If you've been following Nest, you know they're not your average home electronics company. Just check out the cool gadgets they make, and you'll know what I mean. Take this for example:
Nest Learning Thermostat
Nest Protect, a smoke & CO detector
But not only is Nest changing the home automation game, they're also aces at marketing.
Recently, we had the chance to speak with the social media director at Nest to get the inside scoop on what makes for a successful social media strategy. In this post, we'll share this advice and explain how you can use it to build a top-notch social media strategy for your brand.
1. Build a community
The first thing we learned is that Nest prioritizes community building. They do this by putting out a steady stream of content that provides value for their customers. They're also quick to retweet their customers' content or respond to a comment by a customer who's experiencing a problem.
Instead of thinking about what your business can gain from social media, think about what you can give. You could use social media to post helpful tips and friendly advice for your customers. This helps them get the most out of your product, and it builds the value of your brand. Here's an example of this kind of post from Nest:
The more your approach to social media feels like a natural interaction between friends, the more success you're likely to have. You want to build a community where customers share things they love with you, and you share things you love with your customers.
For example, Nest's customers often mention them in tweets talking about how much they love using Nest's products. Here's one such tweet:
Happy customers give you free marketing and become your greatest assets.
Likewise, Nest is quick to share things they're excited about, like this post that showcases a work of art a Nest user made to enhance their wall-mounted Nest thermostat:
A marketer's dream: customers seeing your product as a work of art.
This is the zone where you want to be with your social media efforts. But how can you get there? You need to start by becoming familiar with your customers. This leads us to the next lesson from Nest, which is...
2. Let your customers inform your strategy
This is a simple principle, but that doesn't mean it comes easily. To be personal and relatable to its customers, Nest needs to know them really well, and they've clearly invested the time to do so. You can't help someone see how your product will contribute to the things they care most about without knowing what those things are.
Nest has mastered the strategy of observing how their community is interacting and engaging with their social channels, then producing content that speaks to those interests.
What does this look like in action? One of Nest's principal products is a smoke & carbon monoxide detector called Nest Protect. They recognize that their customers care about safety, and in response to that, they promoted a campaign to nominate local fire departments for a grant.
If you're a local brand, consider looking for community causes you can get behind, then supporting them in a social campaign. It's a great thing to do for your community, and it can help you gain some social media traction as well. Just make sure you're sincere in whatever you do.
Additionally, all of Nest's branding and content have a personal feel that gets to the core of what a good connection between the customer and company looks like. One of my favorite things that Nest does on social media is the Caught on Nest Cam video series, which consists of clips of funny or interesting moments captured by Nest Cams in the homes of actual customers. Here's a good one:
With this social media effort and many others on Nest's pages, they are using a technique perhaps best exemplified by one of my all-time favorite marketers: Apple. Though Apple is a huge company, they've managed to maintain a personal feel in their branding, and they often focus on the human element of their products.
Apple's marketing shows their products integrating seamlessly into everyday life and enhancing the things that people care most about. Nest does the same thing by showing their products in people's homes and providing the safety, peace of mind, and convenience that their customers crave. A recent ad by Nest did a great job of capturing the human element. It depicts a house as a speaking character talking about his experiences with the family.
Your business can do this, too. Think about the basic ideas behind why you started your business. What value does it add? How does it make people's lives better? If you can answer these questions, then it's just a matter of telling people about it.
If you own a sandwich shop and you think your food tastes the best and will make people happy, then post a photo of happy people eating at your shop, or your food bringing people together at a party. When you focus on your customers, your ideal strategy will become clear.
3. Be consistent
Along with the previous thoughts, one crucial element to social media success is consistency. Not only do you need to have a consistent brand across all your channels, but you need to post consistently as well. For example, research suggests that 3 tweets a day will bring the highest levels of engagement. Nest has a strong presence on several of the major channels, and they do a great job of consistently posting and interacting.
If you're wondering where to start, begin by putting out content consistently. If you do this, chances are you'll start to attract a following. Then, engage with those people and show interest. You'll begin to learn what's important to them. Consistency will help you build and maintain your community and your brand's personal connection to it.