Introduction
‘Social Media’ has become the biggest buzz phrase since ‘Web 2.0.’ But it’s not hype. Millions of people around the world are using social media on a daily basis, even if they hardly realise it. This ability to share, and the power of advocacy, has significant implications for the way you use digital media. One-way communication is being replaced by two-way and multi-directional communication that invites consumers to share in the process of brand definition and product development. And in this new world, “Talkability” is now the most powerful medium on the planet. Think of this document as the beginning of a conversation about the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of social media to facilitate a powerful, organic, ongoing dialogue with consumers. Our goal is to provide a practical guide to help understand how to make the most of this increasingly important and influential channel. On the following pages, we will answer the following key questions: • • • • • So, what is social media anyway? Why is social media important? How can brands effectively use social media? What are the rules of engagement? How can we measure success?

In those sections, we’ll outline the various types of social media, provide concrete guidelines and best practices for engaging in social media as well as ways to establish metrics and measure success. We’ll explore how to understand social media users, define social media objectives and strategies and how to enter into a larger, more rewarding conversation with our customers. Social media may be a brave new world to many companies, but we’re confident that with the right kind of attention, nurturing and care this is a platform that can yield exponential rewards, customer loyalty and brand affinity. We will also provide tangible examples of such rewards through a variety of case studies, which serve as models for success as well as cautionary tales. Because for every Blendtec and Wii Fit, there’s a P. Diddy & Burger King just waiting to happen. We encourage you to take a few minutes to read the Executive Summary on the following few pages. It will give you a quick overview of Social Media. Consider it your first step into a world where consumers are sharing product information and purchase recommendations with each other online, generating word-of-mouth power that can send a brand soaring or sinking almost overnight.

Babs Rangaiah Global Communication Planning Director, Unilever Graham Bednash Global Leader Invention, Mindshare Worldwide Scott Sorokin Global Digital Leader, Mindshare Worldwide

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Table of Contents
Executive Summary .................................................................................................................4 An Introduction to Social Media ...........................................................................................4 1. Why is Social Media Important? .......................................................................................5 2. So, What is Social Media Anyway? ....................................................................................6

2.1.
Types
of
Social
Media
..................................................................................... 6
3. Why is Social Media Important? .....................................................................................11 4. How Can Brands Effectively Use Social Media? ...........................................................15

4.1.
Defining
a
Social
Media
Strategy
 ...................................................................15 4.2
People:
Understanding
Social
Media
Users 
...................................................16 Audit:
(The
A.
in
the
A.S.S.I.S.T.
Process
 –
Audit.Site.Syndicate.Invite.Share.Track)
................................................17 Influencer
IdenJficaJon/AcJvaJon:
........................................................18 Blogger
Outreach:
How
To
Do
It:
 ..............................................................19 The
Do’s
and
Don’ts
of
Blogging
..............................................................21 Amplify
Customer
Service:
....................................................................... 22 Distribute
Content:
.................................................................................. 22 Generate
PosiJve
PR/Manage
ReputaJon:
.............................................23 Boost
SEO
(Search
Engine
OpJmizaJon):
................................................24 Drive
Sales:
 ............................................................................................... 24 Ten
Ways
to
Make
the
Twi\erverse
Work
for
Your
Brand
.......................26
5. What are the Rules Of Engagement? Listen Up! .........................................................27 6. How Can We Measure Success? ......................................................................................29

6.1
How
to
Capture
Online
Consumer
Insights
...................................................31
7. Case Studies ........................................................................................................................32

7.1
Making
Social
Media
Work
............................................................................ 33 7.2
When
Social
Media
Goes
Wrong
...................................................................39

