While working on a recent project, I was asked to manage a branded Facebook community that already had a very active following. Problem was, the brand presence up to that point was minimal and the community resembled something from William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Lacking an official brand voice, a group of extremely engaged advocates rose to power.
Though their participation and assistance was appreciated, there was a clear need for an official presence in the community. However, we knew that this would not be a simple undertaking. We acknowledged the threat of backlash and carefully crafted our entry strategy to minimize turmoil. As we put our plan into action, five highly effective practices shone through:
Without an official morning greeting each day, the tone and attitude of the community can be completely unpredictable. In the case of our project, it was almost assured that the tone would be negative without subtle intervention. Opening each day with a lighthearted greeting and a fun call to action enabled us to announce our presence, engage advocates, align conversation, and put community members in a positive mindset—all in one fell swoop.
Clear and consistent communication of community guidelines is an absolute must. If a post is removed because it is in violation of guidelines, follow up and explain why the action was taken. Also, if the community does not have 24-hour management, it is important to communicate the parameters for working hours and response times. This prevents community members from feeling ignored if they post after hours. Eventually the community members will learn how to operate within a structured environment.
A sudden brand presence within a community that has long been dominated by members can be jarring. Don’t be alarmed if a user’s first instinct is to disregard your opinion and look to others for affirmation. Building trust and credibility takes time, but with consistent participation and genuine interactions, it will surely happen.
Highly engaged community members often beat even the best community managers to respond. While this level of engagement is great, it often breeds incorrect information. Consistent brand messaging and presence teaches community members the community manager is the official word, even if it is contrary to responses from other members.
Lastly, pay tribute to the highly engaged community members who established themselves as experts prior to your arrival. Though there’s a new boss in town, their legacy is not forgotten! By acknowledging their efforts, the advocates know that their assistance is appreciated. If they agree to play nicely and provide respectful assistance to community members, there is no reason for them to stop doing what they’ve always done.
When the time comes to establish an official presence in your community, don’t take it lightly. This undertaking necessitates professional guidance and a wrong move can quickly turn the community against you. These five tips will help pave the way, but take time to make them your own based upon your community observations. Make special note of who your customers are, how they use social technologies, and what they expect from the brand and your overall community participation. Your level of consideration directly affects your success. Now get out there and claim your conch!
Ladies, let’s be honest: it can be really difficult to find a pair of jeans that fits well. Luckily, Levi’s addressed the problem head-on with Levi’s Curve ID – a line with a unique custom fit system focusing on a woman’s shape, not size.
Through the months of September and October, Levi’s stores across the globe are holding Custom Fit events to promote the Levi’s Curve ID line.
We’re lucky to have partnered with Levi’s on social campaigns such as Go Forth and Watertank. To complement the campaign, Levi’s asked for our help creating a link between the live fitting events and their robust social community. We created a Facebook experience to support the campaign and its 85+ unique, worldwide events.
Our efforts in this project included creating a photo gallery that pulls images from Picasa, an international event finder, and an updated Digital Fitting Room (DFR).
Levi’s country managers are tasked with taking pictures at each of their store events and uploading them to a Picasa album we set up via iPads and Eyefi. Once the photos are uploaded into Picasa, our Facebook application pulls the photos into the appropriate country so that women can see themselves on the Levi’s Facebook page and browse through real women all over the world who are, just like them, finding their Curve ID during the campaign.
International Event Finder
Once on the Facebook application, users can search for fitting events in their own country. They can also RSVP for specific store events through Facebook invites. We built this experience to be translated across ten languages to support a whopping 60 countries from Brazil to Poland!
Digital Fitting Room (DFR)
For those women who aren’t able to attend an event, we localized a unique digital experience for them. Once on the Facebook application, women can click through to the Digital Fitting Room that we built in so that they can find their own Curve ID.
To create this Digital fitting room experience, we took Levi’s regular DFR application, Facebook-sized it and added Facebook sharing capabilities so that it could live in the Facebook environment. This was a challenge given the local requirements of each country – some countries have three Curve IDs to choose from, while others have four.
The application has been live for several weeks now, and so far, we’ve had great results. The lesson learned is simple: celebrating women’s curves through Levi’s with the help of a translated Facebook app makes us all feel just that much more connected.
Now that we’ve had some time to absorb the changes in the space during Q3, let’s take a look back at the big announcements, compare the new landscape to the changes from the second quarter, and project what will have the most impact for Q4 of 2011. In a sentence, Facebook’s f8 developer conference contained more sweeping changes to the largest social platform (now 800 million users) since its launch in 2004. more
Youth marketing is one of those disciplines that seems to be perpetually plagued by a litany of common misconceptions, the most egregious of which is that in order to engage the youth consumer all a brand needs to do is start a Facebook page and then supplement it with an occasional Tweet.
While no one will dispute the influence Facebook wields within the confines of Generation-Y, it must be understood that mere presence of a page alone isn’t compelling or interesting enough to grab the attention of young consumers and transition them into the oh-so elusive brand advocate. This approach of marketing at youth culture is not only boring from a creative perspective, but it’s also demeaning to the young consumers.
The advent of Facebook allowed Gen Y’s to cultivate a fascinating pathology as it relates to their consumption habits. They’re digital natives, constantly plugged in and tethered to their smartphones, iPads, and iPods; they place an unparalleled emphasis on the thoughts and recommendations of their network of friends; they’re hardwired to ignore the traditional marketing channels previously used by brands to inundate their parents with relentless and repetitive messaging; and perhaps most impressive, is their willingness to actively share and promote among their friends those brands and products that they believe stand for something.
In other words, Gen Y used social media to turn the entire establishment on its head and dictated to the marketers the terms for how they wanted to be communicated to. Brands that follow this directive are rewarded with intense loyalty and those who don’t are simply ignored. No offense to the protestors of the 1960s, but that, my friends, is a real revolution.
At Archrival | Dachis Group we take big-thinking brands and integrate them into youth culture. Whether you call them the Net Generation, iGeneration, Gen Y, Echo Boomers, the Tethered Generation, or just Millennials, the truth is that they are a tough audience to reach. In order to connect with this generation you must first understand this generation. But doing so will require you to take a much different approach than what most are doing. As Yoda said, “you must unlearn what you have learned.”
On November 3rd, Archrival | Dachis Group, in partnership with IG, will hold the first-ever Trend School in Austin, Texas. This special half-day edition will focus on the latest developments in technology, entertainment, fashion, lifestyle and marketing trends from IG’s ongoing study of young consumers. Culled from the most recent issues of The Cassandra Report, this immersive experience will feature interactive activities, including product demonstrations, a live panel of Gen Y consumers, and a creative workshop facilitated by these guys.
To learn more about cost and further details for this special Trend School session, please contact Allison Arling at firstname.lastname@example.org.