Bose Corp. has turned up the volume on social media activation to better connect with fans, tell different types of stories and extend the shelf life of its partnerships.

In his presentation at IEG 2018, Pat LaCroix, Bose head of global media and alliances, discussed five lessons learned on being a social-first brand.

Become part of the conversation in an authentic way
Authenticity plays a critical role in social media outreach. Sponsors need to integrate their products in a way that is authentic to fans.

Bose leverages its NFL partnership with Super Bowl-themed headphones. The company distributes the headphones to athletes, influencers, and, most importantly, fans.

“It allows them to be part of the Super Bowl experience.”

Give partners a story to tell through their own voice
A social-first strategy requires a steady stream of content to keep distribution channels firing and engagement going.

Bose educates influencers about its marketing priorities and brand cues, which allows them to tell stories on the company’s behalf.

“People like Russell Wilson and Lewis Hamilton tend to have their own communication playbook, so we try to lean into that and find the best story to tell from a shared value standpoint.”

Bose leveraged its partnership with Hamilton with a video that featured the Formula 1 driver listening to music on Bose headsets during a workout.

Capitalize on timing to maximize relevance
Bose looks to leverage content around tentpole events and other moments that drive conversation.

“We’re always looking for the big heartbeats of a partnership where we can tell a story.”

Bose went into the 2017/2018 NFL season with a plan to leverage the Super Bowl rematch between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots. The company created content that featured Julio Jones (Atlanta Falcons) and Julian Edelman (New England Patriots), both of whom endorse the company.

“It was going to be a Sunday Night Football game and a Super Bowl rematch. We were psyched about the potential to tell that story.”

Be nimble and ready to adjust plans
While Bose was expecting to see a lift in earned media and social media pickup from the rematch video, the company ran into a problem. Edelman tore his knee and had to sit out the season.

“We spent a lot of time, money and energy on this amazing content, and now we weren’t going to be able to run it.”

The lesson learned: Stay nimble and keep your options open.

For Bose, that meant repositioning the content with a video that featured Jones seeking revenge from the team that beat him in the Super Bowl.

“All things considered, we ended up standing tall.”

Capture content in real time
No one can predict the future. As a result, sponsors need to have something to say no matter who wins a game or what happens to an athlete.

Rather than focusing on athletes going into the 2018 Super Bowl, Bose placed emphasis on the fans. The strategy: give fans access to the teams they love.

Bose leveraged the runup to the game with video content that captured the excitement of the Super Bowl through the lens of four NFL super fans.

Finish the story
In addition to leveraging content leading up to a major event, sponsors need to follow the story through to its completion.

Bose’s Super Bowl content featured a Philadelphia Eagles fan celebrating her team’s victory, as well as the dejected New England Patriots fan.

“It was a great way to connect with the (four) fans, allow them to be front and center with the brand, and give them experiences that money can’t buy.”