In 2006 when Facebook officially opened to the general public, we witnessed a huge monumental shift in the world of marketing. Consumers suddenly had the power in determining how and what they wanted to see. It’s no longer just a case of the wealthiest brand being able to afford to make the most engagement; it’s about the brand that consistently wins the affection and minds of their customers, and knowing what their consumers want through effective interaction. Friends, followers, connections, are now like a currency in the new social economy.
The ‘Mr Cake’ Story!
A great example of the power of social media is a story I read a few months ago. BAA worker Chris Holmes aka ‘Mr Cake’ handed his letter of resignation in on an iced cake. In perfect writing, he went onto explain his real passion was cake making, and the arrival of his son reinforced that money cannot outweigh love, he wanted to fulfil a dream not only for himself, but for his family. He posted a photo of the cake on Twitter, it went viral, gaining more than 7,000 retweets and 4.5 million views, the media went crazy for the story. ‘Mr Cake’ rapidly acquired thousands of fans across all forms of social media and rising to the challenge, gave them what they wanted; the continuation of his story. Follow ‘Mr Cake’ on Twitter, or like on Facebook and you’ll find an array of cake photos, gorgeous recipes and every now and then a sneaky peak into his home life. It’s compelling.
‘Mr Cake’ is a fantastic example of how to get social media right without an eye watering marketing budget!
You don’t need to be a big player to engage with your customers, ‘Mr Cake’ has proven that people engage with people, and the brand engagement follows.
With companies like this in mind, larger organisations are in hot pursuit, desperately trying to ‘humanise’ themselves with less formal interactions. We saw a great demonstration of this last week between some major brands. What started off as a seemingly dull tweet, turned into a barrage of hilarious comments. Potentially this could’ve been social media suicide, but thankfully (for those involved) it went viral and was an outstanding success.
So big companies take note, social media isn’t just about how much money you can throw at it, it’s about finding ways of grabbing people’s attention to build on your brand awareness, and keeping that interest through regular interaction.