Mastering social media engagement can bring up a load of questions for brands…
- “So, we should try to sound like we’re having fun?”
- “So, we sell stuff by not exactly selling stuff?”
- “So, we should just talk to people about whatever?”
And, when you tell them the answers to all of the above are, “yes,” it makes things even more confusing.
That’s because brands tend to tragically over think what social media engagement should look and sound like.
At the end of the day, the easiest way to engage with your social audience is simply to talk to people like you’d like to be talked to.
The case of the yummy yogurt.
Mirroring back the behavior and tone which is being relayed to us is the key to successful communication, both online and face-to-face.
For example, let’s look at this Twitter exchange between a brand and I from last week…
Here’s how the exchange went down:
- First, I eat some Chobani yogurt that I’ve never had before (It is raspberry with dark chocolate chips, and damn delightful.) Being a social junkie, I immediately take to the interwebs to document this momentous occasion. Because I am also a social media consultant, I tag Chobani in my post to see if they are monitoring their name.
- They are! Chobani responds, making it clear that they actual read my tweet (Soooo many brands miss the boat on this first step.) They cleverly refer to their brand, (“CHO gods”) in their response, but wisely avoid the brand positioning mumbo jumbo many use that can sound like a toddler who just made his first pee pee in the potty, (“WE MADE THAT YOGURT! WE DID THAT! DO YOU LIKE US? HUH? DO YOU?”)
- While most brand exchanges would have ended with this back-and-forth, I decide to push it and toss the conversational ball back to them, (Cause now we’re having a conversation.)
- Chobani responds again, and wraps the conversation up nicely.
Bravo, Chobani. Brav-freakin-o.
You may be thinking, “So what? How did any of this help Chobani sell yogurt?”
- I am not being paid by Chobani to eat their stuff, tweet about their stuff or blog about their stuff. And yet I’ve chosen to do all of the above in the past week simply because I had a positive experience with them. My social footprint (and the audience for this pro-Chobani content) isn’t gigantic, but that still nets them an awful lot of free exposure simply for typing 31 words to communicate back-and-forth with me.
- Because I appreciate good marketing (And good packaging…did I mention the yogurt came in teeny mini containers? Adorable!) and have historically found this yogurt to be good quality, I am likely to remain a loyal Chobani customer. By putting forth the effort to acknowledge my enjoyment, they earned both my loyalty and my money. (Does Yoplait joke around with me when I tweet about them? Do they even care what I think of their yogurt at all? I think not.)
- Because I’m likely to become a repeat buyer of Chobani’s yogurt, it’s not just going to build brand loyalty for me, but other people in my house, too. My eight year old daughter has been angling to get a crack at “mommy’s yogurt” for days now, (I think it’s because it’s so stinkin little and cute. Seriously Chobani, the teeny packaging is irresistible.) And, since it’s way healthier than giving her a bag of chips or some “fruit” snacks, I’ll share it with her.
- You just read this story and may now think differently about the Chobani brand. You also might be more apt to remember their name (now that I’ve said it about a dozen times) and pick some up the next time you see it in a store.
- They didn’t just do a good job being social with me. They do a good job being social with everyone. So, I’m likely not the only one sending them link love and free promotional gushing.
According to their social strategist, Nicki Briggs, Chobani’s approach to social media is “…about delivering the best experience possible every time. We want to be warm and quirky, engaging and inviting.”