It’s not a product or service that makes something “boring,” it’s branding and marketing. Learn how to create engaging social content, even if you’re in an industry with a boring reputation.
Twenty years ago, if you said you worked in robo-advising, direct-to-consumer optometry, or mattress sales, you would probably be the least popular person at a dinner party. No offense but: booooring! Who invited you!? Get out!
But things have changed: some of today’s hottest brands are centered around traditionally “boring” industries.
Wealthsimple, Warby Parker and Casper (who trade in — you guessed it — robo-advising, direct-to-consumer optometry and mattress sales) produce some of social media’s most engaging content and enjoy global reputations for being fun, fresh young businesses.
Which just goes to show, it’s not a product or service that makes something “boring,” it’s branding and marketing.
And with social media, even the dullest of businesses have an opportunity to spice things up.
Here are 16 ways any business can beat a boring reputation and create engaging social content.
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16 ways to make a “boring” brand exciting
Here’s the thing: marketing is usually not about what you’re selling, so much as it’s about how you sell it. So, really, you’ve got no excuse.
Even if you’re selling elastic bands or medical gauze, or hyper-specific software for estate auctioneers, there’s an opportunity to delight, excite and inform your social media followers.
1. Tell your story
Whatever your business is, there must have been an initial spark of inspiration or a big “why” moment that kicked it all off. Don’t be afraid to get real and share it.
What’s more interesting: a bidet company explaining that last season’s model is 25% off, or a bidet company sharing the environmental impact toilet paper has on the planet?
Human brains are wired to connect with narratives, so harness your inner storyteller — whether through a 280-character tweet or a charmingly rambling Instagram caption.
Mail-order vitamin company Ritual mixes in personal letters from its CEO with memes, informational posts and product intel. Yes, she’s hyping up a new product line, but she’s also re-sharing the reason she started in the health supplement business in the first place. Smart, Kat! You’ve clearly been taking your, um, brain vitamins.
Melbourne, we’re thinking of your fallen rolls today. If this morning’s #earthquake made you poop your pants a little, here’s a tremendous (geddit) 5.8% off with the code: CRACKEDIT. Also, did anyone else awkwardly half hide under their desk while it was happening? pic.twitter.com/H3oVfi8PEE
— Who Gives A Crap (@WhoGivesACrapTP) September 22, 2021
8. Hold a contest
People love to win stuff! Host a contest for a giveaway either of your own product or service, or something from a related business, and you’ll be the hottest post on the block.
The Piedmont Environmental Council’s photo contest drew attention with its generous restaurant gift certificate prizes and gave the organization an excuse to post pretty nature snapshots in the lead-up to the deadline.
As the #Olympics come to a close, we're wishing the best of luck to @ahalyalett, a @GEHealthcare intern who's swimming for Team USA in the #ParalympicGames in Tokyo! We’re all cheering for you, Ahalya 🏊♀️. https://t.co/l6spoeO49K pic.twitter.com/6ME3WxIqHY
— General Electric (@generalelectric) August 9, 2021
10. Be memorable
Your social account is but one drop in an ocean of content. If you’re posting a shot-from-above photo of a cup of coffee captioned “I love Sundays!” like every other social media weekend warrior, why should anyone bother to come back to you for more?
Stand out from the crowd with eye-catching graphics, a shocking infographic or funny meme.
Razor company Dollar Shave Club, for instance, created this TikTok video that will haunt my dreams.
Together with @Ubisoft, we present you with the Episode 2 from our I Call Next series, which spotlights the @Rainbow6Game community. Watch as we showcase the contributions of @Demitrios_, a community moderator who creates safer spaces for everyone. https://t.co/IStQZJdjnj pic.twitter.com/BXXlD5N52V
— PayPal (@PayPal) May 10, 2021
14. Be a showoff
Pull a crazy stunt, or brag about a recent accomplishment. If you don’t toot your own horn, who will? It’s a great prompt for engagement.
Mattress distributor Casper got a chance to show off that the brand was featured in a Jeopardy question with this quickie Instagram clip. More than 15,000 people were very, very pleased on Casper’s behalf. (Is the Venn diagram between Jeopardy fans and Casper fans just a circle?)
View this post on Instagram
15. Run a poll
The beauty of social media is its interactivity, so don’t be shy about asking your followers to speak up.
A poll is a great, low-barrier way for even the shyest of fans to weigh in on an issue and join the conversation. Polls can ask for customer feedback on the latest product, gauge interest in a new service or even just get people to pick a side about whether they like smooth or crunchy peanut butter best.
In the process of promoting a book about grief, WTF Just Happened ran this tender, funny, relatable poll on its Instagram account. Fans weighed in and suggested their own favorite people to punch in the wake of a loss. This is community, people!
View this post on Instagram
16. Don’t take yourself so seriously
For “boring” brands to thrive on social media, it really all boils down to having fun. Just because your company doesn’t produce glow sticks or candy, doesn’t mean you can’t bring the party to your feed.
Bra company ThirdLove has a meaningful mission to create inclusive underwear for every kind of body — but not every post on its social channels is a sob story, as a recent re-post of memes demonstrates.
Posted by ThirdLove on Saturday, September 18, 2021
The bottom line: create great content, and it doesn’t matter how dull your actual product is. For more inspiring creative social content ideas, we’ve got a cheat sheet of creative post inspiration right here.
Easily manage all the social media profiles for your boring product using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and publish posts, engage your followers, monitor relevant conversations, measure results, manage your ads, and much more.