How we maintain a 100% Community Management Response Rate

The Business Challenge:

Laffy Taffy has been a household name in the candy industry for over 50 years, but they only just made their arrival into the digital landscape at the beginning of 2019. We needed to quickly gain awareness in a big way for one of Laffy Taffy’s most contentious flavors during the brand’s unveiling to social media.

Case Study:

While Laffy Taffy boasts a range of product flavors and offerings, no fan is more fanatic about their choice candy than those who love banana Laffy Taffy. Albeit a contentious choice to some, an initial survey found that over 60% of those polled enjoy banana Laffy Taffy or similarly flavored candies.

The week prior to April Fool’s Day, we provided influencers and media personalities with boxes of Laffy Taffy — sans-banana. Reposting their social shares to Laffy Taffy’s own pages, we were able to capitalize on their confusion. “No banana? No problem”, voiced one influencer, while another humbly inquired: “They can’t get rid of banana, can they?” The rumor spread like a sticky, stretchy piece of taffy and, within a few days, the most fervent fans caught wind and began evangelizing for their flavor.

This was exactly the outcome we were hoping for. Community management efforts allowed us to be on the ground floor with fans, fostering conversations about the missing flavor in question. The innocent ask of “Do you enjoy any other flavors?” was met with outrage from the fanatics. Little did they know, though, they were helping us fan the rumor’s flames and setting the brand up for a special reveal.

Here’s how we did it — and how other brands can do it, too:

  1. Respond to everyone -- seriously, everyone

    No matter the client or campaign, at TOP, everyone that takes the time to interact with us via social media gets a response. In this case, responding was more crucial than ever; we knew that those who love banana Laffy Taffy would be vocal about the lack of their flavor in the boxes we sent around, so they were unknowingly boosting our efforts. By responding to everyone that interacted with us — fans and non-fans alike — we were able to keep the rumor alive.

  2. Ask questions rather than make statements

    We cultivate relationships with every member for our clients’ fan bases, and utilizing the power of these relationships was fundamental to achieving our goals for this activation. In order to cultivate those relationships, a dialogue must be established in the nitty gritty of the comments section. As with any conversation, asking questions back and forth is more fruitful and helps the exchange last longer. In this case, it helped us seed the rumor even deeper and, as a bonus, it exponentially increased engagement metrics.

  3. React quickly and thoroughly

    Have you ever sent someone an email or a text and anxiously awaited their response for hours? That’s how it can feel to a fan on social media who asks a question or engages with a brand’s content. By regularly refreshing your social channels’ inboxes or setting dedicated times of the day to respond to fan engagement, you’ll keep your response rate at 100% and keep fans happy — or, in Laffy Taffy’s case, keep them guessing.

After nearly a week in the rumor mill, we revealed the limited edition “Gone Bananas” bag of — you guessed it — all banana Laffy Taffy on April Fool’s Day. The bag itself wasn’t a joke, but the anticipation of its arrival was. And little did our fans know, they were in on the joke the entire time.

And that’s how we do it.