The days of poodle skirts, greased back hair and Mary Jane’s may be gone but is the prim and proper image of the time not as far gone as we may think?

Despite the times being far ahead of the 50s, the digital world is showing us once again that history always repeats itself.

Consider this:

Look at any brand active on social media. Every action is buttoned-up, every word as meticulously thought out as the hem length of her swing skirt. The public appearance is more important than individual expression, something that can bite the brand if not properly handled:

Despite knowing we are getting a PR-induced carefully worded post, we love to follow our favorite brands on social media. We feel connected to them. And when the brand communicates directly with us, it’s a thrill. This practice done by brands is fairly standard at this point as being active and engaging on social media is a must these days.

This conscientious social media appearance does have its perks. The brand has the ability to be…

  • Top of Mind
  • Relevant
  • Immediate

When a brand posts timely content that pops up in a consumer’s newsfeed, the brand becomes top-of-mind to the consumer. It also is relevant to the audience today. Most brands reside on social media for the pure fact that’s where the audience now lives. If a brand has scored a follower, it’s a sign the brand is relevant to the consumer’s daily life, as the follower is opting in to seeing the content. This communication is also immediate. When a consumer has praise or (unfortunately) a complaint, they head to social. Fortunately, this allows the brand to interact and sometimes mediate a situation faster than a traditional customer service line. The consumer feels heard, important and valued in typically less than a day’s time.

Just like the 1950’s housewife was swept under the freshly vacuumed rug by energetic personable free spirits, the one-way social brand communication is going to have to change because of issues including it is…

  • Expensive
  • One-way communication
  • Clutter in between noise

A brand needs more than just employee break room tweeting to generate engaging content and garner a following. It calls for a third party team of strategists and creators, which gets expensive. This is also mostly just a one-way conversation. Despite the occasional replies and comments, the content is there for customers to engage with in terms of taking action to continue the promotion (retweets, likes, loves, regrams) or make a purchase. The consumer is listening to the brand and the brand isn’t listening back (like these Starbucks customers in the comments left clueless on calorie counts). What’s worse, is over thousands of other brands are out there pushing their message. All the messages end up grouped together and shut out. The brand has to try to break through the noise clutter. Social media is like the biggest party of the season and your brand needs to be dancing on the table. Not many 1950 housewives are seen doing that.

The Times They Are A’Changin…

The importance of the housewife duties of brands on social media is being overpowered by the free spirit of the digital world- consumer-generated content.

While brand image is important and helps consumers place a brand in their mind, it seems like the line between perfect social image and true brand identity gets hazy (we are even starting to see brands break out of the “respectable” social interactions).

Consumer-generated social media content allows real consumers to do what free spirits do best- express themselves! What your customers have to say about the brands provides context to the brand image.

This social media transition takes user-generated content to give the brand social credibility/currency.

Not only is it a lot less expensive to curate your fan’s content praising your business but it’s also a lot more trustworthy to others. Consumers today rely on what their friends have to say. When a follower represents your brand organically, all their friends are taking note (especially if they’re a digital influencer!)

At UPshow we understand the importance of consumer-generated content. That’s why we take that content, curate it and blast it up on television screens in your venue. Our screens are just an incentive for customers to post. The best part is that your brand now has social content.

Essentially, a thriving brand should use both brand image content and consumer-generated content. Consumers want to see a brand that is active on social, speaking the voice of the people while also popping up in their friend’s feeds for social cred.

Author: Mandy Durose writes for UPshow, a TV-powered Social Marketing Platform that boosts customer traffic and revenue. UPshow’s “jumbotron effect” gives a venue’s customers their 15 seconds of fame, while providing the business with a dynamic social media CRM to re-market to customers. Visit www.upshow.tv to learn more. Follow UPshow on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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