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Executive Summary
An Introduction to Social Media In many ways, social media has been around since the birth of marketing. It is the connection between you and your customers. It’s the bond that drives affinity and loyalty through a living, breathing relationship. In ‘ancient times,’ this connection was mostly one-way. The marketer provides information and services to the customer and the customer receives. Occasionally, there would be a response from the customer, positive or negative, but typically the only way a marketer might know if their products or services were beneficial was through sales. Now, with the advent of online communities and networks, one-way communications have given way to two-way dialogues between brand and consumer and consumer-to-consumer. While more complicated, the rewards can far outweigh any negatives as consumers form even stronger bonds with brands because they now have more of a stake in what those brands become. How Can Brands Use Social Media? Social networks, while designed to link your potential customers to one another, provide fertile ground for marketers to target. We know where our audience is, what they like, what they don’t like and who their friends are. Even better, they provide a forum for marketers to initiate a dialogue to foster relationships. What social networks are not is a way to harass your potential customers. It’s essential to understand the community you are going to engage with to ensure that your communications are relevant and contextual to the community itself.You are looking to develop relationships based on trust so you need to be sensitive to your audience by engaging with them on their terms. By gaining their trust, they will be more likely to consider your products and services and receptive to your messages. What are the Most Popular Social Networking Sites? There are many social networking sites that span an infinite number of niche interests. Examples of a few of the most popular sites today are: • • • • • • • QZone Facebook MySpace Twitter Orkut Vkontakte.ru Baidu

Each has its own particular purpose and unique community. So, you need to consider how well your brands and messages fit with each different network. For Example: • • • • MySpace typically appeals to music-oriented users and indie bands. QZone is renowned for its instant messenger QQ. Facebook is a more generalised community where you can create personalized fan pages, group pages and business pages to use for marketing purposes. Twitter is a micro-blogging site that limits status updates to 140 characters or less.

It is essential to understand the community and processes you are entering before doing so or you can run the risk of alienating the very people you are looking to attract. Later in this document, we will outline a number of Do’s and Don’ts to help you navigate the terrain.

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and time commitments. While you most likely will not see immediate returns or sales upticks. content. where traditional news media was shut down and the only source for news coming out of Iran was the social networks. especially to bolster relevance. extra time should be factored in to establish long-term engagement strategies. Since they operate in real-time.1. resources.” The most recent example was the crisis in Iran. Another way to look at social networks is as a bellwether for the times we live in. Therefore. it becomes hugely beneficial for brands to be where things are happening. you can engender corporate loyalty and brand affinity that is impossible to put a price tag on. engagement and social media programs should be integrated as a part of a sustainable. holistic marketing strategy. you will see the long-term benefits that come from fostering any good relationship. Once trust and respect have been earned. people will be far more likely to turn to you to fulfil their needs and try your products and services. Additionally. not a campaign. we often see breaking news happen in communities before it even hits “the news. What You Need to Know Before You Leap into Social Media Social media is a commitment. One wonders what historical events might have looked like if Twitter were around hundreds of years ago: Given it’s the timeliness of social networks. If you can successfully navigate the terrain. 5 . Why is Social Media Important? One of the main reasons to engage in the social media universe is to build relationships. Another example was the recreation of the Apollo 11 mission on twitter on the 40th anniversary of man landing on the moon.

Now that we’ve defined what social media is. At its core. Each type of social media has its advantages and disadvantages and each attracts a different type of social media user. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. differing points of view and ongoing conversations. The main types of social media are: • • • • • • • Blogs Blogs (web-logs) basically grew out of the inherent human need to express oneself. sometimes they are personal missions of those authoring them. you will be able to most effectively target and engage in optimum dialogues that are relevant and contextual to the services and products you are offering. What’s different today is the application of technology and connection to the conversation. What is Social Media Anyway? Before we can jump right in and start friending each other. Types of Social Media Networks. In the early days of the Internet. 2. it’s important for marketers to understand how the social media landscape breaks down in order to best utilise the right tool(s) for the job. So. A more elaborate definition of social media could be: Technologies that allow people to connect with each other and create and share information over the Internet.2. By understanding the landscape. Technology + Connection. it’s not always easy to tell one type of social media from another. oh my. Blogs (and Micro-blogs) Social networks Video/image sharing sites Social news aggregators Social bookmarking sites Wikis Forums 6 . contain many different types of content and be used by many different types of people and organisations in an infinite number of ways. we need to understand how many forms it takes. When you think about it. properties and brands with a unique opportunity to become part of those connections and conversations. media has always been social in one form or another. Sometimes they are Op/Ed columns representing one particular author’s point of view. the only real avenues for doing so were bulletin boards and forums where people would express themselves in public forums. blogs and aggregators. most invite commentary from others and spark dialogue. we really need to take a step back and understand just exactly what social media is. criticisms and advocates.1. The only real difference between then and now is that blogs today have become so much more. inviting other opinions. Regardless. The Cluetrain Manifesto: markets are conversations. providing individuals. Whilst it may not matter to the end user how we label a particular experience. Blogging is a simple way of publishing content to the web and can take many forms. social media can be summed up as simply as was done in the highly influential book. When you look at the social media landscape.

