A Great Example of Social Media Retention: HBO

So often in social media, we focus on one of two things: how to go about acquiring new customers; and, on the other side of things, what to absolutely not do, lest become an example of another major fail.

One of the aspects of social media marketing that typically does not stay top-of-mind for advertisers is retention: now that you have fans & followers, how are you going to keep them engaged?

From coupons to special “fans-only” promotions to providing customer service for your followers, there are many great methods of keeping your Twitter & Facebook audience from hitting “mute” on your message. While customer retention in general is a key performance indicator for most businesses, social media retention, especially in our “6-second” attention span society, can be an incredibly delicate, but critical, practice.

If you are looking for a good example of social media retention in action, HBO is a great place to start.

As frequent visitors to this site can attest, I have what many would refer to as a “television addiction”; I’ve embraced this, and often use this blog as a forum to review new shows and talk about ones we’ve lost. Given my propensity to also Tweet just about everything that comes to mind, “live-tweeting” TV is a naturally-occurring event for me during primetime.

One network to take notice of my habitual behavior is HBO. After their official Twitter account began following me, so did the the Twitter handle for “The Leftovers”. Soon after connecting on the social network, each reached out via DM (see, that’s what those are for) to get my address.

Why? Because each wanted to send me a “fan” package– one for the show “Silicon Valley”, one for “The Leftovers”. Nothing huge, mind you; just nice little show-related trinkets. Shirts, a Zippo– nothing that costs a ton of money, necessarily; but items for me to share images of on Twitter, as a “viral” means of keeping their content fresh in people’s minds. 

Which, of course, had a duel-impact: I was already watching both shows, so it’s not like they gained a new viewer in me; instead, they showed their ap?preciation for being a fan, and potentially, gained other viewers because of my share (and subsequent blog post).

Easy peasy.

The impressing thing here, to me, isn’t necessarily the gratis shwag (though that’s always nice), but the simple fact that they acknowledged me in the first place. They certainly didn’t need to– unlike other bundled cable networks, I pay for HBO specifically for their content, and that wouldn’t change without a follow on Twitter or free merchandise. However, the act of reaching out, either with a follow-back or a t-shirt or coupon, isn’t something I see from most brands I happen to follow on social media; which, as a digital marketer, is a huge missed opportunity in my mind.

Does your brand have some unique examples of how you’re managing social media retention? Please share some below!