There has been an increasing trend in social media marketing – brands monitoring conversations on social media platforms and then surprising consumers with unexpected gifts. Trendwatching.com recently referred to the trend as “Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.)” and called it one of the 11 “Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011.” It’s no surprise then that brands have jumped on the strategy and many are now seeing successful returns on their investments. For example, since July 2010, Pretzel Crisps has not only been monitoring and responding to conversations on Twitter, but also taking action and either sending the consumers “in need of a snack” samples or physically delivering the product to their doors. Pretzel Crisps is also counting on these consumers to then use their own social networks to tell their friends and followers about the “gifts” they receive, thus spreading the company’s goodwill to an even larger audience. The strategy has earned the brand more than 4.2 million earned media impressions and led to a dollar sales increase since the campaign began. Read about some other examples of “Random Acts of Kindness” HERE.
What makes “Random Acts of Kindness” a viable social media strategy? For starters, consumers are currently disclosing a vast amount of personal information on public forums: about their daily lives, their moods or their whereabouts (whether on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, GetGlue or any other number of social apps). Secondly, consumers are interacting with brands more and more and they are expecting brands to interact with them in a way that’s rewarding to them. Last, but not least, brands are increasing the amount of time and resources on monitoring the social web. Put it all together and you have the makings of a win-win program.