Armistice Day was originally observed to remember the soldiers who died in the line of duty during the First World War. As time passed, and thus more wars were fought, the tribute we pay to fallen soldiers expanded to include these more recent wars including World War II, the Korean War, Afghanistan, and all other conflicts in which members of the Canadian Forces have served. In time, Armistice Day came to be known as Remembrance Day.
For many other countries around the world, the specifics obviously differ slightly, but today is the day that we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by so many.
I’m clearly not a history buff, so my apologies for the surface-scratch of an explanation of the importance and meaning of this day. What is clear is that this is a serious day of observation, a day that we should be paying tribute to the men and women who have so bravely fought for us.
I know many of you know what Remembrance Day is, and why we observe it.
However, after browsing my Facebook Newsfeed today, it’s clear that there may be a few people out there who needed a reminder.
Nobody will be singled out, but what I came across today in my Newsfeed were several sponsored stories from businesses clearly exploiting Remembrance Day posts as bait for fan acquisition.
Frankly, this just seems like bad taste to me.
The observation of Remembrance Day shouldn’t be seen as a social media opportunity. If you want to pay tribute to the soldiers that have served your country on your organization’s social media properties, it is my recommendation to do it tastefully, in a tone that is appropriate for the day, and keep it solely focused on honouring those deserving of being honoured.
I am certain that the people in these organizations didn’t intentionally mean any disrespect by their posts, and subsequent paid promotion of their content, but it serves as a reminder to really think before publishing content on your social media communities to ensure what you’re posting is appropriate.
Every day there are businesses and brands producing and publishing amazing content, and tightly integrating traditional media with their digital and social programs.
It wasn’t long ago that I was writing about Ikea’s awesome 2014 augmented reality print catalogue, and Ikea has knocked it out of the park again with their second-hand furniture campaign.
What they did
For the eight-week program, Ikea shared their media space with customers looking to sell their old furniture.
Ads were created for chosen participants’ used furniture. These ads featured professional photography, descriptions, prices, and contact information for the individual selling each piece. Then, they were run on a number of media channels including print, television, OOH, and digital.
Finally, Ikea Norway’s Facebook Page was turned over to their audience to serve as a digital flea market where these ads dominated their Timeline.
Check out AdAge for a more detailed description of the program and video that concisely summarizes Ikea’s activity.
Why it’s killer
What makes this campaign so amazing is that numerous lessons from social media and content marketing are applied seamlessly in Ikea’s integrated campaign.
Executing this campaign meant engaging and interacting with Ikea’s audience, the provision of huge value – not just for the sellers, but for buyers as well, and focusing not on selling product, but proving a brand promise.
It’s exciting when brands take a leap like this and do something that doesn’t immediately and obviously connect with sales. How does selling used furniture boost Ikea’s bottom line? It’s not so obvious, right?
But it does. It proves that Ikea loves furniture and that they are the go-to experts on, and providers of, cost-effective furnishing solutions. Whether it’s their product, or their consumers’ second-hand product, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day Ikea has created a memorable experience for everyone touched by this campaign, which will build affinity, loyalty, trust, awareness, and ultimately, sales.
What can be applied to your business?
Personalize your mass media communications
Customization and personalized messaging are not relegated to being social media marketing tactics. Find ways to build contextual relevance in your mass media communications to truly gain your audience’s attention, versus blasting a forgettable message and hoping just enough will stick to affect your bottom line.
Shift focus from your business to your consumers
Whether you are creating social media content, or mass media communications, stay sharply focused on your consumers and what will add value to them versus what you want to say. Your consumers will appreciate you putting them first, and if you’re truly adding value, they’ll actually pay attention to what you have to say.
Create communication ecosystems
When planning social media, content marketing, above the line advertising, below the line advertising, or anything in between, consider how every touch-point can work together to enhance the experience your targeted audience has with your brand. Every time your audience has an experience with your brand it should build off the last to amplify the effect of each individual component. Keep adding value, and keep wowing your audience, and you’ll win consumers.
Get creative and take a risk
I can’t imagine this campaign was easy to pull off. Selling this through Ikea’s hierarchy to buy into this program would have taken guts. It would have been easy to kill this in favour of a more traditional campaign pushing Ikeas newest wares, but they didn’t. They took a risk and it yielded an amazingly creative campaign that has people paying attention. You will never achieve great things by doing what everyone else is doing. Take a risk.
What do you think of Ikea’s Second-Hand Furniture campaign?
What risks have you taken recently that have paid off?
Have you seen any killer content recently that you’d like to share?
It would be great to chat with you about your thoughts in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
UPDATE: It looks like we’re back up and running.
It has been reported today that Facebook is experiencing technical issues that are prohibiting users from posting updates and ‘liking’ content.
After testing the problems myself, I can confirm that reports are correct – at least in my part of the world.
While this is no doubt infuriating to some users, Facebook’s errors present us with an opportunity to spend some time doing some other things.
Here are 15 things you can do – some productive, some not so much – while Facebook is experiencing technical issues:
- Plan future content
- Get away from your computer or mobile device and take some pictures
- Same as 3 except shoot some video
- Spend additional time on other social media platforms
- Rage quit your Facebook account
- Dive into Insights to learn about your Facebook community
- Enjoy the peace and quiet from the constant stream of engagement and interaction on your Page
- Write a new blog post
- Continue on as normal because you’ve got all of your Facebook content scheduled
- Spend some time learning more about your community on related forums and blogs
- Get away from your desk and learn more about what’s going on in your organization
- Contribute to these issues being the number 1 trending topic on Twitter by tweeting your own frustrations
- Take a deep breath because by the time you’re done Facebook will have probably resolved these issues
- Create a list of things you can do when you can’t post Facebook updates
- Share this list on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Stumbleupon, Reddit or Digg
There are, of course, many, many other things you could be doing, so let me know what your plan is while Facebook’s update and ‘liking’ functionality is down in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
NOTE: Number 5 is not recommended.