More and more brands use social media to speak to their prospective audience. In fact, social media is now being used as crowdsourcing software. It is a great way for businesses to promote their products, conduct market research, and engage their audience. So what are some examples of this type of technique being used very successfully?
Kraft Macaroni Cheese
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese ran a really successful campaign in which they showed tweets left by fans. They picked five different tweets that all mentioned “Mac & Cheese” and used these to create ad spots on television. The most like one was actually shown during the Lopez Tonight and Conan shows, which are on the TBS network. The other four chosen tweets are available on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese’s Facebook page, encouraging fans to discuss what they think about the video, and to share how they feel about mac ‘n cheese itself. Through social media, Kraft found a way to speak directly to their customers, while at the same time giving them a reward by featuring them on TV.
Starbucks ran the MyStarbucksIdea campaign, which encouraged people to share how they felt their overall Starbucks experience could be improved. Thousands of ideas were put forward, 130 of which have already been actioned on by the company. For instance, people can now create their drinks using a mobile app, the company now offers cold cups that can be used again, and there are even Starbucks canvas shopping bags. The MyStarbucksIdea website is still up and running, and people can continue to leave as many innovative solutions as they want. Ultimately, by crowdsourcing in a community of users, Starbucks was able to improve the overall user experience.
Threadless designs t-shirts and they have led the way when it comes to crowdsourcing. Every week, some 10 different designs are chosen, and winners always get the same prize, regardless of how often they have won or entered in the past. Through this idea, Threadless ensures that all users can submit ideas, and they can also vote on their favorite designs. In so doing, they know that only things that people actually like g et produced. This idea is now so popular that companies like Thermos have teamed up with Threadless in order to use the same platform. Threadless wearers are part of a community that is proud of what they do and wear.
Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s is perhaps the world’s best known ice cream maker. They have also crowdsourced among their customers, asking them for a new flavor. The called their campaign “Do the World a Flavor”, enabling people the world over to put forward their own ideas. The Facebook page of the company featured a “Creation Station”, where people could pick various Fairtrade ingredients, matching and mixing them in chunks and ice cream bases.
These examples show just how powerful a tool social media is when it comes to crowdsourcing, generating ideas and making people happy at the same time.