It’s become almost an annual joke that Americans love fall so much. Mid-summer, plenty of your Facebook friends were probably posting about how much they’re looking forward to pumpkin patches, apple picking, and the sacred pumpkin spice latte. The autumn-love is at a fever pitch now that October is here, but just why do we all love this time of year so much? It’s the nostalgia.
Autumn and winter are seasons steeped in tradition and memories for many Americans. We gather at homecoming football games, share gifts with our loved ones at the several holidays scattered throughout the season, and reflect on what the past year has brought us. It’s a time where we remember the simpler periods of our lives, and spend quality time with those closest to us. Nostalgia makes people happy. Millennials in particular love nostalgia as shown by the popularity of Pokemon Go and the #tbt (Throwback Thursday) hashtag.
Brands can get to know their audience better through nostalgic marketing, and in turn help their customer base better understand their company culture. Here’s three ways your brand can tap into nostalgia in your communications this fall:
#TBT – Get Personal
One of the most popular hashtags across all social media platforms, #TBT is an easy way to connect with users. Don’t limit yourself to just posting stock pictures of a six pack of Surge; use real life photos from your staff! Baby photos, embarrassing prom pictures, and 90’s Nerf battles at a family reunion are all prime for sharing in the hashtag. You can also share photos from your company’s beginnings and memories including past office photos, last year’s office bake-off, and previous logo designs.
Good Stories Weren’t Created by Digital Platforms
Storytelling is as old as life itself. Though digital platforms allow us to tell stories in new ways, these tools certainly didn’t create storytelling. Take a step back and reflect on how you used to hear stories when you were young. What made your grandfather’s war stories so riveting? How did you feel when listening to a scary story around a campfire with your fellow troop members? The tales you remember from your childhood and the storytellers that shared them can help illuminate the key parts of a good story. Use these components in your marketing pieces. You can even do a campaign around nostalgic stories directly, as long as it makes sense for your brand.
What’s Old in PR is New Again
Public relations is a constantly changing field, and brands are likely using very different tactics than they were 20 years ago. However, some of those “old” ideas can be worth dusting off and implementing in the digital sphere. We have lots of tools to communicate with users and engage with them individually, and yet, many users still feel that brands’ digital presences is highly impersonal. Consider how you would have reached individuals in your audience pre-internet. While you probably aren’t going to have the time to start knocking on doors and meeting the people who make up your consumer base, you can still reach out through digital media with the same enthusiasm. With every communication, remember there are real people on the other side of the screen. Look for ways to reach out to your social media audience individually – utilize live streaming to allow them to ask questions that you can answer by name, go the extra mile with a customer service complaint on Twitter and give them something they wouldn’t expect, or crowd source photos from your audience to make your new social media banner.