In my public relations class we discussed effective ways to get fans involved with an organization. My professor showed us It’s Good to Give, which was made on Facebook Studio. Milk-Bone is a company that makes dog biscuits and started the “It’s Good to Give” Campaign 13 years ago. A portion of every Milk-Bone purchase has gone to the Canine Assistance Organization to help train service dogs.
After watching the video and discussing this campaign, I felt like this campaign was successful because Milk-Bone was able to create a loyal fan base who followed Noble’s story. Through the use of its Facebook page, Milk-Bone is able to update its 161,000 fans on the dog’s progress. The interaction on Facebook between fans and the company is conversational and welcoming. This is what allowed people to not just “like” Noble but to “completely fall in love with him.”
According to the tips on Marinel Mones’ blog post, A Facebook Basics Primer, Milk-Bone seems to have a handle on its Facebook fan page, and it knows its purpose on social networks. It has committed itself to being a part of the online community, and it knows where it stands as a member of a social network. Milk-Bone has also kept an ongoing dialogue with its fans. The posts on the fan page receive multiple comments, and fans post their own stories on the page. Another reason, according to Mones, that Milk-Bone is successful is because of the campaign it introduced.
The “Its Good to Give” campaign produced 6.3 million touches on its Facebook page and more than a billion media impressions through PR. Not only does the Facebook page follow each dog’s story, it also provides “notes” which are used to engage in conversation with fans over things like dog naming and trainer responses. Since the campaign, Canine Assistants has added 300 more donors to its database. Milk-Bone’s PR has developed an online community of dog-lovers and people-persons.
The campaign is compelling to dog lovers and to humanitarians. It targets and delivers the same story to these two audiences by presenting Noble’s (and now three more dogs’) story as a developing dog, and as helping Chris, a man in need of a service dog.
Milk-Bone is an example other companies should follow when trying to create a successful Facebook fan page. It is dynamic and consistent. It is a socially responsible company and follows the advice of public relations professionals about social networking. By engaging in conversations and keeping the audience updated with the dogs’ progress, the company is reliable.
Even though I’m not a dog person, I would follow Milk-Bone’s “It’s Good to Give” campaign because I believe in what they do for the people. If I was a dog person, I would be more inclined to engage with Milk-Bone and other fans on the fan page. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll warm up to man’s best friend. For now, I think I’ll just stick to PR.
As an audience member of multiple companies, I find the most successful to be those who interact, update and maintain relationships.
1. A company’s online appearance should be interactive with its audience. For example, Nordstrom’s Facebook fan page offers surveys, store locations, fan feedback and recent Twitter posts.
2. A company should update its Facebook often enough (at least twice a week) to keep the audience interested. If a company waits too long to update its audience, the audience will forget about it. Milk-Bone does a good job keeping its fans interested.
3. I like when companies, like Nordstrom, maintain relationships with third parties by linking to other companies. Often if an audience is interested in one company, it will be interested in similar companies or products.
To create a successful fan page, follow these tips. Remember that your audience is interested in what you have to offer, or else they wouldn’t have “liked” your page in the first place. Meet their interests, and keep them updated for the most traffic to your site. Stay committed to your fan page, and engage in conversation with your audience and third parties.