A few days ago, a client expressed a doubt that’s probably all too common. He said, “You guys recommend that I get more involved in social media, but I’m in the (insert boring industry here) industry. What is there to say about the (insert boring industry here) industry?”
Is social media stardom reserved only for the world's most exciting things like, say, gilded yak shaving?
I think not. Just a few days ago, I watched the people in this office go nuts over a social media campaign about body wash. People around the world have been obsessed with campaigns about blenders, hamburgers, and beef jerky. There are not a lot of inherently exciting things about those products, but they were able to engage users like few things can. If they can do it, you can do it in your boring industry. Here are two things to remember:
1. It’s not about the product
Most consumer products and services are boring, which is why good social media marketing is about emotion and branding instead of the product. Your aim should be to make people laugh, shake their head in disbelief, do a double-take, etc. If you can’t do that with an explanation of your boring product, then it’s time to get creative.
Think about this - if everybody else in your industry is just sitting in front of a webcam, giving dry guarantees about how their product is the best and posting it on YouTube, then you are in a good position to stand out.
2. It’s about strengthening your brand
The goal of all things social is to get people to spend money at your store. When your brand speaks to people at an emotional level, it makes them actually want to spend money at your store. To that end, simply get social and tell people in a creative way why your brand is better than everyone else’s in your industry. At first, they might crack a smile and not think much of it. Gradually, they’ll warm up to the idea and begin to associate your brand with what they want. Now you’re building brand equity. If your industry is boring, then the bar is low and it shouldn’t be too hard to make your brand shine.
So if it’s not really about the boring product, but rather about getting your brand into people’s heads, then that explains why body wash can be so successful at social media. And if the personal hygiene products industry can do it, then the (insert boring industry here) industry can do it. Yes, you’ll need some creative people on your team to make it happen, but it has been done before and you can do it again.
Now get out there and make your boring product the next Internet sensation.