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How General Electric Uses Facebook and Bill Nye to Generate Awareness for #EmojiScience

2015 has been a good year for the ongoing digital partnership between General Electric and Bill Nye the Science Guy, especially on Facebook. This year, Bill Nye launched a new Emoji Science web series on General Electric’s Tumblr in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

How General Electric Uses Facebook and Bill Nye to Generate Awareness for #EmojiScience

The series builds off the success of General Electric’s Emoji Table of Experiments, wherein Bill Nye ran a pop-up experiment lab, taking emoji sent from Snapchat fans and sending back science experiment videos in return.

Along with being published on General Electric’s Tumblr, these videos were also published on Mashable Watercooler’s YouTube page. This particular video has almost 1.5 million views.

A lot goes into the #EmojiScience campaign, so how does General Electric use Facebook to generate success for its multi-channel partnership with Bill Nye the Science Guy and drive traffic towards its videos? Let’s take a look at their tried-and-true strategies.

You Don’t Need to Be the Center of Attention

Your brand doesn’t need to be the center of attention to benefit on social media and drive towards microsite content.

One of GE’s biggest #EmojiScience wins this year so far was from a video link to the Emoji Science site that Bill Nye posted.

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With over 15,000 in total engagement — of which over a third were shares, indicating a profound appreciation from Facebook users — this post makes the topic of #ClimateChange and Bill Nye himself the focus, while still giving GE props for its “help.” This is the kind of partnership which puts a brand on the right side in the court of popular opinion.

Answer a Question People Are Asking

It seems intuitive, but stop trying to shove content down people’s throats. Find out what they’re talking about and the questions they’re asking, and then create the content. This will ensure that your brand’s content falls under the category of “need to watch/read/click on” as opposed to “if I have time, I’ll…”

GE did a great of this in the following post.

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By answering a question applicable to every internet user (and, thus, every person likely to be on Facebook) in a way that promises to be playful, this post entices folks to click through and engage.

Engage — Meaningfully

Looking at the comments on GE’s post mentioned above tells a deeper story of how the brand generates conversation around its Emoji Science series.

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GE responds to almost every comment on this post, and not with a cursory, canned line, either: the brand responds thoughtfully and with hard data to every single reply, while maintaining a collegial brand voice. This diplomatic, transparent technique sets GE apart from other brands on Facebook.

Note the final comment in the image above: “Thanks for noticing, we love talking to our community.” This commitment truly shines through in GE’s thoughtful and fact-oriented responses to its social audience.

When in Doubt…

Superhero it out. GE knows that its social audience loves super heroes, and it knows that leaving a little mystery (Which superheroes? How will they help assist Bill Nye?) gets people to engage.

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By delivering Facebook content which uses these strategies, GE experiences one of its top performing Facebook posts of the year so far.

Snapchat for the Personal Touch

We mentioned GE’s previous Snapchat experimentation, but GE hasn’t stopped being active on the network.

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GE uses Facebook as a conduit for reminding its social audience there that it is also active (with a much more personal touch) on Snapchat.

Takeaways for Your Brand

  1. Stop yelling about your brand. By adding value and touting your brand through indirect channels like influencer partnerships, you’re going to get a lot more mileage out of your social and digital content than you otherwise would.
  2. Conduct an audience analysis. Find out what your Facebook audience responds well to and likes to talk about organically. Then build content around those questions and needs, rather than the other way around.
  3. Engage meaningfully. If you’re going to respond to Facebook comments, do it right — and don’t be afraid to take trolls who are criticizing your brand by surprise with cold, hard facts (and a friendly voice, of course).
  4. Leave an air of mystery. Give Facebook followers an idea of what’s on the other side of your link, but don’t spell it all out for them. Plant a question in their minds to entice them to click through.
  5. Use Snapchat for a personal connection. But use Facebook (or the social network you have the greatest social following on) to make sure people know you’re active on Snapchat, since discovery is still rather tricky there.

If you know which of these strategies you want to put into place but are having trouble leveraging your social team to do so, be sure to check out our How to Build a Better Social Media Team guide below!


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Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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