The notion of brand awareness and consistency in voicing your brand message across several medium isn’t entirely new. I mean, the more traditional medium such as Television, radio and newspapers have been doing it for decades now. We’d see companies, along with their brand message and identity offer a consistent brand theme, which is echoed across these traditional platforms; one voice, if you like, would provide a company along with its products, services and brand identity with consistency. The TV promotion may tie-in with a newspaper advert and, likewise, radio will promote the same message. For example, promotional sales or last minute offers can be shared across all these media platforms.
Nowadays, brands have the availability of Cross Platform Promotion (or CPP) across all social media platforms. Promoting topics simultaneously across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and hopefully Google+ all lend themselves well to CPP. CPP applications such as TweetDeck and HootSuite are two classic examples of CPP tools that help support a consistent brand message across all social media platforms.
Now, more than ever before, there is a need for cohesion and union in brand messaging. It’s a whole new arena where the little guys can finally compete with the large corporations by spreading their message by ‘word of mouse’ as well ‘as word of mouth’ (Gratton & Gratton). It’s David and Goliath played out in the virtual world and it’s anyone’s guess who will win, but my money’s on the little guy. The guy who, like me, has worked endlessly hard to promote brand ‘them’ and to sustain interest in their brand through tirelessly endeavouring to keep their public (their followers, fans and the like) intrigued, amused and educated – the holy trinity of social media success. Cross Platform Promotion is the weapon of choice in the battle of brand personalities, allowing it’s users to provide what can only be described as a torpedo of information across the platforms at the speed of, well, the Internet! It’s a powerful weapon that needs careful fostering to avoid it backfiring on the user itself. In other words – it’s easy to lose track of the target when someone else is constantly firing the trigger.
So how do we keep our armoury in-house whilst allowing our CPP army to strut their stuff? Now there’s a question! The answer perhaps lies in adhering to the age-old principle of ‘listen and engage’. Perhaps that should be ‘listen first, engage second’. There’s no such thing as a free ride in social media and CPP scheduling alone will only lead to you being marked as uncaring or even blacklisted. Perhaps there should also be a CPP warning label attached: “this product may cause social media narcissism, detachment and ultimately blacklisting – use sparingly”.
We all want to be noticed and we all want our brands to succeed. Unfortunately there is no ‘easy ride’ on the social media highway. CPP is a valuable tool in social media here but the word to remember when using it is ‘social’ – lest we forget, that’s after all what this crazy thing is all about.