For many people, social media is changing the way we interact with one another. To some degree, it’s more about communicating via one-to-many instead of one-to-one. It’s great to be able to find long lost friends from high schooland reminisce via Facebook or to find out what a pro athlete is thinking about during a game via Twitter. None of this is lost on the corporate world.
While the center of most people’s social media experiences are Facebook and Twitter, startups like Foursquare andGroupon show there’s still some new opportunities in the social media landscape for new services. And marketers – especially those building consumer brands – are starting to capitalize. Here are a few interesting examples of how companies have leveraged social media to engage their customers and build a community.
PepsiCo, Mashable and VC firm Highland Capital Partners have teamed up to launch PepsiCo10. It’s a new competition that looks to match startups in fields like social media and mobile marketing with industry mentors and brands within PepsiCo with which they can pilot their products.
Another interesting campaign is one concocted by The Gap who partnered with Foursquare and Groupon. For this campaign The Gap teamed up with popular group-buying site Groupon to offer a nation-wide deal: $50 worth of apparel for just $25. By the end of the day, 441,000 groupons were sold bringing in a little more than $11 million. You can also see what Toy Story 3, AOL and Starbucks have done.
Personally I like what Mountain Dew has done with their DEWocracy campaign. The company launched a campaign last year called DEWmocracy, which allowed Dew’s loyal fans to choose the next Mountain Dew flavor – they ended up choosing Voltage. The success of the last campaign though has spurred a new one where they’ve upped the ante with their Dew Labs Challenge, which utilizes 12seconds.tv, 50 boxes of Dew, and a lot of YouTube.
Not only are companies using social media to drive sales and build brand loyalty but they’re also getting input on products and helping to develop new offerings. Talk about hearing the voice of the customer!
By changing how they reach customers, companies are helping usher in a new era of communicating, branding and building loyalty. Do you relate better to a company if you’re engaged in one of their community programs? Does it bother you? Do you feel like Big Brother is watching when they send you coupons for a store that you’re walking by?