The Toyota Scion social media campaign is amazing for two reasons. First, the casestudy written by the agency lists a few „rules“ for social media strategy which I find quite interesting. You can find those listed below.

The second thing: in the case study, it sounds like a huge, complicated social media campaign, when read quickly. But instead, it’s just a crowd sourcing campaign from what I can see. Users can create their own scion crest on the Scion Speak Website, download it, upload it to facebook or stick it to their car. Nothing more, nothing less. One of the key parts of the campaign was engaging a grafitti artist, who designed all the details you could use to create the crest:

With Scion, we ensured that we developed Scion Speak in collaboration with the Scion enthusiast audience. In fact, we used some of the leaders of the existing online Scion communities to help us to develop the Scion design language. We also ensured that this brand site was designed for purely social and expressive purposes and did not feel like a corporate or money-generating venture.

So apart from the general idea, which seems to fit well to the target audience here are the social media strategy considerations that were mentioned in the casestudy:

Define the key social behaviors of your target online. Where are they socializing? What are the social habits, (e.g., Forrester has social-networking consumer profile segments such as critics, spectators, sharers, etc.) online?

Identify your brand’s social behavior and objective in the social space. How should it socialize with your target? What is the brand’s primary purpose in the social network? Facilitating self-expression? Listening? What is its role at this social party and what useful tools can it create to facilitate this?

Create social-media content; don’t advertise on it. If you’re not providing content, ensure that you are providing a useful service. Social media helps people manage their social lives. It enables them to do something they are already interested in. It gives them the tools to allow for this. Social media provides a service—information, connection points, etc.

Be careful you’re not duplicating established social communities. If your audience is using a strongly established community (i.e., recipe sharing), why create a duplicate, marketing-based branded version of the same community? Why would your target leave the existing community for a branded version of the same offer?

Don’t hijack consumers’ social networks. At the least, marketers should be invited into the social culture. But even better, marketers should create their own culture that consumers want to join. They should also be mindful of forcing friends to endorse products among their peers. Users should be voluntary brand ambassadors, not an enforced sales force.

These points might make it into my set of powerpoint slides regarding social media.