Think You’re Reaching Your Facebook Fan Base? Think Again.

Author: Marni Edelhart

Community Building and Gamification Drive New Nitto Ambassador Program

Brands have invested heavily into building, maintaining and growing their Facebook presence. And, since it’s the 800-pound gorilla of social media, that makes perfect sense.

But there’s a catch. Simply posting great information, photos, links, contest and promotions every day on Facebook may not bring you the results you were expecting. Why? Because Facebook perpetually institutes changes in its system, namely the EdgeRank algorithm and Sponsored Ads, that severely restrict the ability of brands to cost effectively reach their hard-won fan base.

One brand taking EdgeRank to task is Nitto Tire, a manufacturer of high-performance tires with a fan base of 3.2 million and growing. This David-like company is battling Goliath by teaming up with Dynamic Signal, an innovative developer of online communities, to help launch the Nitto Ambassador program.

The program is grounded in two fundamental goals: to engage audiences in real-time conversations and to maintain an active online presence across multiple social media platforms.

So what makes the community building engine tick? It’s rooted in the concept that people want to share great branded content and be recognized for these contributions. The Nitto Ambassador program offers Nitto’s most loyal enthusiasts the opportunity to become leaders and influencers within their peer groups. These candidates are selected in part using Dynamic Signal’s market map technology, which identifies potential ambassadors based on their affinity with the brand.

Community membership brings access to special Nitto and automotive content like videos, articles, images, interviews and more. Participation and engagement in the community are driven by “gamification” activities. Members earn reward points for sharing information through their personal social media channels, with leaderboards tracking the most influential members. Members can also post their own content onto the site and share it with others in the community to gain points.

Each month, members with the five highest reward point totals earn Nitto swag. This is in addition to ongoing opportunities to win prizes offered to all members, encouraging them to stay active in the community.

Since the program’s launch in March, Nitto has acquired several thousand brand advocates, each of whom share an average of 4.3 posts with their own social networks. The program’s total reach is currently over 215,000 people, effectively doubling Nitto’s potential reach for a given post. To reach the same number of people through Sponsored Posts would cost Nitto nearly $2,000 per post.

Facebook certainly has a huge audience of users worldwide. But, now that the flow of information has been restricted by EdgeRank and charges for Sponsored Posts, brands are challenged to find other ways to communicate.

Nitto Tire and Dynamic Signal have worked to build a new ‘out of the box’ concept that enables their fans and followers to interact with each other whenever and as often as they like. And isn’t that what a community is all about?

To learn about Dynamic Signal you can find them on twitter, facebook or on their website.


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