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Advocacy Storytelling on Social Media: An Interview with Joshua Basinger of Markr
November 25, 2015
We recently caught up with Joshua Basinger, Co-Founder of Markr, to discuss the ever-changing social media landscape and its role in bringing purposeful storytelling to life. Markr, which launched just this past summer, was a great addition to the sponsorship roster at our 2015 Brand Leadership Summit this year, and we’re excited to share their story.
We First: Tell us about the work your organization does and how it bring its mission/purpose to life.
Joshua Basinger: Markr enables brands to utilize their biggest resource in getting their message out – their advocates. Our technology solution allows brands to support and tap into advocates – internal or external – while ensuring their messaging is maintained through their (advocacy) social media. We appreciate the speed at which content is increasingly developed and distributed through social media, by brands and their advocates, and our goal is to support consistency in delivery by allowing brands to proactively monitor all of their content creators’ output to ultimately create a seamless, impactful experience.
WF: Share one storytelling insight that you’ve learned on the way – a challenge/hurdle – that others could benefit from.
JB: We see a lot of great insights on the impact brands’ stories can have over a wide variety of audiences. One key factor of success is a brand’s ability to leverage their advocates’ social streams and reach in a consistent, compelling way that aligns with their overall brand story and position.
We work with both non-profit and for profit clients, and the insight here is the same – have continuity of messaging so content follows brand guidelines. From a Foundation perspective, we support these organizations in amplifying their message through their people. With Markr, non-profits and foundations can have a powerful voice by being able to cultivate a single, consistent advocacy conversation.
As an example, if you are a Foundation in support of equal marriage rights, we could support creating a campaign that unified your message and perspective across Facebook and Twitter to ensure content is ‘on-message’ and consistent. As we can see, this type of storytelling can support and mobilize the passing of significant legislation that moves our country to a more equal society.
WF: With so many organizations sharing purposeful stories, sustainability credentials, and philanthropic programs, what’s your advice for how brands can stand out?
JB: Keep it simple and powerful. On social media, you have 5 seconds to get your message across. Our mission is to help brands create a ‘social bumper sticker’ that has a high level of resonance in those first 5 seconds. A key way to achieve this is making your message visual. Here, you still need to capture attention during the first few seconds a viewing, and so a video, for instance, should sometimes not be more than 10-15 seconds.
WF: If there is one piece of advice you would give to brands looking to build their business through social purpose, what would it be?
JB: Tap into your employee advocacy network. If you are proud of what you do as a brand, and the people that work for you are too, they are a big resource and group of ambassadors to tap into. As much as you make up your brand, so do your employees. Here, you need a safe way to cultivate that ambassador / group voice and support employees in creating invaluable UGC; with Markr, we do just that.
JB: There are so many people trying to do good things. It’s refreshing to be in a room where all that is happening.
WF: If you had to give someone one reason to come to the event next year, what would it be?
JB: It’s overwhelming, in a good way. You’ll be so impressed being surrounded by such a high caliber of people. It will give you the understanding and knowledge of the amazing passion that is out there.