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Tempur-Pedic’s Crowd Sourced Content: Innovative or Lazy?

You’ve probably heard of the Tempur-Pedic bed (you know, the memory foam-esque super bed that conforms to your body), but the question is how did you hear of it?

If you’re like me, you saw one of their infomercials during a rerun of The Office. But Temper-pedic is making a push for your information to come not from a late night commercial sandwiched between a Jack LaLanne juicer and the Slap Chop, but from your actual friends.

facebook fan counts

Temper-Pedic's "Ask Us" campaign definitely has people talking

In a recent commercial, Tempur-Pedic didn’t just give their usual pitch about form-fitting mattresses. This time, they encouraged viewers to jump onto their social media platforms and start asking their friends about their Tempur-Pedic beds. The commercial drove the point home by showing a Facebook chat screen and someone composing a tweet.

I’m not in the market for a new bed, but I was just so intrigued by this social media push that I needed to jump on their Facebook page and see if people were talking about it. At the time of this writing, over 1,600 people were talking about Tempur-Pedic.

But it wasn’t the conversation that sparked my interest; it was the way Tempur-Pedic crowd sourced their Facebook wall posts to create authentic testimonials.

facebook welcome page tempurpedic

Temper-Pedic's welcome page brings in real Facebook user content

Clicking on either of the profile pictures takes you to the wall post where these users first posted their comments. These are fans that didn’t expect or request to be featured on the brand’s welcome page; they just simply had a question or compliment to share.

And since we can see that these comments came from real Facebook users, it adds another layer of trust to the brand and makes the consumer more comfortable about their potential purchasing decision. After all, even though Tempur-Pedic uses real customers in their YouTube videos, there’s always a lingering doubt that their on-screen brand advocates could be a little swayed. Especially since Tempur-Pedic does admit to paying people to go on record with their real life experiences.

no twitter here

No link to the company Twitter on their "Connect" page

Yet, in their big social push, there’s a surprising lack of a Twitter presence. For a company with one of the most interactive Facebook welcome pages I have ever seen, they have less than two hundred followers on Twitter. Considering that their website encourages users to tweet their friends about Tempur-Pedic, I couldn’t find a single place on their website or Facebook page where they linked to their company Twitter account.

Since so many brands use Twitter for – at minimum – customer service, I’m legitimately shocked at Tempur-Pedic’s low-key usage of such a popular social network. They prompt visitors to ask about their beds, but apparently don’t want you to find them on Twitter and ask them a question.

It seems that Tempur-Pedic is really trying to shift marketing from company to customers. So what does that say about a brand that is moving from content producer to content moderator? Is it a way to cut back on marketing budgets or an inspiring way to empower brand advocates?

IMAGES TAKEN AS LOW RESOLUTION SCREENSHOTS FROM TEMPUR-PEDIC’S FACEBOOK PAGE AND WEBSITE. ALL IMAGES ARE COPYRIGHT TEMPUR-PEDIC MANAGEMENT, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Mandy Kilinskis

Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on

Comments

  1. Jenna Markowski

    I think this push for Facebook brand advocates is brilliant! I wouldn’t call it lazy marketing, rather, an effective use of the tools that are cheap and readily available. I mean, I’m not even looking for a new bed, but I was intrigued by the question on the welcome page about the beds having a strange odor. So that led to me clicking to see the original comment and the discussion that followed.

    Even if I don’t buy, that one intriguing question has me at least “liking” the page, visiting the page, and viewing the page to learn more. I’d say it’s an excellent way to create brand advocates and raise brand awareness!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I was also intrigued by the question on the welcome page. It had me clicking on the question and then reading the string of responses. I mean, apparently there are lots of ways to remove the Tempur-Pedic odor! Who knew?

      They’ve got the Facebook brand advocacy down, but I’m still bothered by the lack of Twitter activity. I mean, only 200 fans? I would’ve thought that more fans would be following it.

    • Amanda

      I agree! I think it’s a way for more people to get testimonials they can trust. I always think twice when watching infomercials and wonder what the people were paid to say what they’re saying about the product. And especially because these beds are expensive–it is an item that needs lots of research–it’s no quick purchase!

    • Jill Tooley

      I’m with you, Jenna. Mark me down for intrigue! When you first mentioned this topic, my mind immediately thought “LAZY.” However, now that I’ve actually read about it, I think the opposite. Tempur-Pedic is taking an innovative approach to customer feedback that I haven’t seen before!

      FYI, I’ve never owned a fancy Tempur-Pedic mattress (although I’ve always wanted one) but I’ve owned my fair share of memory foam mattress pads…and the smell is god-awful! It smells like fresh paint and strong cleaning materials. Of course, all it needs is a little air-out and it’s good to go. :)

  2. Amy Swanson

    It seems like I always see these commercials on TV too. The concept is really interesting, instead of asking someone (like a sales person) that you don’t know, ask someone you trust (like a friend) about the product. For a product that’s as expensive as one of these mattresses, prompting customers to ask before they buy makes complete sense. I think car companies could really benefit from this tactic as well. Anytime I purchase something expensive I always do as much research as possible before buying it, so kudos to Temper-Pedic for thinking ahead!

    Great post, Mandy!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I think this is a push that will greatly benefit the consumer, but what about the people that have already bought? Do they ALL really love their beds enough to want to answer tons of questions about them? As a non-owner, I can’t really say.

  3. david k waltz

    Mandy,

    The Tempur-pedic approach seems to be what more and more companies are doing, or should be doing according to social media experts. I read a book once called Wikibrands, which is a pretty good synopsis of social media marketing strategies. It’s all about building communities and letting people flourish within them.

    So my vote is that they are being innovative. I think it actually takes a lot of work to make this type of marketing effort a success.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I think so, too, mostly because of the brilliant way that they are using actual user content from their Facebook walls. I think they only thing that they need to do now is have a Twitter presence. It’s too little bare for a big brand for Tempur-pedic.

      Otherwise, if they can crowd source their content and make a community, more power to them. :)

  4. Jen

    I’m also a bit surprised they don’t have a more active Twitter account. Their Facebook page gets so much activity, maybe they don’t want to drive attention from it. It really doesn’t make sense, but else could it be???

    Nice post Mandy :)

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I guess it could be! I mean, if they only have enough resources to focus their attention on two social networks, they definitely picked the right ones. Maybe they’re just getting into Twitter and not ready to handle the influx of questions and/or complaints?

      Thanks, Jen!

  5. Eric

    I’m all for using actual customer testimonials to advertise their products. After all, the best advertisement a company could ask for is a happy customer. This is probably one of the times I’d say social media is stronger than any commercial, because personal posts and comments are completely legitimate, honest, opinions.

    Nice post, Mandy. Nice to see customers giving their feedback and it being more than a one-sided social media campaign for this company.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I have to agree. Even when brands use “real people” that own and use their products to promote themselves, I still feel skeptical. So in this case, when I can actually see the Facebook wall post and that there’s a real person behind it, it does feel more genuine.

      I am curious as to how many consumers are actually following the prompt and asking their real life friends about the beds, or if they are just studying the comments on the Facebook wall.

  6. eddie bridges

    i thought you might be interested in my take on turning tempur-pedic crowd-sourcing inside-out:

    http://www.facebook.com/events/421509127861618/

    cheers!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      You’re right – that is definitely crazy enough that it just might work!

      How many samples have you gotten already?

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