Can Brands Be Anti-Social?

AdAge published a column that focuses on social media, claiming that it is perfectly OK to be a little antisocial in one’s social marketing efforts. Although the post does make some valid claims, what it says is the “truth” about social media is a little off. Contrary to what the column claims, it is actually really important to try and spur a two-way dialogue with fans on social destinations like Facebook and Twitter.

Many social-media “experts” insist that a “two-way conversation” between marketers and consumers is the whole point of social, and anything less than that is a reflection of outdated, broadcast-style thinking. But the reality is that many people follow and friend brands simply because they want to hear from those brands, not necessarily talk back.

Yes, the majority of consumers are not talking back, but that just might mean that marketers are not doing all that they can in social media. When Kimberly-Clark’s Huggies Hong Kong launched its Facebook fan page with a Baby-Bus campaign last year, it had no idea that within just three weeks the fan base would surpass 115,000 to become the second largest Facebook brand page in Hong Kong. Beyond that, Huggies HK was able to not only speak to its target audience, but also got them to talk back to the brand.

The campaign asked parents to upload their baby’s photo to the Huggies HK Facebook page. Through interaction and activities taking place on the Facebook page, the Huggies HK fan page appeared in Facebook newsfeeds 10 million times in a city of 7 million residents in just one month. More than 4,000 photos were submitted, and the 60 most popular ones were featured on 10 double-decker buses. Due to an overwhelming response to the campaign, Kimberly-Clark bought additional space on a 30-foot outdoor advertisement to feature all 4,000 participating babies. In a separate effort conducted in January of this year, Huggies encouraged parents to showcase their active babies by sharing videos on the brand’s YouTube channel. Thousands of mommy-made videos have been uploaded to date.

The Huggies social campaigns are examples of ways that brands can and should get consumers to talk back.

To read the AdAge Article click here.  You can follow them on Twitter @adage.

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