‘Tis the season of adoring gazes, candlelit dinners and sweet nothings, and what better way to capture the essence of Valentine’s Day than to turn to that much-beloved maestro of verbose romance himself, Sir William Shakespeare. Let us, however, explore that most virulent of emotions through a digital lens (rose-tinted or otherwise), focused unwaveringly on building emotional fervour and inducing feverish devotion in the social space through the insightful inspirations to be gained from some of the Bard’s most celebrated sonnets.

Sonnet 18: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?
Nay; rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and all that. There’s no need to compare the way you converse and interact with your audience to others; make your relationship special in its own little ways, whether it’s in your tone of voice, the content you create and curate, or the things you associate yourself with. If your brand is heartfelt, don’t try to be laugh-out-loud funny; if you’re given to deep insight and discussion, don’t dumb yourself down. Keep your fans loving you by constantly bringing them the experiences that attracted them to you, and, as the sonnet puts it so beautifully, thy eternal summer shall not fade.

Sonnet 29: When In Disgrace with Fortune & Men’s Eyes…
The last thing you want to do is say “It wasn’t me” or “We didn’t do it” or “We’re not responsible for that.” You’ve heard those ominous tales of brands that have failed to own up to their failings, or worse, tried to pin them on others; let’s just say it’s all downhill from there. If you have an issue, admit it, then deal with it. Giving yourself an aura of infallibility makes your brand aloof, unreal and difficult to identify with; on the other hand, erring is human, and forgivable, as long as you make amends. By making yourself relatable, you’ll be able to earn authentic trust, admiration and love; once you’ve built this form of powerful rapport, you’ll find that you too would scorn to change your state with kings.

Sonnet 1: From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase
In this sonnet, Shakespeare pleads to his ravishing (albeit unidentified) friend to start a family so that beauty’s rose might never die; similarly, once you’ve created something incredible with your brand, how do you ensure it lives on? What, in essence, could be the offspring of your labour of love? This is something that many brands forget about as they bask in the afterglow of a campaign’s successful climax; the follow-up, the what’s next, the now what? True social engagement with your audience isn’t a wham-bang, thank-you-Ma’am-style affair, but a relationship sustained through constant nurturing, conversation and interaction. Every campaign should give birth to another surprise, another innovation, another opportunity to engage; it’s a never-ending journey, just like the best love stories.

As you can see there’s so much love, and so much to love, when it comes to creating a sustainable, memorable and lasting social presence. To cite another seasonal cliché, love conquers all; you’d be surprised how much there is to gain from becoming something people have a powerful emotional attachment to. And what better time to begin than now, when love is in the air.

Have a passionate Valentine’s Day.

How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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