Arby’s Deft Approach To Real Time Social Marketing- or Pharrell’s Hat Is Awesome

Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs
Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs

We watched the Grammys last night, but Diane and I had not planned to be wowed and entertained by a brand taking a real-time opportunity to be nimble and tongue-in-cheek and take the prize for social marketing. Arby’s social media team did a great job reacting in a positive way to Pharrell Williams and the close resemblance of his hat to the Arby’s brand. As of this afternoon Arby’s had over 81,609 retweets 46,489 favorites with the following tweet “Hey @Pharrell, can we have our hat back? #GRAMMYs” . Genius in more ways than one.

Pharrell and Daft Punk took the stage four times and the Twitterverse had a grand time making fun of his choice of chapeaux. It was opportunistic for Arby’s social marketing team to pivot on this and not only engage on Twitter but manage to get a positive response from Pharrell. It showed a real understanding of their brand and the ability to read a live situation correctly.

That last note is the important point here. Being cheeky and highly visible (by using the #GRAMMYs hashtag) could have been risky. Before going full steam ahead and trying to capitalize on live marketing opportunities:

  • Have a thorough understanding of your brand and your brand’s voice. If the brand you are representing has not established a playful tone, this kind of tweet could run counter to your brand’s image and cause some damage (a quick internet search will pull up some horror stories).
  • Does the event align with your business goals and can it provide positive brand recognition?

Above all else, you have to be a good steward for your brand.

Pharrell

Arby’s managed to opportunistically capitalize on Pharrell’s sartorial choice, and quick thinking with a simple tweet bought some real good will for the brand with digital natives. #YMO

Yours, Mine, and Ours.

socialblockHaving a good approach to social marketing in your business means going beyond just posting tweets, pins, pictures, videos, and updates. Our good friend Ted Rubin (@TedRubin) embodies going beyond with his Return on Relationship approach, #RonR, which is about building sustained relationships with consumers, peers, and others in your social graph. A good pivot from that concept to drive continued engagement and relationship is what @dianego and I (@Khodyg) are calling Yours, Mine, and Ours–#ymo.  While it may seem obvious, it’s critical to be mindful about the approach your business takes to social so that you can capitalize on the power of social now and in the future.

Here are some ideas Diane and I will explore in upcoming posts:

  • Understanding how to encourage and teach individuals in your organization to represent their expertise and areas of interest around your business for better customer perception and engagement
  • Striking a balance between using your social platforms for customers and prospects to keep them informed, engage them at the business level, and engage them as individuals
  • Extending the basics of good marketing practices to your non-marketer employees to help them be good stewards of your brand and messages without taking away their credibility and authenticity as individuals.
We’re excited about the idea of Yours, Mine, and Ours as a way for marketers to start to think differently about how to build their social plans to be more inclusive across their organizations and increase customer engagement and satisfaction.