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How Much Will They “Give Back”?

target1Brands have spent billions in the past trying to reach their audience.  The return on their marketing budgets have been measured and disputed over time and each year marketers look for new ways to get the attention of their audience.

Now social media afford direct connection with audiences but the message and relationship requires innovative thinking combined with conversational marketing.

Now we’re are just beginning to see the awakening of brands “giving back” to their audience with the aim of drawing attention, attraction and affinity to their audience.  Ultimately the giving back is aimed at creating further actions and building the brands equity with their market.

Target Gives Back

In an article by Adam Ostrow titled Social Media Giving: Target’s Smart Facebook Campaign: Retail chain Target already gives 5 percent of its income to charity. For the next couple weeks, they are going to be allocating those funds – which come out to $3 million every week – to charities selected by Facebook users.

The company has launched the “Bullseye Gives” campaign on Facebook, which is essentially a voting application connected to the brand’s existing Facebook page. On it, users select which of ten charities they’d like to see funds allocated to. Money will then be given out based on percentages, so if 10 percent of users vote for Salvation Army, that organization will receive 10 percent of the total donations.

There’s also some smart, simple integration with Facebook (Facebook reviews). Each time you vote (you can vote once daily through May 25th), you can publish your vote back to your Facebook feed. That means that your friends will see it, and as a side effect, a lot more people will be seeing Target’s branding and becoming fans of the company.

Thus, Target isn’t just doing good, but they’re also benefiting the brand by way of adding new fans that they’ll be able to communicate with on an ongoing basis through the social network.

Besides Target’s campaign we witnessed the Oprah campaign with KFC which “gave back” a free meal to the marketplace of willing participants.  Despite your option on that campaign it did leverage “giving” as an attraction to the brand.

How Much Will They Give Back?

We’re likely to see a lot of brands “giving back” coupons, rewards and free currency as a means to create direct relations with their marketplace and as a tool for building brand equity.  Stay tuned to grab your branded debit card, coupons and a host of freemium offers aimed at getting your attention and tempting you to further actions aimed at an exchange of currency, your time and your wallet.

Brands can afford to give back because the holy grail of ROI from social media is reflected by better methods at substantially less cost which produces greater returns. Get it?

What say you?

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