How a Learning Style Used By Teachers Could Help Your Social Media Campaign

Ensure your next social media campign or even just your website involves a visual, an audio and a kinesthetic element if you really want people to interact and GET your message.

Regular readers of Social Media Mashup may have seen our previous post concerning the Theory of Reasoned Action and its application to social networking. Recently though, I have been thinking about how another theory could be used to devise the perfect social media campaign.

blackboard social media


VAK was developed from Neuro-Linguistic Programming research (NLP), to aid teachers in identifying and applying certain learning styles. Individuals absorb information and learn in different ways; through their eyes, ears and through actions.

So VAK stands for:

Visual learners – will tend to prefer the use of picturesque language, maps, diagrams and pictures.

Audio learners – will tend to prefer discussion, listening to things and recitals (e.g. jokes or anecdotes)

Kinesthetic learners – will tend to prefer group work, hands on activities and books with strong plots (that they can immerse themselves in).

How Can This Be Applied to a Social Media Campaign?

Social media takes all manner of forms. It can be a competition that asks people to submit photos to Flicker or videos to Youtube. It maybe a journalist posting a sharable audio clip via Audiboo or an online application or game that lets users interact and connect with the brand. If you take the above definitions and swap the word ‘learner’ with computer user then you’ll see where i’m going with this….

Visual users will be most affected by a campaign that incorporates lots of imagery in to it. This may involve asking users to upload photos to a site or simply having a lot of imagery on your landing page to ensure stickyness.

Audio users will be most affected by a campaign that makes good use of sound. This could be a music remix competition or including plenty of vox pops or Audioboos in your campaign.

Kinesthetic users will connect with a campaign that get lets them get involved, share their experiences, discuss a product, service or event. They will be more likely to interact (and then buy your product) if there is an imersive nature to your campaign. Check out the latest online collaborative game made by 3M’s Post It © This will have connected with kinesthetic users due to its communal aspect. It also involves drawing images and so includes the visual aspect. all it needs is some audio and all three styles would have been present ensuring the greatest interaction.


So what all of the above suggests is that any social media campaign should contain elements of all of the above. Consider the award winning ‘Compare The Meerkat’ campaign done by VCCP for Compare the Market. This uses video through the adverts, audio through its radio ad’s (also available to listen to online) and immerses people through conversations on Twitter. The online social media campaign was supported by TV and radio adverts, reinforcing the brand and immersing kinethetic learners.

So make your your next social media campign involves a visual, an audio and a kinesthetic element if you really want people to interact and GET your message.

Soure for VAK definitions: Highland Learning & Teaching


Two Great Examples Showing the Versatility of the Social Media Platform

Two completely different and completely brilliant uses of social media.

This week has seen two perfect examples of why social media has become so huge in recent years. On the one hand we had a political party using Twitter as a tool for a live questions and answers session. At the other end of the economic spectrum we had Orange launching their ‘Spot the Bull’ competition. How did I find out about this comp? Twitter of course.

Put Your Question To David Cameron:

Conservative party leader David Cameron had an early shot at connecting with the ‘yoof”, but this ended in media ridicule following his ‘Hug a Hoodie’ speech. 

On Tuesday May 26th, the Conservative Party website hosted a Q & A session allowing members of the public (with internet access) to ask questions by leaving comments on the page or via Twitter.

conservative live

Using the functionality of CoveritLive the Conservatives pulled off a slick and well worked method of conversing and interacting with their online audience. Will it gain them any voters? Probably not but it improved my opinion of them.

Orange – Spot The Bull

Orange launched their now annual Spot the Bull competition, giving people the chance to win tickets to Glastonbury. Heres how it works (courtesy of Suzanne Bearne at NMA) “The competition, in its third year, challenges players to guess the location at 3pm each day of a bull, Desmond, whose position in a field is being tracked online…On choosing a location, players will be given specific information about the percentage of time Desmond has spent in that area and the percentage of people who have chosen that part of the field.” I’ve entered every day and am yet to guess the correct square but its still fun none the the bull

Orange have employed a PPC campaign with ads appearing for search terms such including ‘glastonbury tickets’. There was also mention of it round the Twittersphere and there is an Twitter feed called @spotthebull. This year Orange have made good use of mobile by allowing people to submit their guess by text. There is also a widget  “available to download for personal social networking profile pages and blogs, this features a countdown to the next ticket giveaway, the Spot The Bull twitter feed and images direct from Desmond’s field.”

Digital agency Poke are responsible for this great campaign.

So all in all two very innovative social media campaigns used in two very different ways going to show the versatility of social media as a platform.

What EXACTLY is Social Media…really… when you get down to it?

Social Media as a viable commercial option has arrived on the scene so quickly that I believe those that are not intimately connected with it, don’t really understand what it is. Then there are the people who think they know what it is eg. Oh yaaa lets put that on Twaddle and Facespace lets embrace Social Media (and look good in front of our peers/bosses)…don’t even talk to me about THEM. I’m not a social media SNOB but it annoys me in any walk of life when people jump on the bandwagon and the gravy train or just do things to look cool. Rant over.

Firstly to deal with the definitions:

Social – Some definitions ;

  • relating to human society and its members; “social institutions”; “societal evolution”; “societal forces”; “social legislation”
  • living together or enjoying life in communities or organized groups; “a human being is a social animal”; “mature social behavior”
Media – Some definitions;

  • In communication, media (Singular: Medium) are the storage and transmission tools used to store and deliver information or data. It is often referred to as synonymous with mass media or news media, but may refer to a single medium used to communicate any data for any purpose.
And finally social media;
  • Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words …
  • A category of sites that is based on user participation and user-generated content. They include social networking sites like LinkedIn or Facebook, social bookmarking sites like, social news sites like Digg or Reddit, and other sites that are centered on user interaction.
source: wikipedia (of course!)

Here’s 5 steps to get you on your way to a great social media campaign:

1) Choose the right people

If setting up a campaign, you should make sure that the primary research and finished product(s) is centered around the community. And any community is made up of individuals so you must ensure that any campaign appeals to your target tribe (thanks Seth)

but…you must also ensure that it appeals to each indiviual. If you can identify the individual that is the tribe’s ‘leader’ then so much the better. They are the online gatekeeper to your brand.

2) Choose the right technology (right)

Like else where in life; its not what you’ve got its how you use it. The aim isn’t to use the newest or most expensive technology. The aim is to get your target audience to engage with your brand. Now innovative technology may well do this but just using it for the sake of it won’t help anyone. A place for everything and everything in its place.

3) Give people a reason to interact with you

Why should anyone want to join your community. Just because you think your company/product/service is the bees knees, to everyone else you are just another soulless company trying to sell stuff. Give them a reason to love you and your product! Then if they love you they’ll tell their friends about you…which leads me on to…

4) Spread the word

Use all of the seeding channels you possibly can. Chat in forums, write in blogs, create groups on social networking sites. Get online editorials to review your campaign, bloggers to link to you. Identify key influencers and bloggers to make them aware of you. DON’T try and bribe them to write about you…they will probably write about it!

5) Be honest and transparant

Internet users are not dummys. They’ve been clever enough to find your video/game/application/widget so don’t insult them by trying to pull the wool over their eyes. You’ll give the impression of being a wolf in sheeps clothing…or a cat amongst the pigeons…

Never, ever pretend that you are doing anything other than that which you are doing i.e. trying to get their attention. In fact if following the AIDA model you should be trying to stimulate:


No-one likes fake people and no-one likes companies who pretend to be their best friend.

social media blog