What a Brand Needs, Wants & Covets on Social (And How To Get It)

As Mick Jagger said, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need!

As digital marketers, there are some things a brand needs out of social media efforts, many things a brand wants and a few things a brand covets.

The ever burgeoning lexicon of social media — likes, shares, followers, comments, mentions, re-pins, and klout — are the latest metrics that brands must not only understand, but ultimately hope to achieve. When lost in a sea of information and newness we could all do with a cheat sheet. Cue The Buddy Group’s infographic guide to what brands need, want and covet when it comes to social media. Read on for clear-cut methods to meet goals on four currently favored platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest…

The number of Likes seems to be the common KPI of choice. And while Likes certainly fulfill the need, they are not the be-all end-all. What savvy brands want in this space is for their audience to comment or engage in a meaningful way. What they ultimately covet are people who are influential enough to share and disseminate information about the brand. Some tips to get your brand there:

  • Compelling Content: The content you share on your page does not necessarily have to be product-related. But it does need to be compelling. Use images in your posts. That will compel your audience to comment (want) and even share (covet). For example, a recent post of an amazing mountain view in Maui on the King’s Hawaiian Facebook page resulted in 600+ likes and over 100 comments (notice, nothing mentioned about the bread). 
  • Exclusivity: Exclusive content is a way to make people feel like they are your special team of brand enthusiasts. Take a unique angle, provide some behind-the-scenes information or give a sneak preview.
  • No marketing-speak: Don’t directly promote your product. Be mindful to create relevant content that speaks to your audience. You are more likely to be trusted that way.
While views are certainly the wanted benchmark on YouTube, attaining and maintaining a consistent subscription base is needed to develop the coveted long-standing relationship with your audience. Succeeding in creating viral content is the icing on the cake. How to get there:
  • Storytelling: Your brand has a story to tell. Video allows you to tell those stories in one of two ways: 1) LINEAR, where the user has no direct effect on the outcome of the story, or 2) INTERACTIVE, where the user influences or controls some aspect of the story. If it’s linear, keep it short. If it’s interactive, dust off your old Choose Your Own Adventure books for some old school help.
  • Distribute your Content: The way in which you distribute your content is much more than a mere “post and wait” attitude. Distribute your content to carefully researched and selected brand advocates and influencers. For example, to increase views, try sending an embed code to a list of bloggers who provide valuable content for their readers.
  • Surprise and Delight: We can’t help but covet a viral outcome for our content and our brand. Viral videos grab attention by delivering something unexpected. Don’t cram your product information into the content you want to go viral. It won’t happen. Surprise and delight. Find the content relevant to your brand that delivers a twist at the end. That is your sweet spot.
Instagram enables brands to add their personality to the social mix by sharing quick snapshots with their audience. Brands need followers. They want style. They covet the love (well, the likes). Here are some things to remember:
  • Know who you are: This includes knowing how others perceive you. What kind of images are people using to describe you? What is the tone and manner when people are talking about you? Find out what resonates.
  • Exclusivity: We’ve noticed Instagram is a great forum for showing your audience backstage content. This is a great way to add unique personality to your brand. Bring them behind the scenes at one of your shoots. Give some context. Have some fun. That is what Instagram is about. That will get you some “love.”
  • Promote yourself: This doesn’t mean boring product images. It isn’t about “if you build it, they will come.” Just like any other social network, you need to make the extra effort to get people to see you. Hashtags work.
Every social community has its purpose and Pinterest is all about high-end visuals. Brands want people to re-pin content. Brands need people to follow. Brands covet traffic to sites and completion of the ever-important marketing funnel in the way of transactions. In fact, recent data from Shopify found that visitors referred from Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy. How does this community translate to what we need, want and covet?

  • Properly tagged product shots: Remember to label your products with proper dollar amounts and link the pin to its relevant sales page on your site. Add a unique and pithy description and use relevant keywords. You will raise your chance for the coveted traffic and transaction on your site if you cover these bases.
  • Cultivate a community using your culture: Pinterest cannot live on product shots alone. Brands like Whole Foods, Tea of a Kind, and Better Homes & Gardens utilize brand culture in creating content by including recipes, themes and tips. This inspires people to not only share or re-pin the content, but follow and engage in the brand’s story.
  • Collaborate: Use your followers and other pinners to build your brand. The best form of user-generated content happens here. Pin It To Win It Contests curate fantastic material for your brand, while also engaging and incentivizing. Build followers to deliver Pinterest as one of your main referring sites for your brand website.
Savvy brands know what they want to achieve from their participation in social media communities. But in an ever-changing landscape, they could benefit from a few constants. So, remember, content will always be a key to achieving a brands objectives, even when the type of content may vary from community to community. Be sure to have plenty of it and that it resonates with your audience.


  1. Love this, thanks! It’s so wonderful that there’s such a tremendous amount of resources available to marketers and really appreciate the list of things to keep in mind. With that, I’m glad you mentioned the power of Pinterest. An excellent Pinterest Influencer Network I’ve come across that’s been really helpful to my biz and helped answer a lot of what your article mentioned is PinLeague. They’re basically a one-stop shop of Pinterest marketing resources definitely worth mentioning. Hope this helps and thanks.


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