So you’ve crafted the perfect PR campaign to create buzz for your new product launch. You’re now looking for ways to extend your reach and increase buzz. How could you amplify that buzz using Facebook? This is what we’ll touch on in this post with some examples from companies we think have done it well. Adding to elements of your Facebook content strategy will make a huge difference and ultimately benefit your clients as well.
Now, just how do you publicize the uniquely specialized and user-generated content that garners ‘likes’ and encourages fans to come back? The best way is to think: 1) creative and 2) always outside the box. Since you want to do something unique to attract visitors to your page think visual, think eye-popping, think fan engagement. A great example of this was the past Nescafé cover photo campaign by Nescafé Greece. Starting with their initial cover photo: a virtual glass jar of beans, they removed one bean for every new fan that ‘liked’ their page. The bean level went down as each bean was “removed” (fan was added) until the shape of their much-anticipated brand new jar style appeared. It was a great tactic, luring customers back to their Page repeatedly to see the “bean drop” progress. A clever use of photos, follower engagement and ‘likes’!
Once something like this gets the traction you want on your Facebook page, use it to highlight on your blog or Twitter feed, showing the ways in which clients were engaged and that newly gained fan/follower number! (Originally, it took 5,000 likes and 22 hours to accomplish what they’d set out to do — pretty impressive.) Then, if you get that blog post re-posted on other blogs as well like Nescafé did, this can further extend your reach. It was written about in PR and social blogs, (Social Media Examiner & PR Examples among others), they showcased it in a YouTube video, and it even showed traction on Pinterest and video review sites. Who would have thought a simple coffee jar could be so intriguing!
Another example is the use of Facebook by Vitamin Water to create its newest customer-generated flavor. They had a widget on their Facebook page where people could enter the contest by creating their own flavor: the FlavorCreator. Fans used the app to create custom original flavors and promoted it via the Page. Vitamin Water measured the success of each flavor by the buzz it created. This was calculated by clicks and social chatter on Google News, Twitter, and other designated websites. As the weeks progressed, there was loads of buzz around the flavors, and the top ten were picked for the audience of fans to vote on.
Once the winner was selected, the new flavor, Connect, was born. Facebook fans even used the app to design the packaging – the look & feel, the label blurb and colors, (and the winner also got a cool $5,000, by the way). This campaign was a huge success: being written up on Mashable, and other top tech news sites like CNET and the tech blog of the Wall Street Journal. It even made it into the pages of Fast Company as a top crowdsourcing campaign. The campaign was shown on a Baltimore food blog, and the popular, Inside Facebook.
A manufacturer’s website, Lightning Labels wrote about it even months later on their blog, mentioning the winner as “Sarah from Illinois,” named on Vitamin Water’s Facebook page. So we see, the reach of this campaign traveled far and wide, in many directions other than the initial appeal to their then-present fan base–who just wanted the “bragging rights” of naming the newest flavor. Quite a successful and buzz-worthy use of user-generated content. They now have 4 million ‘likes’ on their Vitamin Water Facebook page! Another example is North Face’s new extreme sports training program: Mountain Athletics Workout Programs in conjunction with their Ultra Protection Series of running and climbing shoes. These were a series of workouts, designed to help extreme athletes train for their individual sports. To launch the program, they set up a landing page, created a Facebook content strategy around it, and had billboards and banner ads all over. They tied this in with offline launch events, such as massive group workouts in places like Union Square in San Francisco, to showcase the new expert trainer-led programs, (and, of course, the new shoe line it highlights). Their press release/story was picked up by all types of sites from Department of Parks and Rec sites (e.g. DC.gov) to local papers, to sporting good stores’ blogs and events sites. Their Facebook page was filled with posts about the upcoming events, highlighting profiles of their pro athletes involved and inviting their fan base to the events. They even continue having free weekly workouts, to support their new mobile app and the program in general. A very multi-pronged media approach with very strong results. The lesson: Always cross-promote via multiple channels.
We see by these three examples that there are unlimited ways to promote and amplify the buzz of your PR campaigns with related Facebook content strategy. The trick is, once you have a campaign that’s successful – having measured it – use that information to replicate and adjust your tactics for future campaigns. And always keep the buzz going for as long as you can to make all that effort pay off. Facebook can be a powerful tool for promotion, so you will be glad you invested in the beginning to have a solid Facebook presence.