Recently, the Facebook account of Nescafe Philippines has reached 2 million likes; making it as the country’s top brand page on Facebook. To celebrate this huge milestone, Nescafe celebrated the Nescafe Fans’ Day at the Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia, earlier this afternoon. The event was attended by Nescafe drinkers together with bloggers and members of the press. The event was the way Nescafe thanked its fans as they move forward for the next 2 million fans.
During the press conference, Nescafe’s Business Executive Manager Christophe Stern has thanked the fans for their support as evidenced by the great conversations happening online. The level of engagement shows how the brand is deeply connected with its community as they continue to strengthen their relationship to their audience.
As a social media strategist, I congratulate Nescafe for their online success. They do not only have the numbers; they actually have that level of engagement brands aspire to have. In a numerical driven industry that we are having right now, backing up the numbers with quality conversation extends the influence of a particular brand several times. What Nescafe had represents the nirvana social media strategists wishes to have.
Sitting for almost an hour gives me several lessons to keep in mind when handling brands online. Let me enumerate them:
- Be There. The first step to attain this level of success is that brands need to be where their audience are. Sounds like a no-brainer, but beyond this is the challenge to be consistent; and the fact is, Nescafe has been there all the time talking, engaging with their fans.
- Talk. Being true to its brand, Nescafe always initiates feel-good conversations to their fans. Not only that they have established themselves as the leading morning companion offline, they reinforce this by continually engaging with their growing following. If there is one thing that this suggests; it is that it is not enough just to be present, but the more important thing is how you make your online presence known.
- Be Creative. Alright, you proved that you are there and you engage with your fans constantly; but this calls for another challenge– a more difficult challenge that is. What the online community specifically reviles (note the use of the word; ‘hate’ is too tame to use for this context) is monotony and brands need to avoid this at all cost. How did Nescafe overcome this? By making an app where online fans can earn points in exchange of redeemable prizes. This works both ways: 1) It encourages the fans to talk to them online by rewarding them based on their contribution to Nescafe’s FB page; and 2) It gives Nescafe the benefit of increased engagement. Creativity is the thing that reinforces your brand’s presence further.
These all brings us back to the ultimate cause of online marketing: building trust. Brands need to be trusted and the fact is, trust is hard to gain especially online. Nescafe built the foundations of the community’s trust by energizing their online community. Nescafe is not just online; they made it known that they are there listening and interacting with them. That spawns trust based on camaraderie. That is what brands and social media strategists should be aiming for; and that is what Nescafe is teaching us at this moment.
*Photos taken from Nescafe Philippines’ Facebook account