Friday, November 1, 2013

Burt's Bees - Aliza Esther Levin

After researching various commercial Facebook pages, Burt’s Bees really stood out to me because of their successful balance of advertisements, premiums, and content flow. Burt’s Bees is a well-known natural personal care company, so unsurprisingly they have over 1,500,000 likes. The marketing approach on their page, however, certainly contributes to their popularity as well.

First, Burt’s Bees does not directly give away free items, but they encourage the public to buy their items by consistently offering coupons. On October 23rd, for example, they offered a $2.00 off coupon for their lip gloss line, which gives viewers an incentive to try out the lip gloss. They did the same thing on October 16th for lip gloss as well, and on October 17th for their face care products. Although these aren’t direct giveaways, they still attract users to try their products by giving them a better deal. In terms of participation, I think they could do a better job on their Facebook page. They encourage participate by posting statuses that ask questions about opinions about their products or facts about the brand, and these posts get thousands of comments and likes. These statuses do provide an element of participation. I feel, however, that they could post surveys about their products, or perhaps promote venues where their products are sold or maybe even on sale, and users would feel more included in their brand. Third, user-generated content is easily available. Users can post photos and tag Burt’s Bees, and then they appear on the “photos of Burt’s Bees” tab. Several users post images of themselves at Burt’s Bees events, or simply images of themselves with Burt’s Bees products.  Burt’s Bees could easily privatize tagged photos so the public could not view them, but instead they choose to allow access to everyone as a way to market real people using their products. Fourth, customer service is very evident on their Facebook page because anyone can post on their timeline, whether it is to ask questions, make a suggestion, or simply compliment or criticize the company. The public not only can post on their timeline, but they also can comment on Burt’s Bee’s posts and engage in dialogue that the company initiates. Thus, users can respond to already created dialogue, or they can initiate the conversation. This is really important feature of their Facebook page, because it makes the users’ participation feel welcomed, accepted, and appreciated. And finally, the content flow is excellent. At most, the company posts about two or three times per day, and they at least post once a day. I think this an ideal balance, because they post enough to market for themselves and keep viewers engaged and informed, but not so much that it feels desperate and annoying. They post about new products (lotions, face products, makeup, etc.), about organizations and causes they support, and about mentions they have in magazines or articles. In other words, they have a variety of different topics in their posts, which keeps them interesting and exciting.

After carefully analyzing each of these elements, I think Burt’s Bees does a fantastic and effective job of social media marketing. They maintain consistent posts that vary in content, they offer deals and coupons for their viewers, and they make their page feel very friendly and welcoming for the public to engage with and even generate their own content. And in addition to all of this, their page still represents the values of the brand: bright, natural, and friendly.  

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