Lauren Salazar, Director of Social Media for Weight Watchers, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss empowering the customer service team to embrace social as a tool, gamification as a way to engage customers socially, and how Weight Watchers has already embraced wearable technology.
Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.
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“The role of social media for @WeightWatchers is to enable, inspire, encourage.” -@sassandglitter (tweet this)
Social Customer Service
Lauren’s social media team’s role at Weight Watchers boils down to two major tasks: take care of the millions of members and present the front-facing personality of the brand to the rest of the word.
In addition to inspiring, sharing relevant content, and creating content of their own, this also means that Lauren’s team sometimes answers up to 1,000 questions per week through social media.
How do they do it? “We undertook a pretty significant training exercise with our customer care staff in making them platform experts, and really teaching them how to leverage social media in support of their duties.” Those people already know all about the brand and the people who love it, so they can answer the questions – they just needed the know-how. Rather than train an agency in all the ins-and-outs of the brand, why not train the customer service team in the platform?
Wearable and Gamification
Weight-loss programs lend themselves to gamification, since there are already numbers and goals involved. Weight Watchers has taken advantage of this in a couple of ways.
The Weight Watchers site features a Community section with message boards for support, etc. But they also feature Weight Watchers Challenges, where friends can challenge each other, members can join challenges, and everyone can share their successes. Brides set up bridal challenges, mommy groups set up challenges for each other, and the opportunities are endless. This helps with accountability, motivation, and keeping people connected with the brand and with each other.
Weight Watchers also already has its own wearable technology, along with a whole set of tools to go along with it. The ActiveLink helps members measure their daily activity and motivates them to get even more active.
We’ve all been keeping an eye on wearable technology, and this early adoption bodes well for the next wave of technological innovation. “We see a lot of people sharing photos on Instagram and talking about their favorite moments of joy during the day when they’re wearing it.” Then Lauren’s team can pick up on that and amplify the message.
Social Media Number of the Week: 4.5 million
$4.5 million. That’s the high end of cost for a 30-second spot broadcast during Super Bowl XLVIII. This number is juxtaposed against a recent study by Communicus that says 80% of Super Bowl ads don’t affect sales.
The astronomical price makes sense; the Super Bowl is one of the few television events that people watch completely live, which means no fast-forwarding through commercials on the DVR.
But while some Super Bowl ads are memorable for years, most of them are, in practice, quite forgettable. Maybe this year we will see Super Bowl ads that are actually part of an integrated marketing campaign with a strong call-to-action. After all, everyone is already watching the game with a smartphone or a tablet in their hand.
Also from the world of football, we have a great example of real-time marketing for our Holy Social! this week. During the divisional playoff game against the San Diego Chargers, Peyton Manning called “Omaha” 44 times. (There is now a prop bet over how many times he will say it during the Super Bowl.)
In a moment of true marketing genius, the @VisitOmaha Twitter handle tweeted the following:
— Official Omaha Info (@VisitOmaha) January 12, 2014
This works because it’s not a forced marketing plug. Instead, it’s a genuine engagement with a topic people are talking about (Twitter had exploded with tweets like, “Is he saying Omaha?” “I think he’s saying Omaha”). Moments like this can’t be planned, so is your brand ready to take advantage?
The Big Two – Lauren Salazar
What’s your one tip for becoming a social pro?
“It’s important to have the antithesis of Shiny Object Syndrome.” If your fans aren’t on a platform yet, then it probably doesn’t make sense for you to be there yet either. Be excited, but not too excited.
If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?
See you next week!