Harnessing the Brag-Factor across channels

As an Australian you have a right to brag. I would go as far as saying bragging is an Australian pastime…even a tradition. As of recent I have been seeing more online retailers giving their purchasers the ability to brag across their Facebook and Twitter pages. First it was expert reviews, then came peer reviews, then came the “like” and now the “brag”. I’m quite sure the “brag” won’t be the next social button to appear on external sites, but it’s interesting to see retailers using social to harness this “brag factor” and extend their offers across channels into the social space.

BrandsExclusive.com.au does this particularly well. Buy a product on BrandsExclusive.com.au and you’re presented with a purchase confirmation web page that allows you to tell your friends about your great new purchase. I know for a fact I had a number of my own friends sign up to brandsExclusive.com.au off the back of my Facebook post. Their first purchases were linked to me and I received a $10 voucher for each of these transactions. A nice touch and a very interesting example of a multi-channel communications strategy in play. The true value in a multi-channel is giving your audience the ability to interact with your brand across channels. Interest was piqued, my friends joined and then purchased all from a simple spot of bragging.

Be careful though as sometimes “the brag” can have the opposite effect.

I have a friend of mine who I have always held in high regard both personally and professionally. This friend…let’s call him Horatio Heo. Horatio works for a TV station and pitched a concept to his bosses at said TV station. This involved Horatio being sent to the Word Cup as a journo and reporting back via blog on a daily basis with a blow by blow account of a journo’s life at a major sporting event. Sounds terrible I know.

Anyway…Horatio and his pitch were accepted and he was sent to follow our Socceroos around South Africa. With every post Horatio extended the reach of his posts to his friends and family via Facebook and Twitter. Meaning we all had the pleasure of seeing how great a time he was having whilst being literally pitch side for all the biggest and best games. I must admit my interest levels piqued early and then quickly descended into a nice mix of jealousy and hatred.

A similar situation happened with another colleague. This fine gentleman is UK based, works in a high profile position and spends what seems every 2nd week jet setting around Europe. With every trip he gives the obligatory Facebook update on his latest adventures. He even has the gall to update his LinkedIn Trip It profile with his latest and greatest destination. Now, I’m hoping I’m not coming across as a jealous twat sod, but you can quite quickly see that if not done right or done too often this activity can have some interesting connotations to your brand.

Done right this can be a very powerful extension to your existing multi-channel communications strategy. A well thought out mix of message and incentive can have great results not only in revenue, but also customer acquisition. Giving a customer the ability to share they have made a purchase is a nice touch as long as it’s relevant. Put yourself in the shoes of the purchaser’s friends. Do they really care that I bought a pair of jeans? Let’s be honest. Are day to day purchases for small ticket items relevant? Well they’re to friends and friends of friends if they’re true life changing purchases….bought a house….going on a “round the world” holiday. Even more relevant if you and your friend get a slice of the pie. If your post purchase confirmation tactics include incentives for the poster and his audience then everyone wins. Even you!

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