I love to read while I am traveling. Waiting for a plane is just so much better with good stuff to read. This time I manage to get a hardcopy of a book called ‘brand love’. It is written by one of the people that influenced my thinking on social media and branding the most I guess: Graham D Brown (Like the D!). This book describes in a very engaging way how to build a brand worth talking about!

What I like about Graham D. is that he is changing the traditional view on branding and marketing. In this book he works together with Jamal Benmiloud and Paul O’Shannessey. But he was the one that challenged my thinking years ago already with stating: ‘don’t focuses on the unconverted, focus on the ones you already have converted, they will reach the unconverted for you!’ Can you imagine what is happening in your ministry when you are saying: ‘well folks let’s not focus on converting new people!

Best practices
I hope you won’t stop reading here. Because I think this way of thinking by ministries or NGO’s, even if you have a higher cause, can help to look to what you are doing online in a total different way. The strength of this book is that all principles are illustrated with best practices and sometimes also with bad practices to help you understand it. You learn about the success of Monster Energy, LEGO and Starbucks for instance and understand why Nokia lost momentum.

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Stop using Social Media
I still come across a lot of ministries that don’t really believe in the power of social media and only use it to ‘spread the good news’ or to misuse the people online for their cause. If you can’t reverse your thinking on social media towards co-creation with people that interact with you, if you don’t want to see how you can come from like to love, how your brand, higher cause or ministry really can support the life stories of your target audience or want to start a process in understanding how your fans can become your friends and your strength, you might consider not to use social media anymore at all.

If you are able to define the impact you lay a foundation for long-term

Three takeaways
I like to share three of the takeaways of this book for me, hoping that you will read it as well, because there is so much more to learn and challenge yourself to change your thinking on social media use in your ministry.

#1 what is your consumer’s experience?
Another book I read during one of my travels was called: don’t make me think! If you want to engage people more to your online presence, try to step into their shoes and don’t give them the feeling you don’t understand them. If you are real human and attentive, this will improve your consumers experience and move them from like to love.

#2 Find shared emotion and pain point.
One of the keyword is empathy (they line this up right against people that want to be efficient, like Starbucks vs. MacDonald’s), if you show empathy you will find the emotions you share, but also the pain points that you need to take care of. Pain is most of the time no physical pain but are a lot of times connected to fear, emotions and negative energies that cause internal suffering.

#3 Measure what really matters.
If you want to have impact the normal measurements are not the ones you are looking for. This is connecting to the question of the value of a like, but needs to be defined specific for each ministry. If you are able to define the impact you want to measure and find a way to actually do it, you lay a foundation for long-term and not only for that moment.


Image Ahhhhhhh by Kenny Louie on flickr.com (common creative)


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