The win/win of getting social with your competition #1

 In Business, Marketing

The idea of interacting with others you might see as your competition, or other businesses targeting a similar market to you, might sound to some like shooting yourself in the social foot.  However, done authentically and carefully, getting involved with others in your market can realise some great social returns for your business.

Friendly, witty banter – Kit Kat vs Oreo

Early last year, Kit Kat and Oreo engaged in some friendly social banter to win the affections of one of their twitter followers over a game of Tic Tac Toe. It all started when a UK resident, Laura Ellen tweeted:

Can tell I like chocolate abit too much when I’m following @KITKATand @Oreohahahahahah”

tictactoe mashableBFRXgkMCMAA_Lj5Kit Kat responded with a playful challenge for Oreo:  a game of Tic Tac Toe to win Laura’s affection.  This was a witty choice given the way the two confectionaries lend themselves to the Tic Tac Toe shapes of knaughts and crosses.

Oreo bounced back with a rascally response – it had a little nibble of the Kit Kat cross that had been played. The action paid Kit Kat a compliment (“sorry Kit Kat, we couldn’t resist”) and maintained a fun engagement between the two brands, but politely ensured that neither companies would be left in the potentially difficult position of a public loss.

Why it worked:

It was unexpected, fun and showed both Kit Kat and Oreo acting like people, not personality-less brand names. It caught the attention of the public and provided an opportunity for both brands to ride a wave of fun, positive social media, despite their close positioning in the confectionery market.

What can we learn?

That social media should always be just that: social. Whether it’s engagement with a competitor, a complaint from a customer, or positive feedback about a good or service you’ve provided, approach every interaction from a social point of view.

•  Converse with your followers.
•  Work out how you can act on opportunities as they arise and turn mentions from your followers into engagement that offers them value (and social mentions have value).
•  Don’t automatically ignore or run from mentions by, or interactions with, your competitors.  Seek ways to engage respectfully and in a way that will reveal the human-ness behind your brand.

Story images: Mashable

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