Social Brands 100 Case Study: AVG

AVG: Using advocacy to build a better brand
This article originally appeared in the Social Brands 100.

Ranking: 29

Panel Score: 73
Data Score: 133
Social Brand Score: 206

  • No. 2 Tech brand for second year
  • Top ten on YouTube and Facebook

We know it’s important and we know we need to have it, but anti-virus software doesn’t automatically feel like the most engaging of subjects, making AVG’s Toothpicks versus Tigers campaign all the more interesting.

Late last year, the security software company wanted to demonstrate how its technology works in an engaging way, so placed two people in a cage made of 3.5 million glued together toothpicks. They spent the night in a Thai jungle to see how the cage would hold up against curious and territorial tigers.  The good news is that they survived, and AVG vividly demonstrated how its ‘strength in numbers’ approach works; users are the toothpicks, the threat to online security is the tiger, and the glue is AVG, providing protection and the means for the community to share information.

With almost 5 million views on YouTube and a lively thread of comments, the film certainly seems to have hit the mark, but it’s just one of a series of videos the company has made with the aim of educating its community through tutorials and insights into topical security issues.

For AVG’s Jas Dhaliwal, participating in discussion and being open to opinion is key to being a social brand. “We take our messaging and content right to the heart of our community,” he says. “It allows the wider public to have an on-going conversation with us. Feedback helps us to build better products. Advocacy brings us closer to those who are life-long supporters of the brand and our products.”

Social also plays an important role in customer support on Facebook. “It’s great to see how people have not only joined the Page, but made it their daily destination for security news and updates,” says Dhaliwal. With over 1 million fans, AVG thanks its most active and helpful members through its monthly Community Awards, which bestow free licences and increasing perks on repeat winners.

The challenge ahead lies in staying relevant and one step ahead as thousands of brands get better at social media. AVG’s growing global team and well-established community of advocates puts them in a good position now, but they don’t feel complacent because, as Dhaliwal points out, “Social never sleeps!”

The results and report are available at Join the conversation at #sb100.

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