No that title is not empty click-bait. I am talking about a video we created that featured a cute puppy and got over a quarter million views. If you haven't seen it, take a watch.
As creators of social content, there is this universal struggle we share with measuring success in units. That temptation to habitually refresh the like count, or read much too deeply into the comments consisting solely of emojis. Our recent project with @lucyand.co and @dogsofinsagram was no different. As the views, comments, and likes racked up I found myself doing the refresh dance. Within 24 hours of its first posting it had crossed 100k views. Its currently sitting around 269k views, 73k likes and has over 1500 comments across two postings. Its easy for me to gauge that projects success on those numbers.
This tension was not born in the world of social media. I would presume that the temptation to place value in tangible ideas goes much deeper into our own psychology and began the moment we as humans had the opportunity to interact with one another. The discussion of the danger of this psychologically is for someone with phd at the end of their name (and yes I see the irony in that statement.) I however, would like to tackle why this is a danger in the world of social content marketing. The danger is that it very easily becomes a misplaced priority. Viewership is important, don't get me wrong, its essential but it must know its’ place: that is after connection and with the purpose of engagement. Every piece of social content we as brands create needs to have its birthplace in the question of “how can I empathize with my audience?” As a brand that sells a product or service or as a platform that embodies a lifestyle our number one tool for growth and influence is the shared experiences we have and the stories we can use to illustrate them. Atticus finch, the fictional wise sage of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, puts it best with his advice to his daughter,
"If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it."
In our case of @gusgus_thegoldendoodle we chose to approach this video through the universal story of a desire for love and a desire to be part of a family. This direction stems from a line on Lucy and Co.’s about page, "Lucy & Co’s menagerie of a team is comprised of people making beautiful products toward a shared life with man’s best friend.” We played off the reality that that a dog is a part of the family and when the cheese fest of matching sweaters ensues, you better believe Gus wants in.
When you dig in deep, after you have counted the views and comments you begin to see some of the heart of the engagement we received on the video.
lindsayrudoff@grantmessina I cried. Can't wait for our puppy's outfits❤️❤️
uhhlydia@paulhan4senate FAMILY GOALS LETS DO IT
ma_de_teThey deserve every little piece of our love. They are also a member of the family. ❤️🙏🐶❄️
katjamacmahon@tnfalconer I know what I'm getting you me and fitz for Christmas 💃🏼
lindseybud@ricksully33 this could be our Christmas 😂😂😘😘
nicoleepoolee@tbroberson that made my day!!
alison_grossman@bgrossman5 this is the HAPPIEST ending
The audience was placing themselves in the story and replacing the characters with themselves and their friends, significant others, and most importantly their canines. The owner of @dogsofinstagram had this to say "The video reminded people that they shouldn't forget about their furry friends during the craziness of the holiday. In this day and age, people see their dogs truly as a part of the family and the video really reinforced that trend"
I want to finish this with a video from a Brand that has become one of my big creative influences as far as storytelling in advertising; John Lewis. It contains both a dog and christmas so wins all around.