Yesterday I wrote about the trend of companies establishing a Facebook page without having a reason or clear strategy. Today, I’m looking at two companies who have adopted Facebook in very different ways.
The first is, Your Baby Can Read, a company that created an educational DVD claiming to teach babies how to read. The other is, Mad Mimi, which provides email marketing services for small and medium sized businesses.
The core attributes of the group of customers couldn't be further apart on the passion spectrum. Your Baby Can Read has customers who are new parents, just looking for the opportunity to monologue with joyous exhilaration over the amazing exploits of their obviously genius child.
Mad Mimi’s customers are small & medium sized businesses who, although they may be extremely enthusiastic about their companies new line of color coordinated cushion inserts for librarian shoes, aren't generally as excited about products and services surrounding an email marketing campaign.
Both companies have Facebook Pages that are well trafficked by customers.
On one page, keeping consistent with the company's unique voice, is a Facebook presence that’s overflowing with infectious good humor, playful personality, genuine customer interaction and detailed answers & information. On the other page, the other company’s Facebook persona seems to exist just to give the order line phone number, and alert sales and pricing inquiries to the online pricelists.
Now, here’s the test - which page belongs to which company?
Ironically, it’s Mad Mimi, the email marketing company, that uses its Facebook page to build on its image as a fun, happy group of people who cheerfully and knowledgeably help their customers do some fairly mundane business functions in a hip sort of way.
So, what is it that explains this counter intuitive reality? I believe it comes down to Mad Mimi’s understanding of what makes them unique. Sure their product is good, but there are other good products. Mad Mimi knows that the fun, edgy, responsive and knowledgeable personality they have created, and the way that makes their customers feel, is the ultimate component of the “Mad Mimi Experience”. They have amassed over 40,000 customers and haven't spent a dime on advertising. They adopted Facebook with clear objectives, and understood how it would fit into the rest of their operations.
Although I’m not familiar with Your Baby Can Read’s specific Facebook strategy, but looking from the outside in, it appears their Page was created out of a perceived obligation. In addition, the sporadic company postings are void of any encouragement, congratulations or appreciation to their customers and can be perceived as automated. In taking this approach, they are missing a huge opportunity to encourage involvement with the Quintessential Customer of Influence who, in the end, would be the Ultimate Product Champion.
Now, here’s the thing: The executives at Your Baby Can Read may be quite happy at the performance of their Facebook Page. After all, there are few negative comments, but generally speaking the customer comments overall provide a good set of references.
But they have not done the one thing that really matters.
They have not created an emotional attachment between their customers and their company.
Contrast this with Mad Mimi. Take a look at the the Mad Mimi Facebook page and you get a very clear sense that many of their customers actually connect emotionallywith Mad Mimi as a whole. I’m not talking about the email marketing service they sell, but the actual company, and the people who make it up.
Look at this recent exchange on the Mad Mimi Page:
Emotional connection is the holy grail of Customer Engagement: it brings loyalty, commitment, advocacy and forgiveness. Mad Mimi is an example of a company that has attained it, and uses Facebook as a way to maintain and enhance it.
Your Baby Can Read is an example of a company that has work to do. It begins with developing a clear company voice, expressing it at every opportunity, and embracing tools like Facebook to allow an authentic emotional connection with its customers to grow. Its about baby steps.
What do you think?
See the Mad Mimi Facebook Page here and the Your Baby Can Read Page here