I was just reading my fellow teammate’s post that highlighted Twitter’s awesome advanced search feature. In that post, Nick mentioned that Voodoo Doughnut started following him on Twitter after he gave them a shout out. Fantastic. Voodoo Doughnut is not only on Twitter, but they are LISTENING. That’s really more than I can say for a lot of big brands out there that are focused only on pushing information out and not taking it in.
Now, for those of you non PDX folks, Voodoo Doughnut has quite a few die-hard fans. In fact, I think it’s pretty much socially unacceptable to not be adamant about expressing your love for their bizarre creations whenever the topic comes up. It’s not often that you can have a brand with such an enthusiastic following and unique product offering. This is a social search marketer’s dream.
So when I went to investigate further – I was disappointed but also slightly annoyed. I’ll explain. A company has about 5 seconds to sell me when I’m deciding whether or not to engage with their brand in some manner. Here’s what I walked away with in that 5 seconds:
Twitter: What are they even talking about? Why haven’t they updated anything in forever? Why do they follow more people than they have followers? Never mind.
Facebook: + 9,000 fans, yes! Wait, what? There’s nothing on here. Never mind.
The missed opportunity here is almost painful. Chances are slim to none that I will ever go back to see if they’ve gotten it together. Very quickly, this is what I would say to Mr. Voodoo if I met him on the streets of Portland:
Twitter – be useful and/or witty, update often, and watch that follower to following ratio. Before you start looking to get followers, make sure you have at least a page of valuable tweets so that when someone like me comes across your profile, I will see all the great stuff and be more likely to follow.
Facebook – currently there is no official fan page or group owned by Voodoo. Since some faithful fan has already taken the liberty to create one, reach out and give her props. Offer incentive to this evangelist to transfer control of the page or at least share control. Add a custom tab just for Reviews. Run some ads to maintain the growth rate of the fan page. Hold a contest for fans to come up with the next Voodoo creation. Provide incentive for fans to submit photos.
Now I know you’re saying that this is a unique situation and that Voodoo is only so lucky to have such a brand and this is not relevant to me. But it is. These are common best practices and can be applied across the board. Without strategy, purpose and a little originality, your efforts will likely fall short – even with a cool brand or cult following. Remember, if you are going to hop on the social media bandwagon put in the effort required. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and while it’s free to create a profile, it will cost a little bit of time and creativity for successful execution.