My.BarackObama.com was one of the finest examples of the power of social media for engaging and motivating people, but was it sustainable? The level of interaction was very high during the presidential campaign; people were engaged, sharing ideas and opinions at an incredible volume. The social element has been applauded, written and talked about.
Then what happened?
Let’s explore a process
Why are brands becoming more popular on Facebook? Millions of people consider Facebook as the place to not only seamlessly, but also interactively, connect with brands. Within social environments, people have the edge and the ability to interrupt business as usual, demanding attention to their needs.
Some brands are wonderful at starting conversations, but do little-to-nothing as a follow up. Keep in mind, when people invest their time and attention… a response will always be required. An authentic reaction will motivate powerful interest and natural sharing. Response can be as simple as a quick thanks or even more intense by spotlighting original content and ideas.
Consider the tremendous potential. People identify Facebook as a good place to find information about companies. People are inspired by social recommendations and social shopping is certain to be powerful this holiday season. Leveraging these social connections creates a supply of energy, continually feeding a system of knowledge, stimuli and interaction.
In September of 2010, Starbucks.com had 2.6 million* unique visitors, but they have more than 16.6 million “Likes” on Facebook. When you click into the Starbucks Facebook page, the first thing that you notice is the absence of Starbucks driven posts. People drive the content and direction of the posts.
Starbucks has captured the essence of people-to-people and empowered sharing as the unique power of their brand’s message. Each tweet, post and check-in is personal and shared. For Starbucks this equates into an emotion-to-emotion return on investment.
What’s in it for people?
People are social; sharing has become a common and comfortable occurrence. They like letting friends know what they are up to. Friends virtually share a smile when they think of Starbucks.
Rewards and discounts have become an expected return for attention, but personalized philanthropy is also appreciated and a trigger for influence. Starbucks is one of the first to deploy Facebook’s new Deals product. For each Starbucks check-in on Facebook Places, Starbucks will donate $1 to Conservation International, contributing up to $75,000 to save the forests.
So “Response” needs to happen!
Companies must respond, avoiding intrusive broadcast dialogues and adopt a regenerative system; an interactive pursuit of learning, sharing and change. An imaginative approach to social media will support sustainable advantages, co-creating content that stimulates interest, ideas and news that is truly important to their audience.