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If it feels like the social media post you’re about to publish is toeing the line, it’s probably safest not to post it at all. That’s the conventional wisdom, and to be fair, it’s not entirely wrong. For the many brands guilty of pushing out misguided posts or campaigns, social media has served as a hindrance rather than an accelerant. But there are also many brands for which the latter is true, and those brands tend to push the envelope when it comes to social. In this edition of Weekly Reads, we’ll explore some brands that are reaping the rewards of stepping beyond comfort zones in the social space.

“The Middle is Lame”

ClickZ: The secret to Chobani’s social success is sincerity
When Chobani launched in 2005, they were told no one in U.S. was familiar with Greek yogurt and it’d be too tart for our palates. Now, the U.S. is quite familiar with Greek yogurt and, more specifically, Chobani. CMO Peter McGuinness says that’s due in large part to Chobani’s decision to abstain from marketing to the middle. “The middle is lame,” McGuinness says. “Consumers don’t appreciate it. (Middle messaging) isn’t going to cut through, it’s not going to be relevant and it’s not going to be resonant. If you have something to say, say it. Don’t mince words.”

Commit the Resources How a social team changed Blue Cross Blue Shield organizational structure
Instead of being seen as “nice to have” or a content distribution channel, Lynde O’Brien wanted her the social team at Blue Cross Blue Shield to be a genuine part of the business. Thankfully for her, Obamacare forced her organization to fundamentally change its approach to social. She explains in this piece how she was able to embed her team in every department to better explain the nuances of social metrics in terms each business unit could understand and appreciate.

Reexamine Existing Platform Commitments

Business Insider: Apple’s 22-year-old whiz kid shares his social tips
While we here at GroundFloor Media are well-plugged-in when it comes to SEO — we do our own SEO work in house — we’ll admit we were tad surprised to hear Tai Tran say he believes that, depending on your audience, it may be prudent to invest more time in Google+ than newer-generation platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Leave it to a 22-year-old, who was given the keys to the @AppleSupport platform before he even graduated college, to remind us that in the pursuit of the latest and greatest, it often pays to take stock in what you already have and utilize it well.

Inside the Facebook Live Gold Rush

DigiDay: Tastemade plans to do 100 Facebook Live shows every month
On one hand you have an agency executive explaining why brands are taking a cautious approach to Facebook Live (and it’s a message you shouldn’t ignore). On the other, you have Tastemade going all-in, trying to capitalize on the boost Facebook is currently giving to those willing to live-stream on its platform. This story explains why it could pay off big for publishers willing to take a risk.

Is Snapchat Becoming Monotonous?

Buffer: Top Snapchat tips from a Millennial marketing guru
For those who believe the brands already on Snapchat are miles ahead of you, Everette Taylor has good news: For the most part, originality on Snapchat is lacking. That, he says, is your cue to step up your game and break through the monotony that is causing many to lose interest in branded content on Snapchat. You can start your foray into the platform with Buffer’s Complete Guide to Snapchat, which is referenced often in this story.

One Cautionary Tale

NiemanLab: Cincinnati TV station declares war on local newspaper
While pushing the envelope can pay off, it’s worth remembering it’s a risk-reward proposition, as Cincinnati TV station WCPO recently displayed with its #DropThePaper campaign. Tweets from WCPO and its employees under the hashtag urged Cincinnatians to drop the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper and subscribe to WCPO’s Insider content. The hashtag is now mostly utilized by detractors voicing their displeasure with the exclusionary message, with discussions about WCPO’s Insider content, the original purpose of the campaign, being almost totally lost. It goes to show that campaigns including some measure of vitriol are often met with vitriol in return, which can often lead to the intended messaging getting lost.

What GFM Blogged About This Week…

When a Client Moves On: Agency Transition Tips
Google’s New Best Practices for Bloggers Reviewing Free Products From Companies

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