Movember was a great opportunity to experiment a bunch of new techniques, apps and ideas we’ve had around sharing stories on social media.
We experimented with a live Hangout on Air - a new Google technology that’s essentially live, streaming TV – a little known 3-D imaging app called SEENE, and stop-motion apps to record some time-lapse video.
We used a combination of high-end DSLR cameras and the on-board cameras on our smartphones. We solicited celebrity endorsements, created posts on both serious and silly topics, and we pulled everything together using a timeline-based web interface to showcase the whole lot in a clean, linear way.
So what did we learn?
As an organization, engaging on social media means being challenged on how you think you’re perceived. Our levels of engagement weren’t what we expected them to be, and the things people really liked weren’t the things we expected. Then we started to take a look at what people were responding to and started to learn.
Interacting with a business isn’t the same as peer-to-peer. Followers are not the same as clients, who care about messages and brand values and the look and feel of things. People liked the fun images and intriguing facts more than the more earnest videos, even though the production values were lower. Factoids written with a twist garnered more attention than those without, even though the fact itself may have less of a wow factor.
It’s hard to accept that the headline matters more than the content if you’re measuring clicks. Peacock-posting works, and as a company that’s traditionally let the work do the talking, that means a re-assessment of how we engage with people on these platforms. Content is still king, as you need to keep attention once you have it, but there is a balance to be struck between creating great content and presenting it enticingly, and to do both without misrepresenting either is a skill that’s tough to master. This lesson has been espoused on the web in countless iterations, and while it’s nothing new - experiencing it first hand means it’ll stick.
Finally, we learned that moustaches should remain a thing of the past as they do nothing good – except in the case of Movember. Raising many millions of dollars for men’s health causes is worth a few itchy lips and upset wives in our book.