Social media has had a profound impact on the marketing industry at large. We look to big name companies and their hugely successful social media campaigns, like Oreo’s viral masterpiece “Dunk in the Dark,” but how do the little guys compete with that? The questions we should be asking aren’t, “How can we do this better than the big brands?” But rather, “How can we do this differently? What can we do to be seen?” If you want to take a peek at a small company that’s figured out the answer, look no further than Pact. Eight days ago, the online-based coffee company became ‘omfgcoffee’ on Reddit, and posted a promotion inviting UK redditors to try their coffee. They gave a brief backstory of their company, how they do things, and why they’re the best local source for high-quality, freshly roasted coffee. They communicated their value concisely (and we all know how important that is), and made their offer clear. No need for a “tl;dr” on this post. While their post was good, that’s not what impressed me. Posting a well written, informative, succinct piece is certainly a great start, but it’s what they did next that really drove their success home. They genuinely engaged with the audience their post attracted, and provided loads of valuable resources when they answered questions. Of the top 500 comments on the post, 225 of them were made by omfgcoffee—that’s an astounding level of interaction for a brand on social media. Redditor Mmstingray asked, “Why do you think that tea is more civilized or more English? Genuinely interested, is it just something you have taken as a given? Because historically they are both equally English (or un-english depending how you look at it I guess),” to which Pact replied, “This might be a boring answer, but probably to do with trade routes? Think Britain had near or absolute monopolies over Indian and Chinese trade for a while from 18th-19th century. Anyone care to challenge that or elaborate?” Not only did they do their best to give an informed answer, but they opened the floor to other users to join the conversation. This is especially key on Reddit, where seemingly endless threads of conversation are common. When they were asked about certain brewing methods, Pact was quick to deliver links to their different brewing guides, specific to Cafetiere (French Press), Aeropress, Pour Over, Espresso, and Stovetop brewing. The company’s dedication to their craft is clear, as is their passion for converting the masses into coffee connoisseurs, too. But they weren’t only sharing their own content; they offered a bunch of links to other resources to answer coffee-related questions, such as the National Coffee Association’s How to Brew Coffee Guide and Kevin Sinnott’s The Art and Craft of Coffee: An Enthusiast’s Guide to Selecting, Roasting, and Brewing Exquisite Coffee. Pact received heaps of compliments in the comments. “This is the type of advertising I like,” wrote Redditor se0siris, “Friendly, nicely written and informative text; engagement and more information in the comments; a nice site with even more information and a nice offer to go with it all. I’ve just signed up and am looking forward to fresh coffee start my relaxing Saturday morning :)” Another Redditor, No1Reddit, noted that in addition to receiving some “really, really, really good” coffee through Pact’s promotion in Wired, (s)he also received “an email, a very educated answer to a coffee question and a phone call welcoming me.” Of course, Pact graciously accepted these compliments, with promises of maintaining their commitment to delivering this kind of top-quality customer service. In order to be successful on social media, you really need to wholeheartedly give your brand to your audience, and carefully nurture your reputation and recognition. If I had to grade Pact on their social media efforts, I’d give them a resounding A+. I just wish London wasn’t so far from New York, ‘cause I’d love a cup of their coffee!
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