Let’s Get Hitched

Been thinking about online engagement a lot lately. I’ve had a few clients who wanted to increase online engagement, especially using social media. That’s a noble goal, but ultimately a bit like jousting at windmills. What is online engagement? Likes? Shares? Comments? Re-posts? Sure, it’s probably all that. But do those things build brand loyalty. I suppose.

But when I take off my marketer hat and put on my consumer hat I don’t think they are the metrics that truly matter. So I’ve been watching tactics others use on social media that attract me. Two come to mind.

Rio Products

Fly line and accessory maker Rio does a solid job on social media. Encouraging fans to post photos, responding to questions, and running contests. But they ran a promotion that really caught my attention. Simple in concept, mighty in impact. Rio posted a photo of their booth on Facebook, with instructions to stop by the Macomb Community College fly show and mention the post – and get a free Rio hat! I love swag, so you know I was all in. And guess what? While I was there, I had a look at some new lines. Even ended up ordering one of the new ones from my local dealer. I’d call THAT engagement.

Stormy Kromer

These folks are brilliant. They’ve taken a goofy looking (but warm and comfortable) hat and parlayed it into a full-blown apparel brand that’s right on-target with the new “lumbersexual” demographic. Genius. Pure genius. And they’re every bit as smart online. Being a visual person, I’m a big fan of Instagram. I follow the Kromer folks and recently they ran a program looking for 19 “Kromer Ambassadors” to represent their products. Since I don’t make artisanal firewood or ride a fixie, it was hardly surprising when I wasn’t selected. But they did something really cool – they sent me one of their Kromer Koozies (these things are sweet – you need one) and a nice letter from the president explaining the overwhelming response. And then they gave me a code I could use for 50% off an online order. And what did I do? Yup, bought a bunch of stuff. Once again, now I’m really engaged on a financial level with them. I’m trying their new products. And I likely become an evangelist for the brand.

What’s this all mean for you? If you truly want online engagement, on a pure and financial level, you have to give some to get some. Will these fit into your social media dashboard? Possibly. Will they move the needle for your brand? You bet.

-Sean-