WaveMetrix‘s latest social media report looks at new ways brands are interacting with consumers online, using a variety of specific case studies to showcase crowdsourcing approaches.

No social media strategy is finite and WaveMetrix also tackles strategies that risk social media backlash. Here are some main points:

  1. Crowdsourcing via social media can get consumers involved, but needs to be linked to product
  2. Brands should consider their original fanbase when re-branding or launching new goods via social media
  3. Some social media content can backfire, by giving online users an opportunity to undermine the brand

I enjoyed reading WaveMetrix’ study and they picked some cool companies who have made it work and those who have not. One key campaign was Old Spice’s decision to recast Isaiah Mustafa as “the Old Spice guy.” Fans were not having it and luckily Old Spice was able to save face in an old-school “cook-off” style battle between prospective spokesmen. Another surprising brand that flopped in Q3? Nike. Nike’s launch of “expensive” new sneakers was shot down by its social media fanbase, instead of receiving the nostalgia that Nike had hoped for.

Companies that got it right? UNIQLO hit a home run with its “UNIQLOvers” initiative on Facebook. It’s unique approach of relying on select Facebook members achieved a positive impact and spread the brand love and recommendations successfully. 45% of UNIQLOvers recommend UNIQLO?s products and brands, more than double that of general consumers. Colgate’s Smile crowdsourcing generated positive brand buzz by encouraging Facebook fans to share personal experiences.

Takeaways from the study? Consumers want to feel needed, they want to feel appreciated. Companies that go the extra mile to regularly monitor their Facebooks and Twitters will always see the benefits. It’s a faster way to ensure all communication lines are open and that your most vital critics are having their concerns and opinions discussed. Thanks to WaveMetrix for taking a comprehensive look at an exciting quarter of social media and marketing.