Alec William England | Social media marketing

Stop telling your followers what to buy. Instead, let them help you to create your brand’s story on social media.

Alec England

Centerlyne Columnist

Customer collaboration

We have finally reached a day where an overwhelming majority of business owners understand the importance of social media for their business. But what most don’t yet understand is that marketing on social media is not about simply letting people know about your business and what it offers. That doesn’t matter today as much as it used to. Odds are, Amazon already has the thing you have. And they can deliver it faster. So, how do small business owners compete with the likes of Amazon? Some seem to have found a way. Customer collaboration. A way of looking at marketing as more of a team effort between business and customer.

Everyone on social media tells a story of some sort. What sets individuals apart from companies on social media is that individual stories can happen organically. Companies are tasked with this storytelling in a much more forced manner given that these stories need to be crafted specifically to encourage sales.

But it doesn’t need to be forced. And you don’t need to do it alone. Your followers can help.

Success stories stemming from effective customer collaboration are difficult to come by. Not because it doesn’t work, but because so many companies fail to do it correctly. One company, however, BECCA Cosmetics, is writing the book on successful customer collaboration.

BECCA’s marketing team, while already social media-savvy, changed their game when they noticed that spikes in their sales coincided with a certain social media influencer posted about their products. Jaclyn Hill, a YouTube sensation with over 3 million followers, had included their products in recent video makeup tutorials. The BECCA team then began to reach out to her, both thanking her for the mentions and looking to work with her.

What came of the collaboration was a line of cosmetics made by BECCA and Sephora that was formally endorsed by Jaclyn Hill, the Champagne Collection. The plan was to showcase the new products at a few marketing and influencer events, then release it to the public later on. But word got out about these new products and Jaclyn’s followers demanded them right then and there. BECCA, wisely listening to their followers, agreed to make the products available to Jaclyn’s followers by allowing them to use a hashtag to buy the product. The sale was announced on Snapchat, and her followers started hashtagging up a storm. The result? Their entire stock of the Champagne Collection sold out in 75 minutes. Those who snoozed were forced to wait until supplies could be replenished.

BECCA and Sephora not only gained the help of a prominent social media influencer, they let her and their followers influence the story they were putting up on social media down to the last sale. The result turned out to be extremely lucrative for all parties involved, simply because they were willing to listen to what their followers wanted and changed their course accordingly. Followers want to feel appreciated and listened to, especially among social media giants like Hill.

Unsuccessful marketers and marketing teams continue to live and think in the 1950’s. Many of them still believe that in this day and age, an unwanted ad screaming “Buy! Buy! Buy!” on Facebook or Instagram will still work. It doesn’t. Social media has completely changed the way we communicate, think, and act. It is up to us as marketers, marketing teams, and business owners to change with it. If we don’t, we simply become one voice out of billions fighting for attention with a message that nobody cares about.

For more information on effective social media marketing, click here.

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