Social Media Success Stories: Blendtec
Blendtec is a company that began producing grain mills in the 1980's and now produces blenders for commercial and personal use. The way their social media success came about is so simple, it's brilliant. CEO Tom Dickson grew up putting big engines in little things. In order to test the capabilities of the blenders that he invented, he would attempt to blend items like wood, marbles and golf balls. As a company full of engineers, Blendtec did not have a strong social media presence until one day when the company's first marketing director witnessed Tom's testing techniques and knew they would be marketing gold.
The marketing director suggested that Tom start making videos of his tests and start using more and more obscure items. They posted these videos on YouTube and the Will It Blend? series exploded. Since the Blendtec YouTube channel was created in 2006, the videos have had over 172 million views. Needless to say, this did wonders for their brand awareness. Blendtec became a household name to people who would have never really thought about buying a blender; so, when they did want to buy a blender, guess who they turned to. The sales of the product that Tom uses in the videos has increased over 1000%, and this is due primarily to the Will It Blend? video series.
When I asked Blendtec's marketing department what their advice to business owners would be, they said "be genuine, and create original content that people will love to see". Blendtec did not hide the fact that their CEO was quirky and liked to tinker with blenders in a way that most people wouldn't; This transparency has made Blendtec millions of dollars. They don't pretend that their CEO has no personality, because there is no appeal in that. Social media is all about being raw and unedited as a business. I am not saying that you should lose your professionalism online, but don't be afraid to have a little bit of fun and show the world that there are real people behind your company name.
It didn't cost Blendtec much money at all to start shooting these videos so you can forget the idea that you have to invest a lot of money in social media for it to be worth your while. They simply set up a nice backdrop, bought a product, and destroyed it with a blender. It's simple genius at its best. So when you are thinking about your next social media campaign, try to keep it simple. People all share similar instincts and curiosity is one of them. I don't know a person alive who wouldn't be curious to see what would happen to an iPhone in a blender. If Blendtec can make blenders captivating, then you can make your product or service interesting as well.
Follow Heidi Thompson on Twitter