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Three social media lessons I learned from reading comic books

July 5th, 2010 by | 4 Comments

What Comic Book taught about Social Media

Image by BH123

For some of us, comic books have always been a staple reading material since childhood. Fortunately for some of us, the self-fashioned definition of “growing up” still involves reading comic books albeit in a slightly lesser degree. Now that we’ve been a part of the rat race, we can say with conviction what many of us comic book geeks have always believed in: comic books are not just for kids. What’s more, they’ve helped me a lot in my travails around social media marketing.

Yes, the funny books actually show good parallels with marketing through the online social spectrum. Let’s take a look at some of them.


Retconning
Write original content and repurpose them


Retconning Content for your Social Media Marketing Campaign
Image by Photo Extremist

Both Marvel and DC have rebooted titles for many reasons, sometimes changing characters’ origins in an act creators and fans have come to call retconning. The Legion of Superheroes, Spider-Man and, just recently, Wonder Woman, among many others, have gone under the pen with their stories updated and retconned.

This is mostly to keep up with the modern times and, more importantly, to easily reintroduce the title and make the character more appealing to new readers.

Similarly, when maintaining a blog for your brand, you are tasked to come up with original content which you can repurpose in various ways. Perhaps you can craft a new post out of a how-to from a different standpoint, or you can provider you own take on a study you shared a week ago, or maybe even start a podcast by compiling a week’s worth of blog posts.

While repurposing content is an effective way to drive a point across while customizing your content to various formats different readers can find easily digestable, it can also be tastelessly overdone. Hakwman is an example of a fine mess an abundance of continuity reboots can do to a character- a bedlam of confusion you really don’t need in your business where there is an actual overhead and the race for the ROI.

Depending on your message, an overly repurposed bit of news can end up sounding like a shameless advertising. This can lead to a loss of interest for your site and can leave a bad taste in your readership’s mouth.


The Multiverse
Expand your social presence to reach more people, and keep them engaged


Multiple Social Media Marketing PresenceImage by wecand

Modern adventure comic books have gotten into the habit of dishing out stories outside their own fictionalized worlds or continuity. And the result is a dizzying multitude of alternate realities usually called the Multiverse.

Here, each parallel universe has its own variants of the same characters from the main universe with slight differences. And so we have different versions of Superman, the X-Men and other characters taking place in different time periods and random galaxies.

With these characters’ presence in different universes come endless story possibilities, each with their own unique adventures and trials, giving their respective titles great mileage as far as readership is concerned. The same concept along with the aforementioned benefits can be applied to social media by giving your brand a multi-platform presence online—a practice being implemented by most companies nowadays.

Aside from your brand’s official Web site, it’ll help a lot if you’ve also set roots on the popular social networks since most Web users spend a considerable amount of their day on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This can keep your present demographic in the loop with regards to the products and services you offer while giving your more opportunities to redistribute your content and spread brand awareness.


Fan Mail
Interact with your demographic and listen to what they have to say


Listening to Feedback is Crucial in Social Media MarketingImage by grenade

During the 80s, Batman introduced a second Robin after the first boy wonder retired from his Bat-sidekickdom. Readers hated the new Robin that DC Comics opted to have a poll to determine the character’s fate.

The popular response was to have him die in-panel.

As you can imagine, DC received a lot of negative press and swarms of angry letters over the verdict. However, in the end, Robin’s death became the single moment that heavily defined Batman’s subsequent decisions, enriching a very popular character for years to come.

Given the ensuing debacle, this showed a great amount of faith in your followers and the importance of listening to your readers. Sure, this may seem like basic social media blah right now, but it’s one that’s often overlooked. These make it even easier to engage in meaningful conversations with your followers and respond accordingly to every query while giving you the opportunity to learn more about them. And if you play your cards right, you’ll end up with actual relationships online built on trust and brand loyalty.


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