When it comes to customer engagement, there are some brands that just do it right. Each audience is different and expects a certain type of brand to customer interaction depending on your brand's persona. Even between social media platforms, companies should make sure to tailor the message accordingly. Here are three brands that do customer engagement and crowdsourcing right!
Taco Bell Gets Engaged
When Taco Bell sent handwritten letters and "engagement" rings to a handful of up and coming models and actresses, it was the perfect type of social action to grab their audience's attention. With their followers constantly tweeting, "Marry me, Taco Bell!" the socially savvy brand listened to their audience to better understand what they like and what motivates them. The recipients posted pictures of themselves wearing the rings across their social media platforms, tagged Taco Bell and as a result, allowed Taco Bell to further their reach on social media.
Taco Bell's strategy for brand interaction and crowdsourcing shows their audience that they care about what they think, thus gaining brand loyalty. Taco Bell is an example of a brand that listens, hears and takes action, making their audience the focal point of their social media marketing efforts.
Melanie Duncan Gets Her Audience Involved
Melanie Duncan of Entrepreneuress Academy takes a different approach to customer engagement. As Melanie frequently teaches and speaks about modern selling, she wanted to ask her audience about their online shopping habits. By asking her audience to get involved in her research process, Melanie engages her customers and creates a sense of community.
By conducting research and crowdsourcing her data publicly on her Facebook Page, Melanie provides proof that she is a thought leader in her industry with hard data to back it up. By engaging her audience in this way, Melanie makes it easier for a customer to make a purchase from her in the future because she has established a certain brand trust.
Starbucks Draws From Their Creative Clientele
Throughout history, coffee houses have been known as a social gathering place. The historian Brian Cowan describes English coffee houses as, "places where people gathered to drink coffee, learn the news of the day, and perhaps to meet with other local residents and discuss matters of mutual concern (Wikipedia)."
When Starbucks invited audience members to decorate their iconic white cups, it was the ideal type of engagement for their target market. As coffee houses are known to be a gathering place where intellectuals, artists, and other creatives can meet, Starbucks perpetuates and draws from this connotation, further establishing a sense of community both online and in person.
To Starbucks, customer opinion matters greatly. In addition to crowdsourcing content, Starbucks is also known to include their audience in major company decisions. MyStarbucksIdea.com, a place where Starbucks customers can give their opinions and vote for changes, has been around for over six years. Some big ideas have emerged from the site, including skinny lattes, cake pops and splash sticks (source). By allowing customers to help make these kind of decisions, Starbucks makes them feel included, all while strengthening the Starbucks brand.
For all brands using social media, cultivating customer engagement and crowdsourcing content that your audience cares about can create a sense of brand trust, strength and loyalty that can't be manufactured. As this marketing strategy advances, brands that include crowdsourcing will be able to attain a certain level of brand strength that their crowdsourceless counterparts will not be able to achieve.
By listening to your audience and taking action accordingly through crowdsourcing, your brand can engage your current audience, reach new ones and build a sense of brand trust that your competitors will not be able to match.
"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." - Walter Landor