Today, social media is a buzz word to many brands, but to the Gatorade team at High Road it’s our way of life. A successful social media program is proactive, highly engaging and integrated. Without these elements, a brand can fall flat online.
Using a number of social channels including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube , the Gatorade team at PepsiCo challenged High Road to create a robust and highly engaged online community that was closely connected to and invested in ongoing dialogue with the Gatorade brand.
Our approach to this project reflects some of the key learnings and best practices that we apply to all our social media campaigns:
Timely and ongoing interaction is how brands build deeper relationships with their audience and keep online communities wanting more. To ensure ongoing engagement, High Road develops daily triage programs to proactively monitor and identify opportunities and breaking news that we can amplify across the brand communities.
Using social media tools including Sysomos and Radian6, we define a set of keywords and refine search teams relevant to the brand and audience. Every day, we prioritize the hottest news, info and rich media to post on Facebook and Twitter.
Based on these results and understanding of relevant events, we also deliver a weekly editorial calendar of scheduled content for the week ahead.
A regular posting schedule is the first step to increasing community engagement online. The second, and more important factor, is the quality of content. To create an exclusive and exciting experience for Fans and Followers, we regularly focus on amplifying the unique opportunities that every brand brings to the table. For example, we recently covered a photo shoot for Gatorade Canada with MMA world champ Georges St. Pierre by posing a question to our Facebook and Twitter fans: “If you had one question for GSP, what would it be?” The response was incredible:
One lucky Tweep had her question chosen and GSP responded via video. Asking fans to participate in the conversation is great for engagement levels (having a Canadian MMA hero help out didn’t hurt either) and it positions your brand as a gateway to a special experience.
Don’t Hate, Integrate
A social media strategy is most powerful when it runs seamlessly across all marketing communications initiatives. An ongoing element of a successful social media strategy is working closely with other agency partners to ensure all marketing initiatives either include or are amplified by social media.
Each step of the way, we are cross pollinating updates on all social media channels, increasing brand visibility and thought leadership online.
Tried, Tested, True
The only way to become a social media star and understand what really resonates with an online community is to measure response and engagement to content and continue to iterate based on these results. We develop detailed reports that highlight insights into social media “wins,” opportunities and benchmarks for future success.