When I read the topic for this week’s blog post, I knew I wanted to cover Casper (the mattress company, not the ghost).
Why did I choose this company? Their marketing is world-class. I’m currently very happy with my existing mattress & the quality of sleep I get each night — but I’ve still found myself on the Casper website multiple times this year because of their ads. I have no intent to buy a new mattress anytime soon for any logical reason, however Casper makes me significantly more interested in getting a new one right now.
Casper, as a business, sells mattresses. Mattress shopping is boring, time consuming, and expensive. This brand, however, isn’t. If we look at the social media strategy for Casper, it relies very little on promoting its actual products, and far more on the concept of sleep.
Take for instance, this tweet:
This one tweet has absolutely nothing to do with mattresses — but in the same sense, everything to do with it. The tweet is funny and relatable, but doesn’t try to sell you anything or convince you to buy a mattress from this brand. What it does is leaves a lasting impression on you: “Casper is a funny brand, maybe I should follow them, even though I don’t need a mattress right now”. As of writing this post, Casper has over 110k twitter followers, which is quite a lot for a mattress company.
While Casper is trying to stay funny and relatable online, they aren’t ‘roasting’ their fans or mocking other companies. When the Wendy’s twitter account started using these techniques, it went exceedingly well — people loved it. Time and time again, however, other brands tried these strategies and failed miserably. A study by SproutSocial revealed that while 3 in 4 people like to see humour by brands online, 88% find it annoying when the brands humour involved mocking a fan (aka the Wendy’s twitter account’s entire appeal). This leads me back to Casper — a company using humour to relate to fans, but not using it to target anyone.
This is an interesting approach, seeing as so many brands have tried (and failed) to replicate Wendy’s humour and appeal. One would expect that Casper would try to do the same as many other brands — but instead they stuck to just humour without any mocking or political interests.
This is something the brand is doing right — a stream of just advertisements for their products would be dull and boring. No one would follow the accounts, much less remember them, if all it had become was an ad for the mattresses.
Moving over to Facebook, Casper has an even higher following number: 661k followers! It becomes apparent when looking through their feed as to why:
Humour and engagement.
The brand consistently posts on Facebook with new ‘achievements’ like the above and ‘found a sock under my bed’. Then, when fans comment on the post, they respond to keep the story going through great engagement.
On Facebook, many fans are also quick to comment their concerns and issues on a new post — and Casper answers! This type of problem-solving engagement also shows new fans that if they do end up purchasing from Casper and have an issue, they can reach out through traditional means or through social media. This is reassuring and would sub-consciously convince fans to become buyers.
When discussing a brands highest points, it is also important to recognize where they are going wrong. In my analysis, I found two areas of weakness in Casper’s social media strategy. The first is a lack of advertisement regarding a helpful feature, and the second is the amount of ads vs jokes.
One feature that I found very intriguing with Casper is their policy of ‘full-money back, free pickup returns within 100 days’. Casper will not only refund you your entire purchase if you aren’t satisfied, but will also send a pickup person to come and remove the mattress for you. This makes the entire purchase risk-free: if you like it, great; if you don’t, call them and the problem is resolved, mess-free.
As a frequent buyer of online products, I know just how challenging getting a refund or return can be with online purchases. A promise like this from Casper makes buying a mattress very inviting for me: I risk absolutely nothing. However, this is where my first problem lies. I know of this policy from subway ads and seeing it on their website once I have added a product to a cart. There is no mention of this policy anywhere on their social media presence, which is a big mistake.
A policy like this would no-doubt be a massive positive feature for any online shopper, and ignoring this when marketing to said shoppers, is a problem.
The second mistake I’ve noticed lies within the spread out of content, specifically on Twitter. When looking at their direct tweets (and ignoring retweets and responses), Casper seems to follow a regular pattern of [2 advertisements, 1 joke, repeat]. Considering a lot of Casper’s fame seems to come from their relatable and not overbearing content, it strikes me as weird that they are not embracing more of the humour and less of the ads.
A joke or relatable tweet lasts longer with me if I don’t directly associate it as a product advertisement, as then I feel that the joke isn’t authentic or nearly as relatable. The same applies if I see a joke that is followed up by 2 advertisements before I get to another joke. The brand would be much better off to follow a strategy that markets themselves through media content and jokes, without outright stating “THIS IS AN AD, FOLLOW THIS LINK”. For comparison, the Wendy’s twitter account doesn’t need to state that they sell burgers, because fans who follow get the gist through jokes. Fans of Casper will know they sell mattresses through the jokes too; they don’t need to be told.
When comparing Casper to other mattress companies, it becomes very clear that Casper is ahead by miles. The top two mattress companies, aside from Casper, that one thinks of would typically be Sleep Country Canada and Endy (another online company).
Sleep Country Canada’s online presence is non-existent and therefore lacks a proper comparison. They have not posted on Twitter since early July 2018 — nearly 4 months ago. There is no reason anyone would want to follow this account, aside from brand loyalty to an inactive Twitter account.
More comparable, but still vastly far behind, is Endy. Endy is a near carbon-copy of Casper, except for the social media strategy. Endy has only posted 12 times since August, averaging one post a week. These posts are also not entertaining or engaging in any way. The tweets by Endy are evenly divided between retweets of happy fans, which is a good promotion tool, and links to articles they’ve written. Neither of these will appeal to an average person as much as the current social media strategy shown by Casper.
Overall, when reviewing Casper’s social media strategy, it appears they are doing everything right. They are using humour to relate to their audience, but without turning some away. They actively respond to fans and those with problems, showing universally that they are there for you. Finally, they are frequently posting and posting high quality content that doesn’t seem forced — both important traits in an online presence.
Casper exemplifies a great brand using social media to their benefit, and is a good example of why all brands should be taking advantage of social media too.