Outside the Box…but maybe not?

Throughout this course we have looked at how social media can support marketing goals.   So what stands out as an unexpected use or application of social media to do that?  I think that the answer lies in the customer engagement end of the spectrum, and less in the conventional marketing end.

When you look to engage customers you are really working hard to communicate either by delighting, entertaining, or informing them on things that matter to them, AND you want them to react—you want to hear from them.

So while you may want to spend time on the attributes of your product and why it’s a great benefit that’s not where social media works best.

The surprising applications in campaigns that stuck with me were examples like the KLM campaign which grew out of the Icelandic volcano eruption that stranded passengers all over the world in 2010.

The KLM team got everyone involved from managers to flight attendants, set up a war room, and built a Facebook, Twitter, social media response campaign that helped their stranded customers and bypassed the phone log jams.  It was an application born out of a crisis that eventually became a brand marketing strategy.    See more here.

Another winner for me was the Old Spice Response Campaign where Old Spice followed up the hugely successful Smell Like A Man, Man campaign with a real time response campaign across a variety of social media platforms.   The elements of using social media like a live sports broadcast, then personalizing responses to individuals and allowing customers to get in on the fun, drove brand engagement and ROI through the roof.

The commonality of elements here are that these were quick turn-around responsive uses of social media that capitalized on engagement.

With the upcoming possibilities in the “internet of everything” I think the real winners will be those who take some of these lessons in responsiveness and apply them to the world where everything engages and talks to us.

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