The Gothamist. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum (AP11_Spacecraft). into a global medium. just got a whole lot lower. however they limit the amount of content that can be posted at any given time. a job board (TwitterJobSearch. The most well-known in the micro-blogging sphere is Twitter. news and image sharing service. twtjobs) and it continues to evolve as a real-time communications tool that people are continually shaping to fit their needs. by institutions such as The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (ReliveApollo11) and the John F. Somewhat by design of its creators. which is one of the fastest growing social media brands in the world. It has become a social network. instant messenger. somewhat through the evolution of its users. blogging is essentially the 21st Century equivalent of Guttenberg’s printing press. 7 . April 9th. The most well-known blogging platforms are currently: 


 


 Another way to think of blogs. Twitter is even being used to commemorate and track moment-by-moment historical monuments such as the Apollo 11 moon landing. 2004 Micro-blogs Micro-blogs share the same characteristics as blogs. bringing publishing to the masses. And the effect of that increased pool of potential producers is going to be vast. Twitter has become far more than just a micro-blogging service.When you think about it. by anyone.the cost and difficulty of publishing absolutely anything. – Clay Shirky. their economies and proliferation of content comes from Internet strategist Clay Shirky: So forget about blogs and bloggers and blogging and focus on this -.

‘private’ become blurred. the social network universe also includes a myriad of vertical and niche categories from music. family and colleagues. since they comprise the largest. images. videos. sports and travel to politics. social networks facilitate connections between friends. such as FriendFeed and socialthing!. It’s quite astounding to realize how the lines between what is ‘public’ vs. the Google owned video site. Most of the content on these sites is created by average users (typically referred to as UGC or usergenerated content). social media aggregators. aim to centralise users’ various social profiles. A subcategory of social networks is user-generated platforms that allow people to create their own communities and networks in the same way that Blogger and WordPress allow people to create their own blogs. an aggregator might allow a user to update their status or deliver a message or blog across numerous networks and platforms at one time. At their most intricate level.Social Networks When we think of social media. They allow people to upload and share images and videos with their friends and the entire community. and to manage multiple conversations from one location. considering how Facebook. Essentially. but there is quite a lot of popular content that is professionally created. Flickr and YouTube store millions of its users’ info. Platforms such as Ning and KickApps are good examples of customizable social networks. sex and hobbies. Video/Image Sharing Sites Video and image sharing sites are the most self-explanatory types of social media. which can lead to issues of copyright infringement and piracy. most well-known websites around such as: At their most basic level. which is one of the most visited sites on the web. These communities allow users to submit links to content found on other websites that they like or wish to advocate. The content is then ranked in the aggregator community based on how many members of the community rate the content and/or how much discussion it provokes. allowing them to update them all from one place. Social Media Aggregators For the more prolific social media users. 8 . what first comes to mind are social networks. the photo-sharing community for amateur and professional photographers and YouTube. It’s as if a newspaper were to allow their readers to submit stories and then vote on which stories are good enough to appear on the front page. The most well-known of these is Flickr.

