Who ever said eavesdropping was a bad thing? It can feel a little weird at first – like you’re jumping in to give your opinion without being asked. But if you think about it, it’s just like overhearing. For example, as a bakery owner, if you heard two people walking down the street discussing which cupcakes were the best in town, you’d definitely perk up your ears and maybe even jump in. Why not apply that logic to your social media strategy?
A lot of brands do a great job responding to users who talk to them first by mentioning or tagging them, and a some are taking the extra step to search for potential conversations to join that go beyond their own brand.
Brands should take a proactive approach with social listening. Learn their language and speak in a brand voice that embraces them. When sweetFrog came to Big River with the goal of using social media to increase traffic through their existing stores, the first step was to analyze the social media habits of sweetFrog customers. The goal was to understand what channels they were on and what language they used. How did the brand fit into their lives?
We found that people love sweetFrog (no surprise there). We saw selfies, sweet daddy-daughter dates, and a lot of having fun with food.
Those insights were used to inspire a creative social campaign across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram– the summer of sweetFrog Challenge. All of the content, including calls to action, was influenced by behavior that we found to be intuitive to the sweetFrog audience. We encouraged playing with food and sparked creativity in fans. They already loved engaging with the brand, we just wanted them to do more of it.
With any social campaign, you need to be nimble. Even with a campaign rooted in customer insight, you need to constantly monitor audience reaction and adjust accordingly. The sweetFrog Challenge was an 8 week campaign with themed weekly photo challenges. We kept each week’s theme tentative. We reviewed social listening reports and social analytics before committing to the next step of the plan. For several weeks, we made shifts to the creative after learning from the reactions to the previous week.
Instead of just pushing out content, there were conversations. sweetFrog played along with fans, complimented their photos and even heard personal stories that intersected with the brand – fans shared birthdays, first dates (sometimes with parental supervision), celebrated cancer recovery and even rewarded themselves for being brave during shots at the doctor’s office. Although high participation was expected, the personal and heartwarming stories were beyond anything that our team could have predicted.
The conversation didn’t stop at mentions and the campaign hashtag: #sweetFrogChallenge . Social listening was used to identify opportunities for deeper real time connections with customers. These deeper connections led to customers coming back again and again. We saw users participate in multiple in-store challenges, indicating repeat store visits.
Social media gives you the opportunity to “overhear” your customers any time you’re willing to listen, and the rewards can be pretty sweet ;) Check out the full case study here.