We don’t have to talk about how big Facebook is anymore. They bought Instagram for $1 billion. 800 million active users are registered. Almost every company has a brand page. What seems to be forgotten time-to-time though is why it has become the platform it is. It is the way in which people act and behave that has formed Facebook; people has a need to connect, to be part of a community and to express their identity. Facebook is a platform that allows for users to maintain these needs, and constantly develops to improve it. The social kernel of Facebook’s structure is thus why it has become such a success.
When someone interacts with your brand page on Facebook, it will tell something about that person’s identity. In this post I want to put focus on the social kernel and why it is important to have it in mind when you build communities and costumer relationships through Facebook.
A case study
Huggies, a company providing diapers, baby products and baby supplies, wanted to increase their exposure in Hong Kong, and at the same time launch their brand page on Facebook.
A common passion that all parents have in common is of course their babies – and they love sharing photos and moments in their children’s lives. Inspired by this universal passion Huggies created a campaign that encouraged photo sharing in a way to build lasting customer relationships.
Huggies asked fans in Hong Kong to upload their favourite baby snapshots to their Facebook page. The 60 photos receiving the most fan votes would appear on the city’s buses. Using Facebook Ads to help drive campaign awareness, Huggies gathered 4,000 photos from engaged fans in a span of just three weeks. As a thank-you to fans, Huggies made the decision to also mount a 30-foot-long billboard featuring the entire photo collection in one of Hong Kong’s busiest subway stations.
The brand understood their target group’s social behavior and by that, they gained valuable results:
- In the three months following the Facebook campaign and other integrated marketing activities, Huggies HK grew their market share 4,2 percent and had its best quarter ever in sale.
- The brand succeeded to reach a fan base of 120,000 people. An amount of people that further meant a potential reach of 7 million friends-of-friends to build upon for future campaigns.
- Huggies became one of the fasting growing brand page in Hong Kong. Another important outcome was the emotional bond that was established with the fans. Costumers perceive Huggies as an innovative brand that brings much more values than just selling products.
- The campaign was social by design, right from the beginning. The social kernel was identified and strategies for how to involve their target group worked in line with it. Not only was it easy for people to share photos of their babies, people could connect with a community of other parents. Fans became involved as a part of the brand, and on the other hand, the brand got a part of their costumers’ social life. Integration between on and offline media made it possible for wider spread and a motivation for people to engage and co-create.
Get to know your target group: What value can you bring them? What social behavior of theirs can your brand connect to? When this is identified, you can start to build your community and lasting costumer relationships. If you want to dig more into social design, you can read my blog post Social Design for Social Success.