30 Seconds With: Larry Weintraub

Larry Weintraub
CEO, Social Media

Q: You blogged recently about the importance of answering the “Why do I care?” question when developing social media campaigns. What are some examples of brand s doing a good job of providing their customers with something of value?

A: There is a mad rush right now to get more people to “Like” you on Facebook. Success is being measured as how many fans you have and  not necessarily on how much those fans are actually engaging with your brand . There are plenty of ways to get people to “Like” you. You can give them free stuff like Starbucks did originally with their ice cream and  like Einstein’s Bagels did with a morning bagel and  cream cheese. You can use other platforms to drive “Likes” like Bing did by giving people Farmville cash when they “Liked” Microsoft’s Bing Facebook page. And then there are a host of underground spam merchants that will guarantee you “Likes” for pennies a piece. But getting fans is only part of the strategy, keeping them there is much more important. And challenging!

So what should you do? Simply put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. What would you want to see? What would make you come back again after you got your free stuff or were drawn there by a promotion or piece of exclusive content?

There is a lot of noise out there. The typical person only “Likes” a hand ful of brand s. They have so much going on in their lives and  they are engaging with their friends multiple times of day on Facebook, so if you are a brand , you really need to stand  out. Some of the brand s that are doing a great job with this:

Skittles – For Skittles, it’s all about weird content. Turns out there are about 18 Million who like to watch and  interact with like-minded weirdos.

Starbucks – Yes, they are the leaders in social media, but why is that? Because they listen to their customers. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said that last year’s growth was largely due to the fact that they actually listened to their customers and  that social media was a huge part of that.

GameStop – A year ago they didn’t have a Facebook page. Now they have 2.5 Million fans and  one of the most active Facebook pages of any retailer. Why? Because they have video game fanatics running their social media properties. If you want to see game trailers first, reminisce about games of yore, or get to meet the people that make the biggest games, then you visit every day.

Mountain Dew – Dew drinkers love to live on the edge. They are young passionate action sports fans. Once a year Mountain Dew introduces a new flavor and  when they do, they turn to their Facebook, Twitter, and  YouTube fans to help them create every element from choosing the flavor to actually making the television commercials. There are few brand s that give this kind of power to their fans.

Now step back. What are your favorite products? Why would you follow them on Facebook or Twitter? What could that bar of soap, that denim jean manufacturer, that potato chip maker do for you that would make you come back over and  over?

That’s where you start.

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