Millennials and Gen Z love social media challenges.
The success of the ice bucket challenge and the recent KiKi challenge bears testimony to the popularity of these challenges.
Most of them have gone viral thanks to their high engagement nature.
The way it works is users, shoot a photo or a video of them performing an activity; upload it on social media, add a hashtag, and challenge their friends to perform the activity by tagging them.
No wonder the concept caught the attention of the Government who started the #FitIndia campaign in May and the film industry that promoted their films through #padman challenge and the #suidhaga challenge.
Even brands have warmed up to the idea of using challenges to promote their product. They realize that if they want to gain popularity among the millennials and Gen Z, they cannot just talk about their features and differentiators. Instead, they have to think of new ways to promote their products and service.
One of the foremost players in the new method of marketing is FMCG giant Procter and Gamble (P&G).
Recently, P&G-owned Pantene that manufactures hair care products rolled out a social media campaign called #GreatHairDay, wherein they provided free and personalized consultation to Instagram and Twitter users.
About the Challenge
Self-depreciation is the new trend on social media.
According to Pantene’s press release, they found that #BadHairDay hashtag was used 1.2 million times on Instagram, almost 17 times more than #GreatHairDay[i].
Pantene decided to cash on it by asking Twitter and Instagram users to post their pictures with the #BadHairDay hashtag.
To provide personalized consultation, Pantene launched a #GreatHairDay studio on 10th October.
The #GreatHairDay studio was a real-time response hub that responded to #BadHairDay mentions. Unlike the usual template responses, the team developed personalized messages on the spot to encourage the users to participate in the 14-day challenge by finding out the best regimen, shampoo and hair conditioner suitable for them. The users were advised to follow the regimen and post a new picture after 14-days with the #GreatHairDay hashtag.
To make it more engaging, Pantene decided on using custom hashtag and emoji. Pantene even posted 30-second videos of non-celebrities discussing how they felt after using the shampoo and conditioner, to encourage women to take up the challenge.
The social media was buzzing with pictures of #GreatHairDay by the end of the 14-day challenge.
And Pantene did a fantastic job of responding to them in a personalized and casual way.
We do not have the final figures on the post-campaign sales, but we are sure with the amount of engagement involved in the campaign, the sales must have soared high.
What Can Brands Learn From the Pantene Campaign?
#1 – Listen keenly to what consumers discuss on social media
As Pantene mentioned in their social media channels, they monitored what people had to say about bad hair days on Instagram and Twitter. When they realized that there were more mentions of bad hair days than great hair days on social media, they found a perfect opportunity to use this trend to create a campaign and promote their product. If you are managing the social media for a brand, analyze the problem that your product will solve. Use social listening tools such as Germin8 to analyze what people have to say about the problem. For example, if you offer car-pooling services, you can use social listening tools to monitor what people have to say on topics such as transport strike, increasing fuel prices, pollution, etc., and use the data to find out ways to promote your service in a subtle, unique and non-sales manner.
#2 – Be ambitious, but be prepared
Once you have prepared a plan for your campaign, dedicate a team of social responders to respond to the mentions and responses that you receive. A delay in response can create a wrong reputation for your brand. So, prepare your team to be proactive in responding. You can either dedicate a specialized team to do it, like in the case of Pantene or ask your existing team to do it. The crux is to respond convincingly and quickly without ignoring the other mentions that your brand receives on a daily basis.
#3 – Train your team to respond
If you are offering personalized consultation as Pantene did, then you have to empower your team to understand the question correctly and answer it like a pro. Remember, one wrong advice can damage the reputation of your brand. So, ensure that your team knows what they have to sell under what situation. To make the entire campaign more personalized, you can train the team to be more human in their interaction just like the example where Pantene responded with a compliment on the shoe that the Twitter user had worn in the picture. That will help you gain more fans and followers.
If you are excited about trying a similar approach for your brand, then begin with investing in a social media listening tool to get the right data to plan your campaign.
To get started, you can sign up for a free trial of our social listening tool called Germin8.
And if you liked what you read, then please subscribe to our blog. We promise to share the latest nuggets from the world of social media and branding with you.
Written for Germin8 by Gayathri Vishwanathan.
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