By Steff Moore
A local movie theater recently showed Spiceworld.
Being a huge Spice Girls fan in my tween years (before I discovered the world of heavy metal), I was keen to go along.
And as I was sitting in that theatre, sucking on a Chupa Chup (who remembers these?) and laughing along at the girls’ encounters, I started thinking about the Spice phenomena and what made them so successful.
I realized what made the Spice Girls one of the most successful pop bands of all time are the same tactics used by the most successful social media campaigns.
Go Big or Go Home
“They’ve got fire in their eyes, hunger in their bellies… and great big shoes on their feet!”
Big hair, big shoes, big attitude – that was what the Spice Girls were all about. From the way they dressed to the songs they sang and the antics they pulled, they didn’t do anything by half. They had a sound and an attitude that was new, fresh, and unique – and they were dedicated to living that attitude whatever happened.
And while you don’t need 12-inch platform sneakers and a sequined catsuit to succeed with social media (although it really could help …) you definitely need to dedicate yourself to giving it 100 percent. This means figuring out what exactly you want to offer your clients and fans, and then exceeding their expectations.
Just because you’re serious about business doesn’t mean you can’t have a bit of fun with your branding. Do away with dull, boring logos, branding, and copy – and try something unique. Do something different from your competition and reap the rewards.
Deliver Real Value
One of the main reasons the Spice Girls were so successful was because they weren’t just another pop band – they created a movement.
“Girl Power!” gave many of their female fans the confidence they needed to make changes in their lives, and as such, inspired fiercer loyalty to the group then perhaps their music alone would warrant!
In the same way, customers connect with their favorite businesses because they want the “extras.” Use your social media to add value through promotions, extra content, or just personal interaction with fans.
No matter whether it’s a confectionary company posting a weekly recipe on their Facebook wall or a clothing company that gets their Pinterest fans voting on the styles for the new collection, there’s always a way to involve fans and reward their advocacy by giving them something extra.
Have a Sense of Humor
Victoria: “It’s always the same. I never know what to wear.”
Mel C: “It must be really hard for you, Victoria. You know, trying’ to decide whether to wear the ‘little Gucci dress’, the ‘little Gucci dress’. Or… the ‘little Gucci dress’.”
Emma: “I know! Why don’t you wear the ‘little Gucci dress?'”
Victoria: “That’s a good idea. Thanks, Em!”
Using humor in your social media strategy humanizes your brand, showing you can relate to everyday situations encountered by your customers and gives customers and fans a way relate to your business. Humorous content is shared more often than the dry, serious stuff, so start thinking of ways to add some humor to your social media.
Remember: Using humor is a risk – comedy is subjective. Some customers and fans might not respond as you’d hoped, while others will LOVE you for it.
Carefully consider the target market for your products or services and which style of humor will be appreciated best.
Build Relationships, One Fan at a Time
The Spice Girls were known for being extremely friendly and caring toward their fans, often spending hours signing autographs and chatting.
They also had magnetic personalities, charming the media and attracting the attention of even more famous celebrities. This personality- and relationship-driven approach enabled them to conquer the charts and remain in the public eye.
One of the biggest concerns with social media is how much to share – the danger of bringing too much of your personal life into the public eye. This is where the Spice Girls had a stroke of genius – they created personas (Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh, Sporty) based off their personalities.
Approach social media by creating a persona for yourself or your company. If your brand were a Spice Girl, what would its name be?
You Need a Schedule
Imagine juggling rehearsals, recording, writing music, news conferences, TV appearances, interviews, photo shoots, fan experiences, sleeping, and the rest of your life?
In order to keep the Spice Girls at the top for so long, there was a huge team of people behind-the-scenes ferrying them from event to event, keeping them looking fabulous, and making sure they never disappointed a fan or missed an opportunity.
You probably don’t have a loyal staff of groomers, assistants, and managers, but that shouldn’t stop you running a well-oiled social media machine. With apps such as Buffer that allow you to schedule updates for days in advance across multiple channels, you can maintain multiple social media accounts without having to check in on them every hour of every day.
Although your company may be far from the world of catchy pop songs and platform shoes, you can learn a lot about engaging with fans and driving your social media strategy from the 90s phenomena of the Spice Girls.
Is it time your social media had a dose of Girl Power?