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Jimmy Maymann, GoViral: Branded activities and social media in the age of Youcracy

The key message in this panel is clear: The age of traditional branding is over. As our connectedness and social life online evolve, branding too becomes more social: Brands increasingly have to rely on their customers‘, friends‘ and social networks‘ recommendations – which is also the core of viral marketing. It it’s not funny, inspiring or otherwise compelling (Maymann calls it emotional, you wouldn’t pass that YouTube video on to your friends, right? But if you do, your friends might watch it just because it was you who sent it. You basically vouch for the content you pass along.
Of course this puts campaigners and communications agencies into a tricky situation: On the one hand, they want to push their clients‘ messages out there; on the other hand, they need the help of those very customers they’re trying to target. Go wrong, and your customers will hold it against you. Social media need a very different approach than traditional media if you want to succeed.
One lessen I learned today? Obviously, if you plan on going viral, funny videos are still the way to go.
Great question from the audience: Social media seem to aim primarily at younger target groups, 40 to 50 years at max. With the massive demographic shift, how can companies reach out to older audiences and engage with them? Maymann doesn’t have the answer. Let’s not hold it against him just yet: The whole field of social media is so young that it’ll need a few years to mature along with those not-so-young folks out there.