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Put your money (and time) where the fans are: From social media innovation to practice

Put your money (and time) where the fans are: From social media innovation to practice Yuna Park
This post is the last in a three-part series with practical tips for marketers to pursue social and digital innovation. Read the first post, on maximizing your personal social media usage, here and the second post, on how to uncover the coolest new apps and toys, here.

You have the tools at your avail and you’re learning continuously about the social and digital landscape. But how do you take everything you’ve learned and put it into practice for your brand?

1. Experiment during existing campaigns. Don’t get overwhelmed by a new platform or technology. Think of how it can help add to your existing campaigns. Taco Bell did an excellent job with this, leveraging the growth of Snapchat to share the news that their Beefy Crunchy Burrito was returning to the menu. To do so, Taco Bell encouraged its existing social fans to add “tacobell” as a friend on Snapchat in order to be looped into an upcoming secret announcement. The Snapchat of the Beefy Crunchy Burrito was sent, generating a wealth of noise for the brand and the product launch, and then Taco Bell’s activity subsided on Snapchat. They were able to appropriately and successfully utilize a new platform for a new product in a timely manner. What’s next for your brand, and what platforms make sense for supporting it?

2. Don’t (always) worry about long-term commitment. Many marketers worry about sustaining channels, ensuring resources are available for long-term activity. With the emergence of these niche platforms, don’t be afraid to fiddle around without having a five-year plan in place for it. Taco Bell did it with Snapchat, Madonna did it with Vyclone and Red Bull did it with Cinemagram.

3. Converse with the platforms. If you’re an agency, reach out to the platform team and see if they’ll come in for a demonstration. Call or email them and give them your initial thoughts on how to best partner with the platform so both parties can benefit. Don’t start with nothing: come with an initial concept and invite their team to build upon it and mold it. This dialogue will likely uncover additional opportunities.

Innovation is often a lofty goal for brands and agencies, but the steps to help you become more socially and digitally savvy don’t necessarily have to be. Position yourself for success by being efficient with your time, finding the right tools to help you get there and not being afraid to play with fire.

What practical tips do you have for brand managers and agency members looking to pursue digital and social innovation?

Yuna Park is Associate Director of Social & Digital Innovation at 22squared. Follow her @yunapark, and follow the agency @22squared.

Yuna joins 22squared from Attention, where she most recently served asAssociate Director of Innovation. In that role, she developed and executedaward-winning social and digital media campaigns for clients that includedExpedia, General Mills, Hard...

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