It’s still frequent that companies do not want to invest in a robust communication strategy with their consumers via a social media presence. Sometimes they do not understand the channel, the ROI behind it or they may still believe it’s only a fad and will not stay around much longer.
Esmee Williams, VP of Brand Strategy for AllRecipes.com, and her team have seen it before too as they work with brands from Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies. In previous episodes we have heard Esmee share tips on how AllRecipes.com grew to become the worlds largest food and recipe site in the world, the way they tailor the presentation of content for the platform the user opts to access the sit with and in the last episode she told us about the most important metrics they use to track what is or is not a successful effort.
In this episode, Esmee tells us about the two types of social media campaign categories they manage at AllRecipes – one for programs off the AllRecipes site and the other for efforts based in the AllRecipes site. The on-site efforts are often campaigns for a CPG company where they integrate the brands content into the site, supporting an opportunity to connect with members in a peer-to-peer relationship. Esmee states that a peer-to-peer type connection is better because people want to be spoken with, not spoken to – we agree.
She recollects times when a CPG brand might have expressed a bit of hesitancy toward the prospect of not being in control of the brand message and they requested that comments be moderated – AllRecipes politely declined. For those brands that went ahead, the experience was that the audience was very receptive of the brands recipes and content. How willing consumers are to ‘friend a brand’ is pretty strong and not only were consumers excited about associating with a brand, but their work showed that the relationship increased purchase intent.
The pattern she sees (and we see as well) is that CPG’s want to tiptoe into a community and learn what works and does not work best for themselves. As they gain confidence, they find that the interaction with the consumer can be very beneficial, so long as it is genuine and they are honest in their interactions.
In his episode we also ask Esmee about what keeps her up at night and first is Search. Search engines drives a lot of traffic to the site and a radical change in the algorithm might impact the ability of the consumer to easily find the site. Second, is that more varied platforms (tablet computing, pads and mobile) are becoming available and they want to provide a good experience regardless of the platform used to access the site. This demands a high-tech capability to continue to provide a very simple, easy to use interface that masks the underlying complexity.
Lastly, while video is new for them, they are starting to do more. The growth of video is enormous and Esmee predicts the day when homes will no longer have a TV set. Instead the whole wall will provide a video presentation capability and she talks about how this type of change will continue to support the ‘Lean Forward’ trend in video and home computing versus the ‘Lean Back’ experience most television provides today.
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