How companies are using social media to attract customers directly and indirectly

The power of social media is getting well documented and speculated on in terms of customer acquisition and retention. Both directly by those involved, and the large influence your friends and family have over what you see in your social media and search engines results pages.

Eli Pariser in his TED talk explains how not to get trapped in a filter bubble. These first crude algorithms by the powerful platforms, which could be [in the short-term] quite self-fulfilling. That you only get shown what they think, or you have said you have been interested in: to the exclusion of other content.
So, many companies are quite rightly trying to attract audiences and get into people’s flows.

Queensland tourist board, back in 2009 ran “The Best Job In The World” to huge success, effectively starting the genre of competitions to raise a company’s profile. There have been a number of competitions in 2013 alone, some with success and some not so much. Ones that spring to mind include. First Choice, a TUI company has been running their “Want to Be a Slide Tester?” inside a Facebook app. Havana Club, the rum company is offering the chance to win a gap year, and the biggest one I have seen to date is My Destination, an online travel resource with their “Biggest Baddest Bucket List”. Their winner chooses at least 25 destinations, and must visit all 6 continents, over 6 months all expenses paid.

Maybe these companies have got it. Social media is an effective inbound channel that doesn’t respect brand heritage. It’s fun. It’s current. It also has the advantage of being relatively cheaper than global TV and if you get it right, you can win big. And if by magic, if you or your friends engage, you will see their work in the future in your personalised SERPs and social flows.

Just a thought for a Wednesday.

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