In Lois Lowry’s The Giver, one of the most important things that Jonas receives from The Giver is the ability to See Beyond (also known as the ability to see color) in a world of Sameness. The Giver purposefully introduces the color red into memories until Jonas notices and seeks to learn more. Once Jonas grasps the understanding and importance of color, The Giver reveals a rainbow. After receiving the rainbow, Jonas can see and appreciate the orange of a pumpkin, the green of a bush, the yellow of a flower. Seeing beyond has transformed his perspective of the world.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines transformation as “a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved.” As brands seeking to transform for a changing customer in an evolving world, we need to ask ourselves about our own rainbows. What is your filter to see beyond, to improve upon the content and data that you have seen a hundred times before? Better yet, what are you providing to your audience to help them see your brand in a way they have never seen you before?
Through the lens of the four elements of digital transformation, brands can leverage their social media tactics to start seeing beyond their current strategy and draw new engagement to their feeds.
People are the core focus of your social media strategy. What keeps your audience connected to your brand? More importantly, what encourages them to connect – or disconnect – with other brands?
Knowing your audience can improve not only the types of content you serve your followers but by deeply understanding what influences your audience, you will be able to provide an experience as unique as your brand.
To succeed in anything, you need a strong foundation. How do you put together your social media strategy? Are you rigid in your communications, or are you more flexible and able to bend with internal or external changes?
Ensure that you are amplifying the right voices among your internal and external stakeholders. Avoid siloed ideation that promotes just your product or service offering. Stay in tune with conversations your audience members are involved in and be prepared to pivot messaging as necessary. Define success, but also define and acknowledge failure as an opportunity to learn and improve upon your process.
Your audience can see and feel your brand’s culture through your communications. What truly sets you apart? What parts of your culture does your audience think need enhancing? Are you able to clearly distinguish your content from your competitors’ content?
When it comes to culture, your messaging needs to be crystal clear on social media so your audience knows what exactly what makes your brand unique. Make sure your external brand matches your internal brand. Allow authenticity to shine through by encouraging your employees to tell the stories that are important to them.
Data is the backbone of all you do on social media, it helps you support the story your brand is telling on social media. What is your data not telling you? Are you working for the data – or is your data working for you?
The key to clean and efficient data analysis is to make sure you have the right tools and people in place. Strategists and analysts should all be involved in the conversation to ensure the right conclusions are drawn and reintegrated into the plan.
Social media itself presents a model of seeing beyond traditional marketing touchpoints, enabling you to forge connections with your audience in ways that were previously inaccessible. Like a rainbow opening your eyes to all the colors of the world, incorporating the idea of seeing beyond in your people, process, culture and data can help you transform your digital presence, deepening those relationships and strengthening your brand narrative in fresh ways.