A burgeoning young target group which spends hours “connected” on social networks could be just one of the many reasons why companies are opting for social media marketing. For small business owners, a free Facebook page or a Twitter account is a platform to make their presence felt but for the biggies it’s much more…a place to launch a new brand, seek feedback, run a contest, conduct a poll or appease an irate customer.
There’s more to social media marketing than pictures, polls and posts. Here is a look at social media marketing endeavors which go beyond this…
Parle Agro- Matching Demand and Supply among Other Things!
If you thought social media was only useful to get feedback and gather a fan following, think again! Parle Agro used Twitter to get followers to Tweet whenever they found Hippo, their snack brand out of stock in a store with a promise to replenish stocks within a few hours. they got access to stock status reports at zero cost! In doing this, Parle Agro was able to increase Hippo sales by 76% within the first few months of the new campaign.
Next up… Parle Agro used Twitter as a platform to launch Hippo in a new format and flavor, based on consumer response.
Cafe Coffee Day- Using Social Media A Market Research Tool
Café Coffee Day, India’s largest coffee chain, is using social media as a market research tool. It began by using Facebook in February last year to conduct a poll on what merchandise consumers wanted at their outlets. This led them to sell personalized merchandise such as mugs and key chains at their outlets on Friendship Day. With their target consumers in the 14-19 age group and virtually living on social networks, this move boosted the popularity of their products and brand CCD!
Following this CCD decided to use social media once again when it moved to strengthen its dessert portfolio. They popped the question… Would you want more chocolate-based desserts or other desserts at CCD? To which a majority of consumers voted for more chocolate-based desserts and also gave the thumbs up to healthy desserts.
Additionally, the company also uses Twitter to track service shortages and good store experiences.
Vodafone’s ZooZoos, the egg shaped characters that have captured the interest of customers and viewers of the advertising campaigns have invaded the social media world. Vodafone took the popularity of its ZooZoos to another level courtesy social media by allowing users to vote for their favourite ads and take ZooZoo quizzes.
Encouraged by the response on social networks more specifically the Facebook page they created for it, the phone company released new ZooZoo ads on Facebook three hours before they were aired on television so their virtual fans saw the ads first. They also released virtual ZooZoo rakhis on Rakshabandhan, an event based marketing move.
Cadbury- Product Positioning
Cadbury used social media to build awareness about Bournville, its premium chocolate brand, through its Facebook page. The page carries snippets about cocoa, chocolate and Bournville thereby enlightening customers about the process of chocolate making and giving them interesting information.
Though not all companies have embraced social media marketing, many are realizing the reach and potential of a social media campaign. Not only are these campaigns powerful tools to engage customers but they are also playing an important role in image building and creating online communities.
Using contests and photo based campaigns and an event is something most companies are doing or have done at some point of time. What I have tried to highlight in this blog post is how companies are using social media with a twist. Yes, they are getting out there on Twitter and Facebook but they are using these free platforms innovatively so as to:
- Take stock and encourage customers to help them spot that empty slot on the shelf quicker than their own sales team
- Evolve and develop new flavors and products
- Collaborate and co-create products and services with the end users
- Partner in branding and brand building
- Integrate social media campaigns with other advertising campaigns
- Launch products and services
- Create a buzz like no other!
- Apologize and make amends for poor service or a defective product
Social media is something that companies cannot avoid any more simply because that’s where most of their customers are. It makes reaching out to them quick, easy and effective; probably why social media is part and parcel of marketing campaigns today.
With companies like Parle, Vodafone, Cadbury, Café Coffee Day and Barista having explored the medium last year, the time for testing the waters is long gone. For them it is now time to ride the wave and have fun while they do it!
Featured Image courtesy RDECOM