With Facebook apparently driving the value of brands by €6 billion across Europe in 2011 its not hard to see why every brand under the sun is hell bent on boosting its tally of Likes.
However, there are still a sizeable number of brands out there that aren’t playing the social game as well as they could be. Out of Interbrand's Top 50 Brands in 2011, 27 companies apparently failed to respond to a single customer comment on Facebook – which kind of defeats the point of the platform, surely?
FRUKT took a quick delve around amongst the f-commerce and fan gates to see which brands are turning social to their advantage:
Schweppes - Timeline time machine
Carbonated drinks brand Schweppes is among the early adopters of Facebook’s new timeline, jumping on the new lifestyle visualisation tool to deliver a highly personalised story. The Unexpected Future app sees the brand utilizing a user’s Facebook data to make lofty predictions about how their life may pan out in a variety of areas – such as wealth, career, adventure, romance and fame – by posting faux future posts from their friends.
The concept of looking back to look forward highlights one of Schweppes core brand statements, that it is the oldest soft drink in the world (dating back to 1783). However, instead of pushing heritage here, the brand has opted to look towards the future with a simple, quirky app timed to fit in with New Year resolution fever and the uncertainty that surrounds the January months.
Durex – making sweet music together
This clever little campaign from the condom manufacturer seeks to bring Facebook users into closer proximity via a quirky social music challenge. The ‘How in-sync are you?’ Facebook game, part of a wider marketing campaign for Durex’s new Performax Intense range, is set to launch in the run up to Valentine’s Day.
The Facebook game is comprised of two turntables and a cross fader mechanism, along with a healthy dose of Marvin Gaye played at different speeds. Couples need to keep a selection of tracks in sync across two separate turntables – one male, one female – for 10 seconds to prove their "virtual connection" in order to proceed to the next level.
Using 'Let’s Get It On' may not be subtle, but the game itself is, cleverly appealing to both sexes without pigeonholing either into any stereotypical roles. It’s also indicative of how music can be incorporated into social promotions to define an emotional connection with a product.
Sam Adams – Crowdsourced Facebook beer
Following an ongoing theme that sees consumers acting as creative collaborators alongside brands, crowdsourcing is an ever people trend across Facebook, giving the power of choice back to the people. Often these campaigns boil down to selecting a flavour from existing choices, whether it be crisps or chocolate bars (as evident in Kit Kat’s latest Facebook promo).
US beer brand Sam Adams, however, is letting fans get much more hands on with its brand, turning its Facebook fans into master brewers and letting them create a limited edition beverage through the social platform.
The 'Crowd Craft' project sees Facebook fans aided the brand by selecting the beer's color, clarity, body, hops and malt, with the final product launching in a selection of bars during the SXSW festival Austin.
Mini – pyromaniac Facebook fans
Brands are going to increasingly creative lengths to drive up their Facebook page subscribers, offering up ever more ingenious incentives to click that tiny like button.
The two main drivers for consumers (if they aren’t already enamoured with a brand) are content and competitions, i.e. you either get something you can’t get elsewhere or you win something. Both, however, need a hefty dose of innovation in order to turn digital heads.
Mini’s 'Fan the Flame' Facebook competition is a good example of ingenuity in action. A brand new mini countryman hangs suspended from a rope. In turn the rope is suspended over a Bunsen burner. Every like generated through the brand’s app sparks a flame, and if your like triggers the rope to burn and releases the mini, you win it.
A really smart meld of digital with physical, letting Facebook fans effect tangible events.
Cadbury’s – giant chocolate Facebook thumb
Brands - and seemingly fans - love celebrating landmark Facebook milestones, especially when they notch up several million fans. These trophies of community building naturally become yet another way to drive likes as campaigns in their own right. Whether its Axe looking to create a flag to celebrate collecting 10 million fans or Heineken giving away 1 million hugs to match its Like target.
Cadbury’s decided to create a Facebook promo that put its product front and centre in a big way with its ‘Thanks a million’ celebration, creating a massive thumbs up sign out of bars of chocolate (3 tonnes worth). The brand even invited along one Facebook Superfan to the construction party.
Not only does this celebration generate a great piece of video content - with the focus more on the process than the end result – but it also highlights how brands should look towards integrating both their product and real fans into the heart of any milestone event.