How to get people engaged online

24 Sep

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If ‘co-production’ – consumers publishing material on social media that directly engages with an organisation – is the highest form of creative engagement, then I’ve still got a long way to go to master this social art form.

According to Naoimh Looney, as read on The Wall blog, co-production provokes attention-grabbing material and helps businesses to form strong social links.

It might be easy to encourage the average consumer to do something on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest. But, when targeting chefs like I do day-to-day, it’s sometimes like getting blood from a stone.

Earlier this year, I helped run a photo campaign called ‘Concentrated Places‘ to celebrate the launch of Knorr’s Create More Concentrated Sauces. With the idea of getting chefs, caterers and anybody we could find to squeeze themselves into a tight spot in the kitchen, we gave ourselves two months to get as many pictures as we could uploaded onto leading chef community site Caterer & Hotelkeeper’s Table Talk.

We found it easy to secure the coverage, but securing entries was difficult. Not even the incentive of a donation per photo to the hospitality industry’s benevolent association, Hospitality Action, could convert interest into images.

We wanted to get inspirational chefs on board to encourage the wider industry to get involved. I even had the balls to ask Marco Pierre White at a master class, but he gave me a look to say ‘don’t you know who I am?’ before (not so) kindly telling me ‘no’.

We also tried Twitter which gave us some fantastic, and almost instant, responses from well-known chefs. But, again after sending them the details there was nothing to upload.

With weeks to go, we turned to the person we should have started with. The founder of chef forum Staff Canteen, Mark Morris, spread the word throughout his network which led to tens of photos pouring in each day.

We ended our campaign on 70 photos, raising more than £1,000 for charity. This experience hasn’t put us off doing something similar in the future, we’ve just learnt that a social media-led campaign is only as strong as your target audience. If they’re not willing or too busy to complete the call to action, it’s going nowhere.

NEW
Kellogg’s has brought the issue of co-production full circle by bringing social media to the streets. To generate a buzz around its new snack Special K Crackers, Kellogg’s has opened a Tweet Shop which encourages users to pay for their goods by tweeting about the low-calorie snack.

The Tweet Shop is open in London until the end of Friday.

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One Response to “How to get people engaged online”

  1. Naoimh Looney September 28, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Thanks for the mention Donna! Its a very valid/good point you have made and I agree! I love your line: “a social media-led campaign is only as strong as your target audience.” A great idea doesn’t necessarily mean an audience will engage with it in their droves. As you outlined an engaging campaign needs to be pitched through the right channels in order to achieve meaty results. Another key challenge I have realized(the hard way), is for the organisation to keep the engagement simple. Sounds like ‘Concentrated Places’ turned out to be a very successful campaign with a substantial donation to charity at the finish line. 70 quirky social photos associated with Knorr is a great achievement and I’m sure there must have been a great buzz around them!

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