4 brands that really stretch their social dollars

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Three years ago, the promise of what a comprehensive social media campaign -- one that's proactive rather than reactive -- could do for marketing campaigns often fell on deaf ears. As the person who founded the social media practice at my current agency in 2008, I heard my share of, "We've got it covered, thanks." Many companies, especially those with well-known brands or complex products such as tech and video games, had been running online customer service, user forums, or discussion boards for years. As far as they were concerned, their online reps and moderators were covering their so-called "social media needs" just fine.

Oh, how far we've come. Behemoths such as Ford, Doritos, Oreo, JetBlue, Pepsi, Comcast, and Dell -- the list goes on -- have paved the way with how much social media can elevate a brand and remain "always on" for consumers. They've had big budgets and big agencies backing them up. But they've built the essential building blocks to a comprehensive social marketing program that can apply to brands large and small.

4 brands that really stretch their social dollars

Companies are finally recognizing that, at its root and as a marketing communication strategy, social is about authenticity and relevance. These two pieces of the social media puzzle are the answer to what "always on" means. And, importantly, now there are brands demonstrating that this approach is feasible for products and budgets in categories well outside of major global brands.

When it comes to rivaling the biggest brands in social media, the brands in this article stand out. In highlighting them in this article, we'll start with their Facebook community size. (There are a lot of social networks, but Facebook still exemplifies the traction brands are able to get on them.) From there, we'll look at their People Talking About This (PTAT) scores (in terms of the number of unique community members who have taken an action with the page), the brands' response rates (in terms of the percentage of comments they've taken the time to engage with), as well as how quickly they respond. As you'll see, you don't need Coca-Cola-sized marketing dollars to be "always on" in social media.



Keith Pape
Keith Pape March 25, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Thanks Jack!

Jack Gazdik
Jack Gazdik March 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Loved the mention of paid programs at the end of the article. The best social programs integrate paid and earned media. A targeted digital campaign is important to drive traffic to social sites, and great content is what keeps the visitor engaged and hopefully coming back for more. I think a lot of people still think if you create a Facebook or Twitter page people will come, but you still must activate the audience. No matter how great your content is, people still need to know they should check it out.

Keith Pape
Keith Pape March 25, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Great points Nick! Hope you found some useful points and will share the Artie with others

Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis March 25, 2013 at 1:14 PM

The key to social isn't just how much money you have to throw at it; it's how you use whatever sized budget you have. What makes your audience tick? How do they talk to each other? What do they talk about? What do they find interesting, funny, thought-provoking? You want your brand to fall in line with what they are looking for.