Brands are often an unwelcome presence on social media platforms. They tend to interrupt conversations with blatant sales pitches. They then often ask for information we don’t deem them entitled to receive. Our email addresses. Answers to incessantly dry, pedantic surveys. Urgent commands to pimp their promotions to our friends. You get the idea. When it comes to social media, many brands and the companies that run them could use an etiquette primer.
But where to start? Recently at the BC mother-ship, we started talking about an unlikely but intriguing point of reference for brands in social media- personalities that are charming, get their point across and know how to disarm and ultimately win over a hostile crowd. I’m talking about none other than the brothers of Delta Tau Chi. Those slacking losers that ultimately win our hearts in the movie Animal House.
What can brands learn from a bunch of frat boys? Well think about this. On the surface, the Delta Brothers were seen as pariahs. Slobs. Flunkies. Rude. Outsiders on the campus of Faber College. Kind of like brands trying to fit in on Facebook. But each of the Deltas had certain personality traits that won us over, and if we are to believe the film’s prologue, allowed them to ultimately achieve success in life.
Still not buying? Well let’s look at a few of the characters and see what implications exist for brands-
Let’s start with Larry ‘Pinto’ Kroger. On the surface, a timid, socially awkward freshman. But as the film progresses, his timidness is what makes him appealing and in fact works in his favor to him over fans. Can being a little shy and reserved be a positive trait for a brand? Maybe. It just might encourage your fans to speak up and drive the discussion. And that’s never a bad thing.
Kent Dorfman or Flounder, has a geeky enthusiasm that on the one hand is naive, yet on the other hand, charms people and ultimately make us want to root for him. What is your brand doing in social media that will encourage people to root for you?
Eric “Otter” Stratton had the gumption to say and do big things. Whether it was telling off the Dean, or lusting after the girl no one thought he could get, Otter intended to do things that no one thought he could achieve. Big, out of this world ambitions- a great blueprint for brands to win over fans in social media too!
Robert Hoover was the affable, clean-cut fraternity president who always struggled to maintain a facade of normalcy. But he ultimately understood and went along with the Delta lifestyle and the desires of his frat brothers. In many ways, Hoover was the ultimate brand that stays accountable to the desires of their key community while looking out for their community’s best interests. A true leader.
Finally there was John Blutarsky or Bluto. In his seventh year of college, Bluto lived most of his days as a drunken degenerate. But he also had a passionate irreverence that motivated him to do big things, from legendary toga parties to ambushing the homecoming parade. Bluto’s cheeky antics motivated his peers and won over fans. How can injecting some passionate irreverence into your social media activities help your brand motivate people?
The brothers of Delta House may not be appearing in marketing textbooks anytime soon. But we at BC believe they have a lot to teach us when it comes to brands successfully using social media.