Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How CPG Brands Win with Social Media Fans

Here’s how you can connect with your social media fans and keep your streak going:
  • Social Couponing is Highly Effective: One of the major reasons why people visit a brand’s social media webpage is for discounts and coupons. By offering discounts and giving away coupons, brands a) make their customers feel valued and b) give them a good reason to revisit their webpages. Although some brands are worried that coupons may reduce the premium value of the brand, most agree that social couponing offers unique benefits, one of them being building a loyal customer base. According to a survey from Ipsos Marketing, Consumer Goods, the second most important reason why people visited a CPG brand’s website is to obtain coupons. This explains why the likes of General Mills and Unilever, after partnering with Groupon, have had a solid customer base and a loyal fan following.

  • Being Best Friends: It is every CPG brand’s wish to be best friends with their customers. Although coupons and discounts contribute towards making the social consumer feel special, moving up the relationship ladder is all about being available when they have something to say. An overload of sales talk won’t solve your customer’s problems; being best friends is all about listening and responding. Listening in and engaging with your customers online shows that they are important to you and you care enough to be there to soak in the suggestions, act upon complaints and interact with them.

  • Going That Extra Mile: When the packaged goods industry ventured into the world of online marketing, it was all about creating interesting online promotional material, offering the occassional discounts and resolving customer complaints when required. This, however, is slowly changing. There are those companies that monitor conversations pertaining to their brands and meet customers’ needs as they arise; and then there are the others that go the extra mile to give their customers much more than they have asked for. General Mills, which has a well connected online customer base, is one such brand.

  • Besides marketing their regular range of baked products online, the company also offers gluten-free products aimed at 2% of the population with Celiac disease as well as the additional 10% interested in avoiding gluten, a demographic that was otherwise dismissed as too small and insignificant to target profitably. When the word about General Mills’ gluten-free range was out in 2009, the news spread like wildfire across Twitter and Facebook. Now that’s what we call making customers feel valued!

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