By Mark Cameron
One such success story is the US activity by the permanent marker pen company Sharpie. The firm managed its social media platforms with courage and skill in 2012 and managed to generate a 5% lift in market share as a result, ending up with a total of 89%. So how did they do it?
This last point is important as many brands don’t manage to make that jump in logic, relying instead on the apparent ‘newness and coolness’ of the platforms themselves to be engaging. Sharpie went well beyond this by using images, created by both their marketing resources and customers alike, to promote self-expression and creativity. The global director of marketing Sharpie at Newell Rubbermaid, Ryan Rouse, said the creativity and engagement they discovered in their market “went so far beyond what even we had expected. Teens are customizing and personalizing [sic] and using our products and other types of products to create content.”
Importantly, Sharpie didn’t just focus on one social media channel. Of course they used Facebook as a central engagement point, with 3,996,008 page Likes at the time of writing this article. They extended Facebook with well thought-through Facebook apps to collect data, provide value to their customers and reward their brand advocates.
They also grew their Instagram following to over 49,000 in 2012 with no ad support or integration into the Sharpie website. Added to this was their highly effective use of Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Their YouTube channel has gathered 2403 subscribers and close to 2 million video views.
All the numbers aside, the true brilliance of the Sharpie social media strategy is that the company has managed to loosen control of the brand and empower their customers. They have realised that in the social media world, effective communication and brand recognition is not about a bigger logo. The market appreciates recognition and engaging stories. The question is, can you do the same?