Social media has become an integral part of every brand’s online marketing strategy. The number of Social Media users in the world is increasing as seen in the following graph by Statista and any brand in any industry, including FMCG, cannot ignore this tool to promote their business.
An infographic from Reach Local exposes the seven unique types of followers that brands have. The info presented below will help you better gauge how to use social media to your advantage while boosting engagement and brand awareness within the audience most inclined to patronize your business.
The focus of a social media strategy should be engaging the right type of customers through good-quality content and increasing repeat visitors. The challenge for an FMCG/FMCD business is that some customers might engage with the brand on social media but may not buy its product from the shelves. This is the reason why it becomes all the more important to keep posting relevant content to increase engagement which leads to brand loyalty.
Here are the different ways in which different businesses in the FMCG/FMCD space have used different tactics for their brand engagement:
1.Tag A Friend
Tagging friends on social media creates a ripple effect and is the best way to attract new users to like your page and brand.
Example: Cadbury 5 Star’s tagline is about getting so lost in the taste that one forgets about the reality. This proposition was taken up creatively to encourage consumers to tag their friend who always appear late for any event. Consumers started tagging their friends who get lost and get late for lectures, movies, or even parties. Giving an incentive like a hamper worked for this post.
2. Gamify your ads
Consumers are human beings after all. Every consumer was a kid at a point of time so it is a natural human instinct to fall in love with games and challenges that brands throw at them.
Example: Asian Paints created awareness of saving water, by engaging users in a game of virtual Holi through an application. The idea was to enjoy Holi with friends and family all around the world but at the same time save gallons of water.
- This promoted their brand promise of ‘Safe, Vibrant Colours’ for your spaces.
- Made it fun: Users selected pictures of their friends, splashed it with colours (from the Asian paint palette) and shared the picture on their friend’s timeline on Facebook.
- Gave an incentive: The person who would tag the most number of friends would stand a chance to win a free IPod Nano.
3. Wish them on relevant days
In an age where people need to reminded of their friend’s birthdays also on Facebook, it is important for brands to wish their consumers on days that are relevant and common to both the brand and their customer to increase brand equity.
Example: P&G made a video for Earth Day to wish their consumers and posted it on their Facebook page which got a lot of appreciation through likes and shares.
4. Selfie contests
A brand needs to follow the latest trends to remain relevant to its audience. You may like them, you may hate them, but you cant’s ignore selfies. The only way to join the bandwagon is to ask fans to take pictures with the brand and upload on their social media profiles.
Example: Maggi Oats Noodles understood the trend of clicking a picture even while having food and came up with this unique selfie contest to initiate awareness about its new product variant and engage their audience.
5. Engage in a discussion
In India, everyone likes to share their opinion. Live discussions on social media can be a way to engage these opinion leaders. Ask them questions on topics of their interest which could be based on the geographic location of your target audience, or a discussion of solutions to common problems they face, or asking their thoughts on a recent business development. People who respond to online questions have a higher level of engagement.
Example: Dettol India used the live video feature of facebook to help its users find a solution to a common household problem- hygiene and how to maintain it in the presence of pets and children.
6. Use the latest features like Gif
Social media apps keep updating their features almost on a monthly basis. Find out what is working for your target audience and engage them using these tools.
Example: Britannia Bourbon made this GIF series #JustLikeThat where consumers could tag their classmates on the comments section which would lead to increase in post and hence brand visibility.
7. Create genuinely inspiring and shareworthy content
Social media enthusiasts love sharing ideas and content that they think is worthy of sharing with their friends and family.
Example: Vicks came up with this transgender #TouchOfCare campaign which broke the internet on the day of its release and got mentions on Twitter from even popular celebrities. The story-telling approach of the brand made it a hit across all generations. Emotions like these strike a chord with all types of audiences and this is what worked for this campaign.
8. Share quotes
Quotes inspire people. Quotes talk about deep rooted insights about a topic which is not very evident. A good way to motivate your customers could be posting quotes related to your product on your social media handle.
Example: Lux Body wash is all about the fragrance of the ingredients in it. So posting a quote about fragrance would make sense for this brand. The post description also poses a question about whether the user has experienced it before, to which he/she could tag her mate in the comments section with whom she has experienced it before.
9. Crowdsource captions/products/flavours
Customers feel very important when they are asked to create something for a brand that they love and contribute to it in some way. In exchange for a grand idea, brands can give some grand prize.
Example: Lays is a brand which is popular worldwide. They have always come up with new flavours to entice their loyal audience. With their ‘Do us a Flavour’ contest, they asked consumers to come up with a flavour that Lays would launch if they liked it. Thousands of entries were made, hundreds got engaged by voting for the options and this campaign became such a big hit that they keep doing it on a periodic basis.
10. Be quick to react to current affairs
Look what is happening around you. It could be political, economic, social, technological, legal or environmental news that has become the talking point of every conversation in every household, every office, every restaurant etc. Grab the opportunity and apply it your brand. Your customers will appreciate your agility and smartness of coming up with something creative in less time.
Example: Britannia Nutrichoice used the wave of demonetisation to connect with their customers. And if you watch closely, they used their Nutrichoice biscuits instead of coins in their design. This is a smart way of promoting your brand as well as communicating a message.
11. Hold contests and give a chance to win passes/gifts
Indians love deals and if you give them an incentive that they can’t resist, then it will be a huge success on social media.
Example: Nivea came up with a unique gif on Easter where they asked their users to identify all the brands that pop out from the egg. This was a test of their brand recognition which gave them clues about which brands are not so popular with consumers and what could be done to improve the sales of those brands.
12. Use innovative hashtags
Hashtags are a way to easily find relevant content related to your brand which is why it has become imperative to use it in social media posts. The important point to note while creating hashtags is that it should be simple, catchy and crisp. Using too many hashtags will do no good to a brand.
Example: Share a coke campaign by Coca-Cola in 2014 was a big hit offline as well as online. It got 998 million impressions on Twitter and 235,000 tweets from 111,000 fans using the #ShareaCoke hashtag (Source). Click on the video to know more about the campaign.
13. Monitor your brand name and respond when you get mentioned
Social media enthusiasts love to post images online and sometimes tag the brand that they are engaging with. It is important for a brand to listen to their audience and give a prompt response to them. This will ensure that they post content for you even in future.
Example: Saffola Life ‘s brand motto is taking small steps (#ChotteKadam) towards a healthier life. Customers post their images on social media platforms like twitter and Saffola Life retweets it. By retweeting it, it is giving the consumer the assurance that the brand is listening to them and is adept at giving quick responses to them, thus motivating them to continue in their weight-loss struggle.
In conclusion, I would just like to point out that a page should not be spammy. If you continuously post ads and promotions, your customers will quickly get tired of following you. So while occasional campaigns are ok, don’t overdo it. Also, don’t do everything all at once. Do what is relevant to your category, positioning of your product and value proposition that you want to convey to your consumers.
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