What’s better than a lot of fans?

A lot of active fans.

When it comes to social media, a small-yet-active audience is often more valuable to a business than a large-yet-passive audience.


Because the incoming feedback, suggestions, color commentary and positive word of mouth that an active audience provides to a brand are useful indicators that they are passionate about (and loyal to) that brand.  And since you know they’re active, you can be sure that they’re out there… somewhere.

The trick is finding them.  (They’re active, so they move fast.)

One such example is the recent (and repeated) success of our client Bigelow Tea‘s Facebook sweepstakes.

These are giveaways that are awarded among fans of Bigelow Tea on Facebook and are promoted across Facebook, Twitter and email during the active duration of each particular sweepstakes offer — sometimes a week, sometimes a month, depending on the prize.

These sweepstakes have boosted Bigelow Tea’s Facebook page past the 10,000 fan mark, which is obviously great from a sheer numbers standpoint.  But it gets better.

It turns out that these newly-engaged fans have also stayed active on Bigelow Tea’s Facebook wall even after the sweepstakes have ended.  This has led to a more robust and interconnected community of tea drinkers than Bigelow had before their sweepstakes began, and it’s simultaneously providing the company with rich, colorful and valid feedback, which doubles as market research, inspiration for Bigelow Tea blog posts, and more.

All that for the price of a free gift of tea — and the opportunity to connect with a company that responds, listens, and provides a community where their fans can do the same.

Now that’s some impressive social media ROI.