How to Meet Your Consumers’ Social Media Expectations

Already on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest? Then you have taken the first baby steps to understanding what your consumers expect. The crucial part of being commercially successful on social networks, however, isn’t just to have a profile or account. Obviously. It’s to understand how your consumers expect to communicate with you, expect you to add value to their social network experience, and how you can combine your consumers’ wants with your own interests. However, with the maturity of social media and the use thereof, what consumers want has changed over the years. I will take a look at what consumers expect today.

In a recent report from Get Satisfaction, the expectations of this so-called 2nd generation of social media consumers versus the actions of brands have been sized and measured to give a status of how brands navigate in the landscape of social networks. A landscape that holds a promise of great marketing potential to brands if approached correctly.
The main difference between social media consumers previously  versus today is in the nature of their expectations towards brands’ interaction and participation in communities on social networks.

 

Nurturing a community

According to the report, 50% of today’s consumers have a strong preference for “Branded Customer Communities”, e.g. Facebook pages with a huge emphasis on user interaction and a decreased focus on direct product engagement. 

 

Consumers do not join a Facebook community to learn more about a product from the mouth of the brand per se. Instead, they join the community to receive brand relevant content, to join in on the brand image – and potentially to hear the community members’ opinion on the product. This means that when considering whether to buy a product or not, consumers today will not initially search the brand’s Facebook page for information. Not surprisingly, they are much more likely to do a general Google search to find forums with consumer reviews on the specific product. At least, this is the initial step in the conscious part of the information search.

 

Why they choose you!

This does not mean that your brand’s Facebook page isn’t part of the decision process at all when it comes to buying products. On the contrary! Today, consumers will use your Facebook page to look for relevant content, the level of customer care and interaction between the fans and the brand, as a way to determine whether they want to buy into the brand image. According to an infographic by Conversocial for Zendesk, 50% of the consumers would not buy a company’s product, if they found that customer service and care on the Facebook page was lacking:

 

Where consumers previously were easier to impress with shiny brand pages and pretty product photos, today they want a community that gives them something extra. It is much more question of give and take, push and pull, between brand and customers than merely just brands pushing product information to consumers. Consumers want both content that can help build their own social identity and they expect to enter into a direct dialogue with a brand through social networks. And they expect the brands to respond! Responding to your fans’ questions and complaints is therefore not just a question of general community maintenance, but also a question of growing the community and thereby the power of Word of Mouth that spreads throughout your fans’ news feeds. According to the report, 58% of consumers have liked a Facebook page they noticed through their friends’ Facebook activity.

Despite this demand for direct interaction and customer care on the social networks, the Zendesk survey participants also drew a pattern of fans being very easily satisfied in terms of brand effort. As the numbers show, though consumers today expect brand engagement and interaction, they are not looking for looooong explanations or remorseful apologies. They simply want to be acknowledged by the brand:

 

Concluding on the social media users of today, the importance of meeting their expectations of relevant brand interaction is key. Consumers focus on the community aspect of social networks more than ever before, so if you want to be a success, you have to show that you are willing to add value to the community members. If you want your fans or followers to contribute something to your community (e.g. word of mouth to their network), as a brand you need to commit to the community as well. Acknowledge your community and engage!

 

 

View the full Zendesk infographic here
Read the full Get Staisfaction report here

 

 

 

Why Oreo’s ‘Daily Twist’ is one of our all-time favorite social media campaigns

Few cookies have reached the same level of iconicity as Kraft Foods’ Oreo. Its round shape, blackish color and white cream stuffing have undeniably added to its success but as a social media agency we wonder: where would the crowd-pleasing, twistable cookie be today without effective social media marketing?

Let’s zoom in on one of their global digital and social media campaigns that reached millions of hearts (and mouths) and delivered proof that even cookies can provide endless food for thought. We are talking about the wildly successful ‘Daily Twist’ campaign that saw a 110% growth in fan interaction per social-media post only a few months after the campaign was launched. Even though the campaign dates back to 2012, in our view, it earned a spot among the best food branding campaigns on social media ever. Here’s why…

It used milestones and pop culture events to create engagement

2012 was the year that America’s favorite cookie turned 100. Needless to say, it was a cause for celebration.

Every day for 100 days, the Oreo was given a different “twist” – styled to look like Elvis, a panda bear or like the surface of Mars after the Mars Rover had driven over it. On the ‘Daily Twist’ site, users could suggest their “twist”. The campaign was driven on Facebook and also featured on Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.

The Oreo twists were especially created to spark conversation and sharing, referring to milestones or pop culture events that people could relate to and share their thoughts about.

It had timely and shareable content combined with an element of surprise

While some of the cookie designs were planned ahead like the Olympics or Labor Day, others were more agile, tapping into events like the premiere of ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, the release of the iPhone5 and the birth of a Chinese panda bear. Monitoring trending topics and utilizing current events ensured the content was always relevant and timely. Couple that with the surprise of what each day would bring, and you’ve got a campaign worth tuning into.

They exercized strong brand values

The campaign kicked-off with the Gay Pride rainbow cookie in recognition of the LGBT community, much to the chagrin of conservative crowds.

The Facebook post set off a heated online debate that even led opponents of gay marriage to call for an Oreo boycott. But while supporters and opponents were fighting their online battle, the rainbow cookie doubled Oreo’s fan growth.

By having a strong stance and sticking to it, Oreo established itself as a courageous brand amongst its more liberal fans.

The campaign had an integrated marketing approach, combining the offline and online worlds

The campaign finale took place at Times Square in New York. They set up a pop up agency there, from which they designed the last ‘Daily Twist’, based on suggestions from fans. Earlier that morning, the brand had asked its Twitter followers and Facebook fans to offer ideas, which were going up live on a billboard. Creatives would select the best ones and three of them were then put to an online vote. The winning cookie, celebrating the anniversary of the first high five, was designed on the spot and was displayed on a big billboard.

A seamless flow between the online and offline worlds, and the mix of social and traditional marketing allowed for a greater experience and showed that Oreo mastered the integrated marketing approach.

It put the product in the center – without being self-centered

Oreo’s ability to put their product at the center of the campaign and still make the content relatable and entertaining for a massive range of users is (in our opinion) the most important factor in the success of the ‘Daily Twist’ campaign. The content was heavily branded, yet still relevant, timely and shareable – without ever begging for likes, comments and shares.

Lessons learned

The ‘Daily Twist’ campaign set an example of how important it is to create content that resonates with your audience. There are many ways to find out what moves your fans. For Lurpak®, we identified what kind of recipes the audience was searching for. As a result, we created content that we already knew people wanted to engage with. Read how we did it here.