There’s really just one essential thing to keep in mind: It should provide value to the customer and to the brand. Looking at it another way, the circles could read: true to the core of your brand and new or unexpected.
Landing in that happy middle is tough to do. And, it often has more to do with a commitment than a campaign.
Too far to the left/Just information: Most corporate Web sites (after all, they were designed to communicate specific information, not to be part of a social conversation).
Too far to the right/Just buzz: The Office Max elves. Remember those delightful holiday dancers? People made over 100 million of those custom elves, helping Office Max win the distinction of being the #2 holiday greeting site two years in a row.
The problem? It had nothing to do with the brand. Despite the enormous number of impressions, same store sales dropped 7%.
In the happy middle/Real social: Zappos. You can’t talk about social media and not talk about Zappos.
CEO Tony Hiesh has set out to do nothing less than create personal 1:1 relationships between his team and people who use the social Web (and wear shoes). His thesis is that people want to interact with people — not call scripts or advertisements. They want to feel a connection to the places they spend their money and the people who help them do it.
So hundreds of Zappos customer services employees are on Twitter. Some solve real service problems. Some just build relationships. Thirty to forty more are writing blogs. Getting the Zappos culture out to the people who want to connect to it.