Applying the “Hippo Walks Into a Bar” Principle to Social Media Campaigns
As we discuss the ways that social media can be used instead of press releases as a superior method of putting out a brand message, one of the most enjoyable components of the technique is being able to add a flash of creativity and personality to the campaign in ways that press releases simply cannot. It’s the hippo in the room. It’s the fun stuff.
Unlike press releases, blog posts and social media posts can use riskier techniques to get the point across. For example, if someone was covering Sally’s Shoe Company’s partnership in South America to launch a new shoe with proceeds going towards building a wildlife haven for endangered species, they could use blogs and social media to tell the story of a particular hippo who walked into a bar and almost got shot. “Ginger the Hippo” could have a personality and add a human element through animal kinship that simply wouldn’t fly on a press release.
These types of personalize, true-to-life styles of posts are the ones that have the opportunity to get shared on social media. They can go viral. It’s unlikely that news of a partnership and support of a charity could make the kind of impact that a hippo walking into a bar could have. People won’t share bland news unless it’s huge and Sally’s Shoes won’t have anything huge happening any time soon. They can, however, post something interesting that focuses on sharable content and mentions the brand messaging in between.
Press releases have their place, but when it comes to getting the word out about something that is important to the company but not that important to the rest of the world, the use of creativity in the blog posts is a key to success.