Easily the most fun I had at SMW, the Oreo event was a rare opportunity to peek inside the workings of one of the best loved, most enduring brands of all time. Beth Reilly, Oreo’s Digital and Social Marketing Lead was interviewed by Sarah Hofstetter, President of 360i (their social media agency), though it quickly turned into a group conversation.
Beth spoke about Oreo’s organic growth over the years and its incredibly active and deeply engaged social media user network. This is a brand that never had to ask for fans or likes or tweets. All they had to do was provide the forum for people to share their experiences with the brand and they did, in troves. Oreo is one of the very few brands in the marketplace that somehow inspires natural and enthusiastic engagement. They have a base of loyal followers that consistently interact with Oreo via social and that group is ever expanding.
Beth went on to share an anecdote from last year, about Oreo’s goal of setting a Guinness World Record for most likes on a single Facebook post. They succeeded handily, but then someone else did too. It seemed like a great stunt, and all was going well, until rogue rapper Lil Wayne decided the honor was one he’d like for his own mantle, right beside his thoroughly undeserved Grammys (personal opinion). In the end, Oreo had the title for only a few hours. Though Oreo lost here, the story really drove home the point that Oreo’s competition in the social media space isn’t other cookies anymore. It is pop culture at large.
The learnings here, as Beth put forward:
1) Get a good understanding of what motivates the consumer
2) Matching luggage doesn’t always work. Different channels often call for different executions.
3) Social media is a relationship, not a one-night stand.
4) If you’re lucky enough to establish a following, don’t rest on your laurels.
Up next: ALEX BOGUSKY ON THE RISE OF THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR (REUTERS)