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wavemetrix-crowdsourcing-campaign-colgate-smile-oct11.gifWhile brands performing crowdsourcing (letting consumers take over a portion of your promotional activity) via social networks have experienced positive results, the practice can also backfire, according to [pdf] a new report from WaveMetrix. Results from “Q3 2011 Benefits and Limits of a Social Media Fanbase” show that brands with an established fan base and brand image tend to get better results from social media crowdsourcing.

The report focuses on social media crowdsourcing efforts of three brands: Colgate, Nando’s, and Uniqlo. A brief summary of each effort follows.

Colgate Gets Smiles on Facebook

With its “Smile” campaign in summer 2011, CPG toothpaste brand Colgate used a dedicated Facebook page where users were encouraged to upload pictures of themselves smiling. These were then turned into large collage posters which were displayed in supermarkets, shopping malls and other point of sale locations. WaveMetrix analysis reveals that Colgate’s strategy also had a positive effect on purchase discussion, as users became 2.5 times more likely to discuss purchasing toothpaste as the campaign went on (6% of purchasers produced buzz the week of June 13 compared to 15% the week of June 27).

Moreover, the “Smile” campaign had a positive impact on brand image, as users identified Colgate with a sense of community and fun.

Nando’s Noise Needs Nourishing

wave-nando-oct-2011.JPGIn a less successful social media crowdsourcing campaign from casual dining chain Nando’s, consumers were asked what noises they make when someone says the word “Nando’s” and invited to upload video clips of their “Nando’s Noise” on the campaign website. US comedian and beat-boxer, Reggie Watts, featured in the campaign launch ad, creating a series of “Nando’s Noises” which users could then mix with their own clips on the campaign website.

Wavemetrix analysis reveals that this latest Nando’s campaign had a positive effect on consumer engagement and purchase discussion. Positivity about the “hilarious” campaign generated the most interest and consumers were led to talk positively about Nando’s products.

However, discussion surrounding the Nando’s brand is very mixed, with some consumers criticizing the campaign for not reflecting what Nando’s does, or commenting that they prefer a competing brand. This shows that crowdsourcing can leave a company with less control of how their brand is portrayed and exposed to criticism through competitor comparisons.

Uniqlo Gets Shoppers Talking

wave-uniqlo-oct-2011.JPGIn addition to having several more traditional regional Facebook pages, Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo also has a “Worldwide fanpage” which has garnered close to a quarter of a million Likes. Described as “a page by Uniqlo fans for Uniqlo fans,” the site fosters a community of “Uniqlovers,” with both community managers and group members acting as evangelists for the brand.

WaveMetrix social media monitoring shows that the UNIQLO fanpage is successful at prompting consumers to talk positively about the brand, stores and products. Although half of the consumers who post discussion indicate that they are current UNIQLO shoppers, the other half of consumers are engaged by the social media content, but do not discuss UNIQLO.

Buddy Media: Most Branding Posts during Work Hours

Approximately 60% of Facebook branding posts are published from 10 AM through 4 PM, indicating brands are most active with their posts during core business hours (EST), according to a study released in October 2011 by Buddy Media. Data from “Strategies for Effective Facebook Posts” reveals that after 4 PM, the number of published posts steadily decreased. However, brands that posted outside of business hours (early morning, at the finish of the work day and late at night) had engagement rates approximately 20% higher than average.

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