Put Your Business on The Social Map with Brand Prompting

By on November 13, 2012

Brand prompting is here, and it’s gaining speed. With new trends like reactive social marketing, one-on-one video responses and viral marketing – it’s good to stay in touch with how you can take your brand to new heights, using unique tactics from the pros. Today, I’m going to teach you how brand prompting can get you a whole lot of exposure.

What is Brand Prompting?

Brand prompting is when you have a plan or strategy to create virality out of a brand-on-brand interaction. It can also be done internally, though this is quite an unknown, sneaky brand ploy that pretends to be fan-to-brand interaction, but is actually all brand interaction.

The most recent example of brand prompting can be seen in the extremely viral ‘Bodyform’ video response, where a fan left a funny comment on their Facebook page, and Bodyform responded with a funny Youtube video.

Bodyform as a brand, probably doesn’t want their fan base to know that this was an orchestrated marketing strategy – and while I can’t confirm that it was, the possibility exists. Brands do this to let their fans know that they are listening.

A fan ‘prompts’ a brand to respond with a controversial, funny, or interesting comment or post. The brand then chooses to respond, by doing something very un-brand like. This is brand prompting. In the old days brands never interacted with their audience, especially not on a public one-on-one basis. Now, it’s something to aspire to.

How To Do Brand Prompting For Your Brand

• Choose a very good fan comment to respond to
• If one doesn’t exist, get a friend to set you up
• Go all-out, creating a unique, interactive brand prompt
• The best mediums are audio, video and images
• Show your brand ‘personality’ in your response
• Make sure that it’s extremely sharable, but not offensive

Brand prompting functions best when you have the beginning of your viral campaign all worked out. That means getting your employees or a professional company to get the ball rolling on your success.

• Leave positive comments on your response
• Improve your likes and shares
• Create press releases on the news
• Create articles based on social media to give you exposure
• Begin and promote a hashtag
• Brand prompting uses that ‘news’ element to be relevant

If a brand had to come up to me and ask what they can do to increase virality on a platform like Facebook, this is what I’d suggest. Though having the opportunity to do it for real is priceless. This is when brand prompting works best.

Otherwise, be part of the story. Get your brand ambassadors to leave ‘lead-in’ comments on large brand pages, and see if they respond. You’ll get some great exposure from the experience, and you’ll gain a big name ally.

If you have a small budget, or a small scale social marketing campaign, just slip in one or two well-thought out brand prompts each month – you never know when they’ll pay off. Plus, sharing is what social is all about!

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Do you think brand prompting is a good viral marketing tactic?

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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