There is nothing better than feeling included. Social media has given rise to ‘brand inclusion’, allowing those who are passionate enough to follow, tweet, like and share the opportunity to be part of the world which the brand operates in. The results of getting your evangelists onside are exceptional; they will promote the best parts of your business, sing your praises and enjoy your achievements. This all becomes possible through personality and being more intimate with your audience.
Why should you do this? For one, your audience will be the first to know if something is wrong. In business there are always going to be ‘acts of god’ or incidents which you don’t envisioning coming up to bite you. This is where being open and honest can really help your brand.
This week has seen Hurricane Sandy wreak havoc across the East Coast of the US. The effects have not only been felt on the streets of New York, within the Stock Market and in the subways of Manhattan Island but also across the web. With many international brands based in the Big Apple an evacuation and power cuts has resulted in many websites experiencing a complete shut down of their entire offering.
The Huffington Post in the UK was one of these. Their website was down for the whole of the 30th October but their team quickly redirected traffic to a blog site so they could offer a reduced service and instead of hiding behind the fact that the storm had devastated their offering they laughed at it. The Huffington Post UK’s Technology Editor - Michael Rundle took the matter into his own hands and replicated the website the old fashioned way:
With over 301 likes, 196 shares and 15 comments (with additional likes) the post of Facebook went viral. The team followed this up throughout the day, adding colour to the proceedings:
The team also invited others to join in on the fun. The result was a brilliant series of drawings which generated 581 likes, 368 shares and 48 comments on Facebook.
And they are not alone. After irritated boyfriend Richard Neill posted a ‘complaint’ on the Bodyform Facebook page he could not have imagined what a response it would generate. Instead of being replied to or even ignored, the company hit back with a brilliant spoof apology via a YouTube video.
Neill complained about the ‘lies’ he has had to endure from Bodyform in their advertising about that time of the month. He said he was angry that the feminine hygiene brand had “lied to us for all these years”. He wrote –
“Hi , as a man I must ask why you have lied to us for all these years . As a child I watched your advertisements with interest as to how at this wonderful time of the month that the female gets to enjoy so many things, I felt a little jealous. I mean bike riding , rollercoasters, dancing, parachuting, why couldn't I get to enjoy this time of joy and 'blue water' and wings !! Damn my penis!! Then I got a girlfriend, was so happy and couldn't wait for this joyous adventurous time of the month to happen...you lied !! There was no joy , no extreme sports , no blue water spilling over wings and no rocking soundtrack oh no no no. Instead I had to fight against every male urge I had to resist screaming wooaaahhhhh bodddyyyyyyfooorrrmmm bodyformed for youuuuuuu as my lady changed from the loving , gentle, normal skin coloured lady to the little girl from the exorcist with added venom and extra 360 degree head spin. Thanks for setting me up for a fall bodyform , you crafty bugger”
Bodyform then took to the internet to issue its spoof apology, with an actress playing the company’s mock chief executive, named Caroline Williams:
The resulting video has generated over 3 million views on YouTube and Neill’s comment itself has gone viral with over 99,000 likes and 4,500 comments.
It just shows you that facing up to your problems and enjoying them can not only result in brand exposure but allow everyone to join in on the fun.