There have been a couple of incredible stories on Reddit recently which go to show of the power of social media. I thought I would pick out two of the best, explaining why I thought they were particularly brilliant.
It’s primarily a thank you to a social media channel – an open, honest description of circumstance, new business issues, and human problems.
It’s a thank you to Reddit for helping keep a business alive, and despite Reddit’s notorious dislike for promotional contributions (see r/hailcorporate) – this one was sitting on the front page with a solid number of upvotes.
As you read through you’ll see how the story of the business involves the channel – using it to gain awareness via tightly targeted free samples offered to a highly relevant subreddit – resulting in some serious buy in to the brand story and product from those users. There’s lots of community interaction, resulting in greater demand, raised brand awareness, and interest from major distributors as ‘people from the internet’ start requesting the brand.
The ‘thank you’ post cements the brand as Reddit’s own – providing a second opportunity to reach a wider audience and tells a complete brand story that you’re unlikely to forget next time you’re in the sauce section of the supermarket.
I don’t think you’ll see a more perfect use of social media to build brand awareness. When I try to pin down why it worked, I suspect it’s probably the human story – a difficult thing for big established brands to use. Perhaps at a deeper level, it’s just the honesty, the acknowledgement of a problem that a lot of redditors thought they could help with, and, of course, the finely targeted, responsive initial sampling.
Definitely worth a read.
Let’s hop over to /r/videos where a guy had spent $8000 Australian dollars to indelibly associate the Jeep brand and a lemon in my mind.
Of course, there have been popular brand complaint videos in the past, but watching this, I was struck by the production values, the exposure he was getting, the damage he was doing to the Jeep brand, and the astounding effect he was achieving with his relatively small budget…particularly when you consider what Jeep need to do to delete the video from my brain.
Plus, it has a very catchy chorus.
When you have consumer willing to shell out that sort of cash to damage your brand, you know you’re doing something wrong.
The lesson here is that if you’re providing bad customer service, your customers now have the technical and financial ability to seriously rival the online reach of your own marketing efforts if they manage to hit the nail on the head with their message.
But just imagine of what you could achieve with the right message…