Building a community around a cookie
By: Chloe Rolph
December 13, 2011 | Reading Time: 4 mins
What does it take to collect over 23 million Likes on Facebook? For starters, be a delicious cookie named Oreo. But if for some reason you can’t do that, try some of these things that the Oreo brand managers have done right:
Offer something in return
As a brand, you want people to “Like” your Page and subscribe to your updates. As a consumer, you want to subscribe to Pages that offer you something in return for your attention and Newsfeed space. It’s human nature to seek reciprocal relationships – I scratch your back, you scratch mine. There are a handful of people out there who will go out of their way to follow you, but the rest of the population needs a little push. Oreo has done a great job in offering an exchange of tangible and intangible value to customers that “Like” the brand on Facebook. Not only is the Page a fun place to interact and enjoy some mindless entertainment, but they also offer coupons for discounts on Oreo products. It’s a simple gesture that says to the consumer, “Hey, thanks for listening to us. We appreciate your time and want you to find value in our Page”
Bring personality to the brand
Now that you’ve collected some genuine fans, how can you make sure that they want to stick around for more? Let your brand have a personality. Customers want to feel like they are interacting with something real, in the same way that you would rather speak to a person rather than be routed through an automated telephone system. Oreo does that through nostalgic, “feel-good” messaging paired with timely responses and feedback to user engagement. When Oreo asks, “Do you ever dunk your Oreo cookie more than once?” you are swept back in time to the days of after-school snacks, sitting at the kitchen table with Mom, a glass of milk, and a couple of Oreos. This post generated over 30,000 “Likes”, 4760 comments, and 172 shares – the kind of engagement and sharing that brands would kill for. People saw it, related to it, felt a personal connection, and wanted to talk about it and share it with others.
While it is great to have existing fans engaging and interacting on your brand’s Page, it is important to remember that each of these fans likely has hundreds of Facebook friends—also known as your potential future fans. The ability to tag is Facebook’s most viral feature. Oreo has done a great job integrating photo-tagging and thus increasing its visibility to those that may not have encountered its Page yet. Any fan has a chance to be featured as Oreo’s “World Fan of the Week” profile picture, simply by tagging their Oreo brand experience in a photo of them with the product. Here’s that give-and-take concept again.
How can Oreo’s Facebook success be applied to other brands?
A brand doesn’t have to be worth millions to achieve the success that Oreo has seen using Facebook Fan Pages. This is because a brand doesn’t have to be worth millions to offer value, have a personality, or go viral. It is as simple as finding out what approach your fans respond to best and posting accordingly.
- Attract people to “Like” your Page with special introductory offers (coupons, contests, giveaways, etc)
- Post valuable updates – Ask yourself, “Would I care about this information if I was the customer?”
- Track your Page analytics to find trends in the way users respond to certain posts or approaches
- Tag whenever possible – As Facebook’s most viral feature, tagging increases visibility in news feeds and will also attract new fans that haven’t followed your Page yet
- Encourage people to upload their own photos/videos and post their own brand experiences – these are testimonials!
- Monitor and post outside of business hours – this is when people have time to spend on your Page
- Post just to post. People will unsubscribe if you fill their newsfeed with irrelevant, boring, or spammy info
- Be a shameless self-promoter. You should talk about relevant things other than the brand sometimes. Post industry news or relevant articles (not directly related to your product) that users will find value in
- Forget to acknowledge customer posts. People want to know their comments are actually read!