4 Things @MrsJLSnowman Learned Me About Online Communities
Online corporate space mostly offers customer service, or is littered with hard sell marketing.
Few spaces nurture conversation with a gentle curator to develop an online community, brought together by the love of a brand.
It’s amazing just how many people want to do just that. @mrsjlsnowman filled that gap, there to simply chat about the John Lewis Christmas ad, the festive season and snow.
@MrsJLSnowman made a lot of friends
My favourite exchange was with the Evening Standard’s Rosamund Urwin on whether Mrs Snowman’s husband was trying to melt her with gloves. We ended up trading our best GCSE chemistry knowledge trying to work out heat induction laws.
Resume: After noticing John Lewis had failed to take its popular Christmas ad stars online, Emily Turner set up a Twitter account with the intention of sending a few joke tweets to John Lewis. But things escalated quickly, and soon she found herself at the helm of Twitter account boasting some two and a half thousand followers.
The @mrsJLSnowman journey learned me a great deal about handling online brand guardians and fans. Here are 4 takeaways:
1. Fans want to interact
As the follower numbers grew, @mrsjlsnowman had hundreds of requests to rate Christmas trees, decorations, snowman cakes and crazy photos of snowmen.
2. People want to talk outside of work time
Many corporate feeds operate 9am to 5pm but I found that the biggest spikes in activity were before work, as people were commuting or getting ready, and after work, especially after 7.30pm. Between 12 and 1pm was also busy, but to a much lesser degree.
While many corporates reply to out-of-hours tweets during the next working day, it means the brand has missed the opportunity for a conversation within the moment.
3. Online communities are strong brand guardians
My community of snowchums, as I called them, were fiercely protective. They warned others not to follow “imposters” and recommended @mrsjlsnowman to friends and grew followers. They sought out others like themselves talking to @mrsjlsnowman and followed each other.
4. Superfans crave the red carpet treatment
In return, they wanted recognition that they had been among the first to follow, as well as particular attention and longer conversations. They also wanted their content shared and to hear about information first, as if they were a member of an exclusive club.
Brands who court the superfan, do so at their peril. They will fight for your brand’s reputation online, but will turn if you do not roll out the red carpet in return.
Read the other stories about the @MrsJLSnowman journey in this series:
- Why I Invented @MrsJLSnowman And How It Turned Out To Be A Lesson In Social Media Strategy
- How I Brandjacked John Lewis And Ended Up in Twitter Jail
- How The Unofficial @MrsJLSnowman Twitter Account Got A Thank You From John Lewis
@emilyaturner is a PR and Social Media Director for Zoodikers.com. Each Wednesday for 4 weeks Emily will write about the lessons she learned on her @MrsJLSnowman journey. Read the first and second part in the series here and here, and stay tuned for the final stop on her Snowwoman expedition!
What readers tweet about this article:
— HatsPeriod (@HatsPeriod) March 27, 2013
— Rebecca Crosby (@RebeccaCrosby11) March 26, 2013
— Marketing Chap (@Marketing_Chap) March 27, 2013