The Power of WOM and Ice Cream!

By | September 6, 2011

Alice Farmiloe

“We will trade data for scoops,” cried NetProspex employees last week before receiving an exciting summer treat when the Ben & Jerry’s truck stopped by our office in Waltham on their summer tour.

They dished out bountiful scoops to the entire workforce of their new flavor ‘Americone Dream.’ It all started with our data specialist Erin, who began spreading the word that if NetProspex employees tweeted enough we could get a visit from the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop truck on its Summer 2011 East coast Tour. This is the second year running for the Ben&Jerry’s scoop truck.

The word soon spread, as the NetProspex team began tweeting furiously in response to “Want free ice cream? Tweet us?”

Their Scoop Truck Tour 2011 visited these lucky cities: San Fran, Miami, New York, LA and BOSTON! The truck had some pre-assigned stops on its route but for the majority of destinations they relied on socially savvy fans to lure the truck over to their offices with a multitude of tweets @BenJerrysTruck with the hashtag #OMGFreeBenJerrys.

NetProspex did exactly this as soon as the Ben & Jerry’s truck announced on Twitter that it would be visiting Waltham. Here are some snippets of the Twitter conversation before and after the truck’s visit:

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This was a perfect example of Ben & Jerry’s using social media to provide value and engage their audience on social media. Although we’re a B2B company, and Ben and Jerry’s is a B2C example, lessons can be taken away for starting a conversation around a brand that spreads naturally within communities.

It’s the same concept as promoting a valuable piece of content – like a webinar – so members of your target audience are compelled to share the message within their social connections.

For Ben & Jerry’s, they were able to promote a new flavor of their ice cream through word of mouth. The way they did it was so entertaining and fun AND with the incentive of free ice cream that it got people talking and more importantly TWEETING!

Mutual exposure was gained for the Ben & Jerry’s brand and the companies asking for a visit. In the age of social media it is increasingly important for brands to reach their consumers via non-traditional means of advertising. Brands have to really engage with their consumers and generate positive WOM as peer reviews and opinions are all the more prevalent and trusted.

Ben & Jerry’s did this in a simple and fun way via the medium of Twitter and an ice cream truck, and really demonstrated the true power of simply starting a conversation. Now where’s that Guiness truck…

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The NetProspex Team