Why Axe Rocks at Social Media

Since I started my venture into social media professionally – I’ve found a hidden gem of best practices and tidbits in the form of Axe deodorant. They rock social media, and in my opinion – always have. They have completely humanized their brands and created relationships with their customers beyond anything that I’ve ever seen. Now, I know that they have a supposedly “easy” social media target segment – Young Guys. They also are very loose in their corporate speak, and to say the least… they like a little bit of a controversy (ball cleaning advertisements, anyone?). I must admit – they have a lot of freedom & we don’t all have this.

I’ll start with their magnificent Facebook Page. Stunning. A true work of art. They have mastered the art of multiple contributors (which you usually only see on Twitter a la ^carrots). When I started following them their main social media persona was JennieWithAxe. Pretty girl, exactly what you need to hot guys… right? Keep in mind this was about a year ago and I rarely see Jennie w/ Axe anymore… or at all really. A year ago, though, this was revolutionary – yet cautious. By giving Jennie a signature that she included at the end of every post, Axe was not subjected to her personal opinions and not liable for anything she said – or at least that’s what I thought.

I followed Axe along their journey and I was stunned when JennieWithAxe introduced DanWithAxe. Another person, but why? I chopped it up to volumes – maybe Jennie couldn’t handle the hundreds of thousands Facebook fans that were just dying to have their voices heard too. I kept watching – constantly jealous of the casualty of their posts and comments. So fun, so young, so entertaining.

A little while later they introduced LaurenWithAxe, another pretty face to add to their social media front men/women. After awhile Jennie started to fade into the background and Lauren and Dan took over. A month or two ago, I really realized what these personalities do for the Axe brand. They connect with people. Dan for the guys, and few girlfriends that have major purchasing power over their boyfriends deodorant selections. Lauren for those same women, but more importantly – to stroke their male fan’s egos. Smart move, right?

Beyond adding a human face to an otherwise faceless brand – the fans love them. And I mean that. Look at this:

And this:

Not to mention hundreds of other posts that are directed to Dan and Lauren, and don’t have much to do with Axe at all. These people are really connected with Dan and Lauren – and the community that they have built on Facebook is self sustaining, not to mention filled with love and praise. They barely have to worry about trolls because people post about their undying love for deodorants, body washes, and the crew – and the fans crush trolls, so Lauren and Dan don’t have to.

Another point of mention – on top of the aforementioned awesome engagement and relationship building, they post really cool content about their travels, parties they go to, new products, questions, and are constantly looking for user feedback to entertain their 1.5 million Facebook fans.

I’m not going to harp much longer – but I should talk about their other social properties. They also do an excellent job on Twitter and YouTube (though the audiences are much smaller (26K followers, 9800 subscribers at time of post). The point is they have mastered the quality vs. quantity debate and are winning with their fans/friends. This is evident and should be praised by the social media community.

I will  be one of those fans for a long time to come, and if I was asked to recommend a men’s deodorant (not sure why this would happen) I would definitely recommend Axe based on their Facebook page alone.

Who’s your favorite brand in social media and why?

Update: I posted the link to my blog on the Axe Facebook page & they responded with this awesomeness:

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11 comments

  1. Jack Silverman · July 5, 2011

    Marissa,
    It’s all about the “cool content.” keep writing from your perspective, enjoyed the Axe story.

    • Marissa Gagnier · July 6, 2011

      Agreed! The cool factor definitely makes a huge difference. Thanks Jack!

  2. Christian · July 6, 2011

    You’ve obviously never heard of the Neil Hamburger debacle, which AXE horribly tried to cover-up… and this was even last month, too!

    • Marissa Gagnier · July 6, 2011

      Hey Christian, no I hadn’t previously heard of the Neil Hamburger debate – which was brought to my attention by Neil on Twitter – though I don’t think this has much to do with their social media efforts as a brand. That reflects on them as a company from a PR perspective- which is not what I was talking about.

      Thanks,

      Marissa

  3. Mark · July 6, 2011

    Agree with Christian. They royally F’d up the Neil Hamburger situation. Also, according to your article, being good at social media is having a facebook page and twitter account. With that assumption, what product targeted at young brohas isn’t good with their social media? Also, off topic, but Axe smells like date-rape and low IQ.

    • Marissa Gagnier · July 6, 2011

      Hey Mark,

      Despite the fact that they may have botched this situation – it has more to do with PR than it does with social media. While I respect your opinion, I did not say that they were only good at social media because they have a Facebook and a twitter page, but because they have a strategy in place behind these properties. More so, I am specifically referring to the way they engage with their fans using social media as a tool, regardless of their PR crisis.

      Cheers,

      Marissa

  4. Amber Haskell · July 6, 2011

    C’mon Marissa! You’re writing an article about how amazing Axe is with their social media? What about this: http://www.avclub.com/articles/neil-hamburgers-axe-body-spray-and-sexual-offender,57032/

    • Marissa Gagnier · July 6, 2011

      That is PR – not social media. Just because Neil uses social media to spread his comedic distaste for Axe using Twitter does not mean Axe’s social media strategy is bad. Thanks for your comment Amber!

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