Brands: Going Social Just Makes You So Popular
For most brands now, social media is key. It reflects their personality. The chance to engage, react, promote. They can tackle problems instantly and get good press in the process. They can also go viral - brands love that. Sometimes it's not even from the brand themselves. Adam Paterson, an employee of ASDA, recently proved that...
Very happy to announce that i've renewed my contract with asda and will continue working weekends for the near future pic.twitter.com/PKOWnWtncT- Andrew Paterson (@AndrewPaterson_) February 27, 2015
That received almost 25,000 retweets and even got ASDA themselves involved, spreading a positive message about the brand across the globe. It's a simple, free, and entertaining way to interact with an audience and it may well boost your brand dramatically. It's worked for these brands anyway...
Oreo is not just the king of cookies, they're the king of social media too. So much so that they sparked a revolution in social media marketing. Back during the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo stole the show, outshining Joe Flacco and Colin Kaepernick with their real-time marketing when the lights went out in the stadium. By the time the lights returned, Oreo had received over 10,000 retweets and was talked about more than the blackout itself. The brand has over 42 million likes on Facebook and over half a million followers on Twitter, with them regularly posting videos and Vine videos with a variety of content. In fact, at the time of writing, a recipe video posted on their Facebook page had received 40 shares, 476 Likes, and 14,560 views less than an hour after posting. Their YouTube videos are the same, with posts regularly breaking the 100,000 views mark. And that's because they offer a service, in an incredibly light hearted manner. Offering recipes gives their channels value and something for users to return to. And it helps that they all contain Oreos too...
Why so serious... Worried about Friday the 13th? pic.twitter.com/IGCtlKgSdW- PokerStars (@PokerStars) March 13, 2015
Another brand that spends time heavily tweeting is PokerStars. Clearly a brand who values the importance of social media success, they are regular repliers to tweets, showing excellent customer service, a trait which has become more and more important in the last few years. Today, almost half of US consumers use social media to ask questions, and with only a 4.9% response rate, most brands are clearly missing a trick. However, the world's most popular poker brand is clearly not, even replying with various forms of media. Of course, they still do the bits we love too with fun competitions (including their recent #PokerOuts campaign) and interacting with poker stars themselves. It's perhaps that interaction which keeps fans returning to their feed again and again. You'll often see brands interacting with their ambassadors, for example L'Oreal Paris regularly tweets to Eva Longoria, who regularly tweets back. It creates an atmosphere in which fans can get involved with, and PokerStars is exactly the same. Naturally, they aren't communicating with members of the Desperate Housewives cast, but rather the world's most elite poker players such as Daniel Negreanu and Jason Mercier, who regularly have conversations about events the brand are putting on globally.
It's everyone's best friend in the bars and pubs across America, chatting away with good old Jack Daniels and Johnnie Walker, but we're also liking an awful lot online when it comes to Samuel Adams and their social media channels. Their recent HeliYUM ad, shown on April Fool's Day last year, gave an essence of the brand's personality, something which is vitally important in today's market. Matt Sullivan, former head of Esquire online and now Deputy Head of News at the Guardian US once said, "Traffic is nice, but conversation with the reader is nicer." And that works for the drinker too. Sam Adams' humorous piece went global and has been viewed over 676,000 times on YouTube as well as being shared right across the globe. Google it today and the rankings are full of blogs wishing the helium infused beer actually existed alongside top marketing magazines claiming it a hugely successful campaign for the brand. But that's not their greatest feat on social media. That lies with their crowdsourcing campaign back in 2012. Teaming up with Guy Kawasaki, the campaign named the Crowd Craft Project, allowed its Facebook friends to help design a new beer to debut at South by Southwest. Not only did the campaign become incredibly engaging, it also had pay-off at the end with users buying the product to see whether the taste, color, and clarity were close to what they suggested. Take note, marketers...
Starbucks has long been a superpower on Twitter, with their feed being as wired as you feel after having one of their coffees, but back in 2011 they began a campaign which was simply inspired. Allowing users to give the gift of coffee to other users by using the @tweetacoffee handle, it prompted around $180,000 in purchases and engaged over 27,000 fans, but that's only the half of it. Because of the Tweet a Coffee system, the brand linked 54,000 Twitter IDs to their mobile phones and customer IDs, giving them access to their Klout scores and allowing them to find just who are their most influential followers. It proved direct-response marketing can work through social media and has since spread beyond the United States and into Canada, using specific hashtags to generate further engagement. At the time of release Richard Burjaw, vice-president of Starbucks Canada said, "Tweet a Coffee is a brand new way for our customers to connect with friends and followers and share the gift of Starbucks instantly. Whether it's to say #thankyou, #congratulations or simply #justbecause we're thrilled to enable the ability for customers to spread some kindness." Of course that just meant further knowledge of their customers. Although in more recent times they've missed the mark slightly. Their Race Together campaign has received some criticism for being naïve, and even using racial tension simply to make profit. The campaign, which began just a few days ago, aims to stimulate conversation about race relations in the country, but has rather created a Twitter backlash with there no clear correlation between the cause and the company's product. Laura Ries, a branding consultant from Atlanta spoke of the campaign in the New York Post stating, "There's nothing wrong with talking about race relations. But is it something people naturally associate with Starbucks? It's not."
Compare that to Dove's campaign for Real Beauty, and you'll see the branding consultant's point. Dove's campaign has been a huge success for over a decade now, when they found market research found that only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful. They've put up billboards, been on talk shows, broadcast commercials, and this year they took it up a notch putting together a powerful social media campaign during The Oscars using the #SpeakBeautiful hashtag. Teaming up with Twitter themselves in order to have their say on a social cause, they used trending words to create a real buzz and promote real beauty.
Their campaign gained responses from the likes of Christina Cimorelli and major retailer JCPenney who commended their positivity. Not only has it created plenty of engagement for a cause that they, and plenty of women across the world, feel passionate about, it goes back to the aspect of creating a positive brand personality. And there's a lesson to be learned there for any business...
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