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Cheerio Challenge: Responding to an Unexpected Wave of Attention

One of the best possible things that could happen to your brand is a blogger starting an unforeseen social media trend about your product, erupting from a crazy idea and harvesting attention from top media outlets. Well, lucky for Cheerios – that happened this week. Life of Dad is a popular social network for dads celebrating the everyday adventures of fatherhood. While holding his newborn son, Co-founder Patrick Quinn had the idea to start balancing Cheerios on his head to see how many he could stack. Quinn shared the “Cheerio Challenge” on the Life of Dad site and it completely took off

#THRIVEable Friday- Growing Pains, Innovation + WakeBright

One of the best possible things that could happen to your brand is a blogger starting an unforeseen social media trend about your product, erupting from a crazy idea and harvesting attention from top media outlets. Well, lucky for Cheerios – that happened this week.

Life of Dad is a popular social network for dads celebrating the everyday adventures of fatherhood. While holding his newborn son, Co-founder Patrick Quinn had the idea to start balancing Cheerios on his head to see how many he could stack. Quinn shared the “Cheerio Challenge” on the Life of Dad site and it completely took off on social media, becoming every brands’ dream situation.

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People had a blast with the Cheerio Challenge, getting super creative with how to approach the challenge. It even reached the Today Show. Social media and news sites were blowing up with pictures of Cheerios, Cheerio boxes and mentions of the brand. When these unexpected, rare and wonderful things happen, brands must be ready to act. It’s hard to know when content will go viral, but it’s a total blessing when it does. Cheerios was ready to ride this wave and made sure to get involved.

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We often talk about how to respond when the social sphere negatively attacks your brand, but what about when your brand is in the limelight – in a good way? An unexpected influx of conversation might take a brand by surprise, but for a good reason! Here are some tips for taking advantage of those fifteen minutes of fame.

1. Find the Balance.

There’s a fine line between taking advantage of the moment and trying to steal the moment. Find a simple way to get your brand involved with the conversation, like Cheerios did by becoming a part of the social conversation. Cheerios also retweeted people’s photos and since Father’s Day was a few days after the Cheerio Challenge took over the Internet, Cheerios made sure to tie in the dads’ viral challenge.

2. Respond Quickly

This is the same advice that goes for negative attention, too. Don’t let days pass by before your brand responds. A quick response will show you’re paying attention to what your fans are talking about and that you’re having fun with it, too. Get involved with the people taking part in the conversation and use this opportunity to reach a large audience at a time when they’re paying attention to your brand.

3. Bask in the Fame

You can’t even pay for situations like this to happen to your brand. It’s a pure stroke of incredible luck and when your brand rises to a quick and brief stardom, so take the time to just be happy about it! These waves of viral content come and go daily with social media, so when your brand takes off on social media, get involved and have fun with it.

 

All brand managers can hope that something like this happens to your brand some day. If and when it does, be ready to go with it!

Mary Stankiewicz

Mary helps our clients grow their brands with smart and strategic content across social media platforms and targeted media coverage.