Does Your Brand Need a Social Facelift?

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By Jessica Chen Is your Facebook engagement rate at an all-time low since your competitors upped their social game? Do you wince when you listen to your community because you dread what's being said about your brand?

It’s time for a social facelift for your brand.  Here’s how to do it.

1. Create content outside of your comfort zone.

The vast majority of brands on social resort to the standard “RT if you agree!” or “COMMENT with your favorite!” posts. Want to break free from the norm? Take a cue from Denny’s to rethink your content. The brand's new silly and humorous approach to social is hitting it out of the park.

This content is not only relevant and compelling for the amused Denny's  social community, it's also effective by subtly reminding users that Denny's is just like your bacon-and-eggs-obsessed BFF (not some old guy who makes pancakes ALMOST as good as IHOP).

2. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities.

More and more brands are taking advantage of real-time marketing to show that they're on top of their game. The tweet from Arby's about Pharrell's hat at the Grammy Awards was clever and quick, generating over 81,000 retweets and plenty of great articles about how perfectly the brand was able to tie its messaging to a pop culture event.

Of course, content like this often earns brands their 15 minutes of fame before fizzling out with little to no lasting impact. However, Arby's was able to prolong the press by purchasing said hat for $44k --- for a charity auction, no less. And the fact that brands like Pepsi and Hyundai publicly commended Arby's didn't hurt either. Wins all around.

3. Branch out (then go all out).

TGI Fridays has been mocked for years for being dated and having fallen behind in the industry, in part due to the company's original branding: "classic"  souvenirs and memorabilia paired with a neighborhood-friendly vibe. In an effort to compete with newer, more modern chains, TGI Fridays has begun rebranding and focusing more on the "handcrafted" element to the brand; similarly, it has recently launched the Summer of Fridays campaign, a food truck tour targeted to a younger audience of festival and sporting event attendees.

The outcomes for drastic, out-of-the-box partnerships like this are risky, but -- when properly paired with an effective social campaign -- can be overwhelmingly successful in revamping a brand's social presence. TGI Fridays will be documenting the trucks' cross-country trips, featuring people who embody the "best of handcrafted America," seamlessly tying into the company's rebranding efforts. Interestingly, these articles will be hosted on Tumblr, a very creative-minded platform itself.

So many major, established brands are seen as archaic in this time of absurdly fast growth in the social space. As a response, many of the executives at these companies are reevaluating the brands. A social facelift could be just what you need to get your community motivated and enthusiastic again.

But don’t forget the most important thing when you begin mixing things up: always remain authentic and true to your brand.

What are some of the best social facelifts you've seen? Share your thoughts in the comments!