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Behold the Power of “Free”

I work part-time for a company in Brookline, MA that manufacturers various technology devices, and my primary responsiblity is to manage their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts the company has.  They are a young, fairly unknown company that makes products that are sold only by third-party distributors.  Becuase of the their distribution methods,  it is somewhat of a challenge to establish brand loyalty with their customers who rarely, if ever deal directly with the company.  Obviously, that is why social media can be of such high value to a company like this; giving them the ability to establish a relationship directly with their customers.

We’re going to focus on Twitter and Facebook here, and their ability to work together and complement each other because of their different uses.  In early February, both the Facebook page and Twitter accounts for this company had around 150 followers.  Through April, I was able to grow their Twitter follower count to around 500 people.  Twitter is a great tool for a technology company since many “techies”, gadget-lovers, and general technology enthusiasts use Twitter.  Because you are limited to 140 characters (actually, 120-125 if you have any interest at all in being re-tweeted), it is a great tool for sharing reviews, articles, blog posts, videos, demos, and news. That and other quick and meaningful content is exactly what your customer needs to know as they scroll through their feed and what the techies, who are most likely to share your message with others, want to see.

I was posting mostly similar content on our Facebook page, and it was not garnering nearly the same attention.  This was quick, useful content, but Facebook does not exactly have a ReTweet button.  This type of content is informtaive and valuable, but not engaging, and the main reason most any of us use Facebook is to be engaged.  To keep this post relatively short, I will not get into the fact that Facebook is not exactly the greatest tool for companies that deal in the business-to-business model, maybe that is a future post. We were linking the company’s Facebook account to many of our tweets, and began directing people in the Twitter world to our Facebook account for more information on our tweets, and that did slowly work, but not nearly as well as our next move.

We decided to give away two of our next-generation, award-winning products.  How do you enter the drawing? All you have to do is “like” us on Facebook. The result? Within the first 48 hours of announcing the give away on both Twitter and Facebook, our Facebook following nearly doubled. Within a week, our monthly active users grew from 197 to 650, our wall posts jumped from an average of 20 per week to 81 in the first week alone, and our page visits jumped from 294 the previous week to 1,052 the first week of the giveaway.  The key stat to me was the wall posts jumping from 2o to 81, proving that our give away reached our target customer, who had never visited our Facebook page before, and who clearly wanted to share their positive experiences with our products.  People are motivated by free stuff, no way around it.

Behold, the power of free.

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