By Terence Yam
The Hoffman Agency, Hong Kong
Imagine what it would be like if Facebook existed in 1914.
Would Vladimir Lenin Instagram a picture of his breakfast? Would the defeat of the Russian army at Masurian Lakes have been caused by a soldier who leaked his location via check in?
There are more than 1.15 billion Facebook users worldwide, sharing all kinds of information every day. We know that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are powerful tools for brand marketing and communication; that is why we advise brands to create and manage their accounts and pages. But sometimes it is worthwhile to go beyond “social media management” and create something different – an out-of-the-box branding campaign.
Take the Museum of the Great War in France – they did something extraordinary on Facebook.
In order to promote its exhibition on the First World War, the Museum created something more than just an ordinary brand page. It created a personal profile for Leon Vivien, a 29-year-old man who was drafted to the war and torn away from his wife Madeline. It also created nine other characters to interact with Leon on Facebook, including his wife.
Through daily photos, status updates, interaction with other characters and even fans, the history of World War I was vividly illustrated over the course of a year. The story of the battlefield was told via Leon’s military training, his life in the barracks and on the front line. Fans became immersed and addicted to the story of Leon, wondering if he would ever see his wife again.
This interactive approach to storytelling has made history come alive, using a platform that is relatable (Facebook) to engage younger generations.
As of today, the page has more than 60,000 fans and 5,000 likes. It has successfully attracted thousands of visitors to The Museum of the Great War with the number of visitors increasing by 45 per cent.
Blending history or ancient public figures into a social media platform can breathe new life into a boring or serious campaign and communicate key messages in a much more appealing way.
Now that’s storytelling.
So the next time you’re asked to write a press release about some milestone or company anniversary, stop and apply some out-of-the-box thinking. You might be surprised by what you can achieve.