They really do How little wheels led to big brand exposure

We buy any carYou might have already seen this photo circulating on twitter and Facebook this month and had a little giggle at Adam Jennings’ (aka JamieDMJ) merry prank.

Sadly it’s a spoof. No such letter was ever sent to Had JamieDMJ decided to try he might have been surprised to learn that, true to their name, will absolutely buy ANY car, including his Little Tike’s Cosy Coupe. Something they’ve made extra clear by launching a new sister site promising to buy the first 100 Tikes they’re offered for the princely sum of a tenner apiece. Provided they’re in good working order of course.

It’s a fun little story but one that highlights both the benefits and potential nightmare that social media can present for your business. The initial photograph was re-tweeted over 32,000 times and each time it was read it sent the message that webuyanycar was humourless and stiff with customer service that was borderline rude.

Not exactly the best brand message.  However, by getting involved with the joke webuyanycar managed to both defuse the negative publicity and show that they have a sense of humour about themselves, effectively co-opting the picture into a bit of free positive publicity:

Like it or not once people are talking about your brand you can’t control what they’re saying, good or bad, especially not in the Wild West of social media. However, any time the public is talking about your company is a free opportunity to engage with your customers and get your values across.

And it’s an opportunity that is wasted by many brands.

It starts with a smart approach, that is, researching who your customers are, what they think about you and why. That research is a process that involves listening to your audience.  This is where social platforms come into their own as the tool to assess the sentiment of feedback to brand messages.

Often a brand can know it is truly utilising the power of social media when its audience feel they have some ownership and will pro-actively advocate a brand – ultimately it’s your customers marketing for you. A great example is Bootea  whose Instagram page and website frequently feature glowing customer testimonials pulled from Facebook and other sources that testify to the effectiveness of their product.

This is all great stuff.  But how do you build that emotive connection with your audience, such that, they are engaged with you and spreading the word? It all starts with understanding how you’re different and how to articulate that in a compelling way and getting going. But it’s important to KEEP it going – consistent content that your audience loves will lead to success for you, as long as you know what success looks like for you.

If you’d like to get social and understand how this channel can deliver for your brand and bottom line then get in touch with us @outsmartagency or or, of course, there’s always and 0113 2473966.