleasure. You can retell amazing stories, set the scene, and share the neighborhood's good news:

  • A new bench to enjoy the sun.

  • Street musicians played music.

  • A community garden for a family stroll.

This content isn't necessarily about ice cream. It may be the case from time to time, but not always. You are not just an ice cream shop; you're the merchant of joy in the neighborhood.🍦 That's your promise!

Let's take a look at this idea in action!

Harley-Davidson's Promise

Harley-Davidson is a very community-driven brand with great engagement potential - what we call a "passion brand." And yet, until a few years ago, it barely had a social media presence. It was all about promotions, new models, and poor quality images.

The aesthetics of the products and the richness of the Harley-Davidson universe, however, offer a boatload of opportunities. To do this, they had to bring together the brand's values and organize them in order of importance.

Try creating a simple word cloud, like this one:

Core Brand Values
Core brand values

Now try to find a few words that bring together all these values. The goal is to be simple and impactful. Keep all the words in the back of your mind as you memorably present the brand. 

Harley Davidson's slogan "Screw it, let's ride" is based on all the values described above. 

Let's take a look at one more example in action, Nescafé!

Nescafé's Promise

Studies by the brand showed that most of us prefer to drink coffee with people, rather than alone. However, most coffee ads feature a single person selfishly enjoying their mug of coffee. You've seen this type of coffee ad, haven't you?

The Nescafé brand decided to use this compelling fact and launched a major campaign in Europe around "meeting." By extension, this can evoke notions like:

  • Human warmth

  • Simple relationships

  • Conversations

  • Discovery of others

  • Taking time out

  • A return to reality

  • Using social media as a vehicle for socialization rather than as a self-centered activity.

Find Your Promise

Start with what defines you and bring these values to the forefront of your community. Step by step, you increasingly engage your community. The ultimate goal is to share your values with them.

You can also practice with one of the examples. Use the following diagram, which reads from top to bottom:

Diagram of a community from a set of values
Diagram of a Community

Decide What Content to Bring to Your Community

To define what you can bring to your community, take a look at what drives it. Find the commonalities between your values and the community's expectations:

  • Fun and entertainment? Share "snackable content," something that elicits an emotion.

  • Practical service? Provide information, share tools, recommend places, etc.

  • Good offers? Offer discounts, loyalty programs, recommendations.

  • Novelty? Exclusive info, private sales, personalization;

  • Information? Articles/videos that make you think, learn new things, and expose us to new ideas;

  • Recognition? Spend time on conversations, respond with a few lines, or even an actual visual: show previews and exclusive content.

  • A sense of belonging? Use precise vocabulary and codes, addictive and frequent content, an immersive universe.

  • A claim? Promote common values, include all newcomers, argue, help convince the community around it, bring together by refusing opposing values.

  • Support? Promote expertise, facilitate networking. 

Let's Recap!

  • Finding your promise may take time. 

  • It must be consistent with your product or service and even with the history of your organization.

  • If it's consistent with the personality of most of the people who represent you, that's a plus!

  • Once you find it, stick to it. And ask yourself this question for all your actions: how am I keeping my promise?

 Now that your profiles are defined, you can complete the second part of your social media marketing mix strategy!  

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