I've been watching and reading all the coverage of social media as the place to be for branding. But my brands (Kantar Media and SRDS) are b-to-b, and I'm not sure how much attention I can commit to it or how much I can deliver in terms of an engaging experience in social media. I'm lucky if you're reading this post, and I'm hopeful, but realistic, that you follow SRDS on Twitter or on Facebook.
A recent study from the Rochester Institue of Technology says the 52% of U.S. online consumers have liked, followed or subscribed to a company, brand or store via social networking or email. But the kicker is that close to a third of these consumers later turn off the social connection, for a variety of reasons. And they view that entity they've disliked more negatively, shop/visit and spend less.
So how do we make the social media relationship meaningful, especially when each follower wants something different from the connection?
When we ask someone to follow us, are we really just asking them to give us their attention? What are we giving them? Within a few days of reading the study, I saw two big consumer brands actively giving something back to their followers.
Oreo is very active around their 100th anniversary, and there's a lot the brand is doing right in social media. Recently, they celebrated one of their millions of fans with this post: "Fan Lisa T. was born in 1912 - the same year Oreo cookies were introduced. Wish her a special happy birthday below!" It's part of ther Oreo Moments Gallery, which gives people a chance to interact with the brand. And it makes me eat more Oreos.
(Did you know they're making different flavored fillings for different global regions? How can I get banana filling in Chicago?)
And what about Kraft Mac & Cheese? I liked Frankie & Dottie in their #oldbirdsnewtweets campaign in April.
They followed the old birds up with Likeapella. The Kraft team called out the industry, saying does a brand 'ever LIKE you back? KRAFT Macaronie & Cheese does."
They had an a capella group since a song that thanked all the fans who liked their Facebook page on April 26. Sure, the song is almost 7 minutes long, and I didn't actually listen to it all. But I would have if I was listening for my name. And I would have reposted it.
I also have to mention Allstate's Mayhem. It's a bit different, because all I expect from him is a post every other day, and he just keeps giving. He's like a family member at this point. And it's working, if you read the posts and pictures on his wall from his fans. "I'm the annoying radio song drivers scramble to change when they should be watching the road. Who can guess what song I am?" received almost 4,000 comments in just an hour.
What are you doing to give back to your social media followers? Is your regular content building your relationship or pushing followers away?