I’ll Drink the Pink to That: Pepto’s Social Media Presence

This post is a guest post from SMBME friend, David Pride. David owns Social Impressions, a Social Media Marketing company, specializing in the hospitality market. He is also the Sales Manager for the Portland Harbor Hotel. People can find David and additional blogs at www.socialimpressions.net

The cheese burger I had for lunch is causing me some acid, actually it’s making me wish I had some Pepto Bismol.

As a kid I never liked the taste of it, pink, slimy, and slightly minty. In fact, it reminded me of the pink candies my Nana’s not-so-secret boyfriend used to bring her. She kept them in a glass jar on her table. Whenever he would leave her home the jar would be filled with these round pink chalky candies. Perhaps it was some sort of parting kiss that us grandkids shouldn’t have known about…

Enough of me reminiscing about lovely Nana…I started this story with one goal, to tell you about my amazing experience with Pepto Bismol, masters of Pink.

About six months ago I started following Pepto Bismol on Facebook because I somehow came across their fan page. I thought it would be interesting to see what they talked about and see how they interacted with their fans. Almost immediately I was impressed with their snarky attitude and willingness to poke fun at their gas preventing, fart squashing, pink slime juice.

The first post I noticed exclaimed “We make parties better.” It had roughly 110 responses from their followers everything from the expected “I chug bottles of this stuff” to folks just chiming in and agreeing with the Pink. Every person who interacted with Pepto was acknowledged and not a single comment disregarded. I was totally impressed and soon I found myself interacting with Pepto because I wanted to be part of the fun.

One afternoon I even tagged Pepto in my status begging them to bring me a bottle after a traditional Maine Beans and Weenie dinner I had consumed the night before. They acknowledged my tag and even commented back. I felt even more connected with the brand I once overlooked as a child. What really won me over was what happened next…

One unsuspecting afternoon I opened my email and there before me was a message from my Pink pals. It said “David, we appreciate you interacting with us and we would like to thank you for your friendship, may we have your mailing address?” At first I was suspicious of it being a scam but judging by the email address it came from and other legitimate items in the email I responded in kind, with my mailing address.

Three weeks later a box arrived. Inside of this box was all things pink:

  • A pink insulated lunch bag,
  • a Pink LL Bean beach towel,
  • a Pink LL Bean Canvas Tote Bag,
  • and a handwritten note in pink from Pepto that read –

    “Thanks for being our friend and interacting with us.
    Enjoy this gift and stay Pink.”

I was so impressed I immediately took all the stuff laid it out on my couch and began snapping pictures for Facebook and Twitter – tagging Pepto in every post. Soon roughly 1,000 of my closest friends were seeing Pepto pink in their Facebook and Twitter Feeds.

Guess what else happened? My friends and followers began asking me about Pepto… and I began telling them about Pepto. Before I knew it I was the Benny Hinn of the acid reduction world. Pepto Bismol had made me a product evangelist for just the price of the few items listed above and for acknowledging my comments.

The next week at Shaw’s I found myself noticing Pepto advertisements, and I even bought a bottle for the upstairs bathroom just in case my acid acted up again. Being a man of larger carriage I knew that Doritos consumed tonight meant Doritos consumed tomorrow morning also. Quite unexpectedly I found myself wanting to support Pepto and wanting to tell my friends to do the same.

There are many lessons to be learned here. One of which is don’t melt sharp cheddar cheese on Cool Ranch Doritos at 11pm, or the Pink stuff will be a must by 3am. But the other lessons are a bit more fun.

  • Lesson #1 is that Pepto posted fun content that made me want to interact with them.
  • Lesson #2 is that Pepto acknowledged the followers who commented back and continued the conversation.
  • Lesson #3 is that Pepto saw someone who was excited about their conversations and capitalized on it by making that person (me) feel even more connected to their brand. In return I made sure my friends knew that Pepto – for lack of a better term – is the shit. (Couldn’t resist).

Am I suggesting that all of us who have Facebook Business pages begin mailing stuff to our followers and fans? Can we afford that? Probably not, and we probably don’t have the budget that Pepto has either. What we do have that our friends in Pink also have is personality and the ability to make the members of our community feel special. When I feel such a connection to a brand that when I don’t check their Facebook page I feel like I may be missing out on something, guess what? They’ve done something right.

If a product that focuses on diarrhea, stomach aches, and flatulence can make me feel special – pretty sure I can do the same for the followers of the companies I represent.

I’ll drink (the pink) to that.

Cheeseburger photo credit: TheCulinaryGeek

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