Google’s beloved Pixel phone helps millions of people express themselves and connect with their people and the world around them. With inclusive and helpful features like Real Tone, Magic Eraser, and customizable Material You themes, as well as years of reliability in security and integration, the Pixel has amassed a passionate fan base that considers the phone their sidekick and is dedicated to the Google brand as an important part of their daily life, many since the first iteration in 2016.
This presented a major opportunity to build meaningful community, reward loyalty, and inspire advocacy. We deliver this with the Pixel Superfans loyalty program and Facebook Group. We are now up to over 45,000 social community members at the end of our second year of the program…and counting.
How did we cultivate this super-engaged community? The first step in any of our community projects is researching and listening to our audience to understand what moves them. Here’s what we found out:
- Pixel Superfans are fueled by a fierce love for the product line and want a direct say in their development.
- Superfans own a host of Google hardware products like Google Nest, Chromecast and subscribe to Google Fi, with the proportion of multi-product ownership nearly 5X greater than the average fan.
- A sense of community is important to Pixel fans: this group is 3X more likely to desire connection with other brand fans than the average consumer.
To connect with these passionate Superfans in a meaningful way, we focused on nailing a value proposition that taps directly into their interests and qualities to make this a hyper-targeted fan community only Google can deliver. Our community programming is centered around 3 pillars:
- Opportunities that offer Superfans connection with their peers, like
- An invitation to in-person events at the Chelsea and Williamsburg Google Stores, from mocktail making to Pixel Watch workouts, Photo Walks to Kids Coding Classes.
- Unique access to Google, like
- Superfans-exclusive quarterly Q&As with Google Product Managers, where we invite Product Managers from a variety of Google products (ex. Pixel Buds, Smart Keyboard, Watch) into the group for a day to answer questions about the inner workings of the tech via the native Facebook Group Q&A card tool. This is a unique opportunity offered nowhere else for Superfans to speak directly to the people who build the products they love so much.
- Pixel Superfans Insider Event: We curated a virtual experience for Superfans all along the fall launch of the long-awaited Pixel 7 and 7 Pro by providing them a designated space within the group to live-share their reactions on announcement day. The Pixel Superfans Insider Event followed in the afternoon of announcement day, granting Superfans insights into the making of the latest generation of Pixel directly from the product managers who worked on them. We concluded the day with a live trivia game, and the winning Superfans were surprised with a brand-new Pixel!
- Direct product benefits and gifting, like
- The “Pixel Superfriend Giveaway” contest. We tapped into the group's passion for sharing their fandom by inviting them to nominate their most deserving friend to win a free Pixel and an invite them to the group. We saw a huge response from the community with over 1,700 nominations!
- Exclusive Superfans access at the Google Store in Williamsburg, granting them additional access to the brand new store and a discount on products for Superfans-only.
- First access to a brand new premium merch line we launched in fall 2022 to support Superfans’ continued desire to express their pride for Google products.
It is also core to our philosophy that we continuously co-build this community with our members, which is why we activate the community of Superfans in a group forum with a Facebook Group, where multiple voices and free discussion can shine, rather than a branded broadcast channel. We also feed into a membership email newsletter and regularly survey Superfans to ensure that this is truly a living and breathing community that evolves over time with their input.
Our community managers work on Superfans day-in and day-out to ensure that we prompt and highlight rich discussion, celebrate the individuality and enthusiasm of our Superfans as they share about themselves, and enforce a respectful, safe community for everyone. We maximize the conversation potential of Facebook Groups as a community platform to invite polls, topic threads, native Q&As, live moments, and digital events to make the social experience truly…well, social.
The 2022 results of our program show Superfans adore and actively participate in the community we have created for them, and the value proposition has been realized. Here are some of our proudest accomplishments this year:
- The Facebook group alone grew 61% in membership from 2021, with over 45,000 members today.
- Our intuition that empowering Superfans would lead to advocacy proved correct, as we saw 47% of Superfans report they’ve referred friends & family to Pixel.
- Our hard working community managers ensure this quickly growing group stays personalized and engaged, which led to over 336k engagements and 2,351 featured community-authored posts in 2022.
- During the Superfans launch event for the Pixel 7 & 7 Pro announcement, the daily engagement rate of the Superfans group was a massive 54%, 5.6x the group's daily average (9.6%), which is already exceptionally high on an average day.
- From announcement to product release, the group had an engagement rate of 27%, or 2.8x the group’s daily average, which demonstrates the group’s sustained participation over time.
- Overall, the engagement rate on Google posts has increased 2.1x year-on-year, despite more than doubling our group size. This engagement rate is also 8x higher than our industry benchmark for similar brands on Facebook.
- And the conversation has been overwhelmingly positive, with a 97% positive net sentiment from the group, also improving 1.1x year-on-year.
The relationship we’ve built between Google and Superfans is a strong, healthy, and mutually valued one that reminds us of the power of truly social community-building.