This month, the North Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (NCPRSA) hosted a monthly professional development luncheon featuring a presentation by guest speaker Natalia Flores on the topic, Social Media Engagement Begins Offline: A Corporate Case Study in Building Successful Relationships in Latin America.
Flores, who has spent nearly a decade as a public relations marketing professional developing communications strategies for the U.S., U.S. Hispanic and Latin American markets, currently serves as a director at a public relations agency in Charlotte. Throughout her career, her clients have included VMware, Samsung, MasterCard Worldwide, SAP, Office Depot, Latin GRAMMYs and Batanga.
For the luncheon, Flores presented a case study about her client, Samsung, and the launch of its new product, the Samsung Galaxy Note, last year in Peru. Focusing on the fact that many businesses forget about offline interaction when using social media, Flores shared this video of the product launch and how her client used both offline and online interaction to promote the product:
Promoted online but acted out offline, the Samsung launch proved that the offline and online engagement are very much interrelated and should be used together. Instead of writing on the Samsung Facebook Page, “Buy the new Samsung Galaxy Note,” “Click here to see a video of the Samsung Galaxy Note,” or “Have you seen our new product the Samsung Galaxy Note?” Samsung promoted its product by encouraging fans to attend an offline event at a popular mall, where fans could use, interact and play with the new product.
Wanting to highlight the product’s easy-to-use stylist, Samsung hired local artists to create caricature drawings of participating fans and mall-goers. Fans could turn these pictures into buttons, t-shirts, etc., and in addition, photos were uploaded to the Facebook page, where fans could then tag, share and like their pictures.
In conjunction with this event, product sales increased, the fan base on Facebook grew and across social media platforms, fans tweeted, shared, posted and liked their drawings. Media coverage was high, and similar campaigns took place across Latin America and the Caribbean. Overall, it was a success!
So, what message did Flores want us to get out of this case study? Building relationships online starts offline. Just because you are on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean that you cannot engage with fans and followers offline. Use social media to become a resource for your fans, reward them for their loyalty and be more than just a computer or machine constantly pushing sales and promotions. Add human appeal to your postings and don’t be afraid to engage with fans offline. Having that face-to-face interaction offline is just as valuable to your social media strategy as writing Facebook posts or tweets.
Interested in learning more about this case study? Contact Natalia Flores at email@example.com or @curlygnat for a copy of her presentation, or come to the 2012 NCPRSA PR & Marketing Seminar November 15, where Flores will be guest-speaking.