The most well-known of these services is the Yahoo!-owned site. This not only means that the person storing the content can access it from anywhere in the world with web access. In a way. allow people to bookmark web pages they find useful and share those preferences with their friends and the community. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites. allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages. Tags are used to enable the content to be categorised and stored indefinitely. Wikipedia. delicious. to define what. sometimes known as folksonomies. However. niche communities. forums can be found on largest of sites with millions of users to tiny. a wiki is a website that is created by. from Wikipedia Essentially. but equally active. but so too can anyone else by using the tags. 100% user-generated content. 9 . – Wiki. Wikis are often used by organisations and companies to facilitate the generation of peer-created content. to power community websites. whose goal is to target various niche sectors and demographic groups. it’s like adding bookmarks to Favourites Bar in Internet Explorer but now you can share those unique finds with others. Wikipedia. All they need to do is search for content based on what people say it is about. is one of the best-known wikis. which has a predominantly young American audience. The collaborative encyclopaedia. Wikis It seems only right that we use the best-known wiki. which is what it’s all about – organisational structure created by users rather than editors. there are a growing number of news aggregators. and can be edited by. Social Bookmarking Sites These sites. Forums These are probably the oldest form of web-based social media and are sites that allow users to create discussions (or threads) on a topic and invite responses from all other readers of the forum. its readers: essentially. and for note taking. Often known as message boards. a ‘wiki’ is: A wiki is a website that uses wiki software. in fact.The most well-known social news aggregator is digg.

net) 10 . (FredCavazza.The following is an illustrative breakdown of the social media landscape.

the types of collaborative relationships that it engenders. Consider how long it took these media to reach audiences of 50 million: • • • • Radio: 38 years Television: 13 years.K. And though we are all a part of the social media revolution.com. the following figures provide a pretty convincing argument as to why brands need to consider social media in their media marketing mix. Because of the peer-to-peer conversation. That is why it is essential for brands to engage in the dialogue in meaningful and relevant ways to gain the trust of their audience. Alexa. it would be the fifth largest in the world People aged 35+ are Facebook’s fastest growing audience 55+ users of Facebook grew by 513% in 2009 Majority of ‘digital moms’ use social networks Over 133 million blogs have been created since 2002 15-24 yr olds in the U. Razorfish/CafeMom It’s undeniable that the media landscape has been irrevocably changed and the old ways of doing business are unlikely to ever work effectively as they once did. 800 million photos uploaded to Facebook 10% of all time spent online is spent on social networks • • • • • • • • • • • Sources include: InternetRetailer. spend 2. Social media is also one of the fundamental drivers behind the changing relationship between people and brands. Whilst statistics mean nothing without context and analysis. It is becoming the norm for them and it will be as expected as a dial tone once was. five are social 10 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute If Facebook were a country.14 billion minutes per month on Bebo Social networks and blogs are now more popular globally than email Every month.com. The Internet: 4 years Facebook: 2 years. • Two-thirds of all Internet users around the world visit social networks and/or blogs (734. The people have the power because they trust each other above all else. Technorati. Why is Social Media Important? An entire generation is growing up with social media as the norm. 11 .2 million out of 1. Wikipedia.1 billion Internet users) Of the top 10 most popular sites globally. the next generation will come to expect the functionality that is common to social media. and the nature of shared experiences whenever they are online. Bebo. Nielsen Online. Facebook.3.TechCrunch. the deer now have guns.

5) MySpace (4.6) Facebook (6. February 22.4) Windows Live Profile (7.4) Odnoklassniki (7. And so is her Russian pen-pal Alina (well.3) MySpace (2. Mail. local players maintain a home field advantage: • • • • • • • Hyves. 2009 20 Most Popular Social Networks Globally Nielsen reports social networks being accessed by nearly 70% of global web users: Source: comScore.0) Windows Live Profile (6. Dorothy is probably on Facebook.ru – My World (5. unique visitors – some services excluded due to inclusion of services such as webmail In other countries.It’s clear that we’re not in Kansas anymore although. May 2009.8) Facebook (22.1) MySpace (56.1) 3rd Windows Live Profile (1.6) Facebook (18.8) Windows Live Profile (115.It: Lithuania Iwiw: Hungary: Mixi: Japan Cyworld: South Korea Wretch: Taiwan Source: Alianzo’s Blog.8) Bebo (7.6) Windows Live Profile (4.8) Splinder (3.com (22.5) MySpace (112. unique visitors 12 .3) Twitter (15.1) Mail.2) Tuenti (5. putting to rest any suggestions that social media is only a Western phenomenon.7) Orkut (13.1) Windows Live Profile (3.8) QZone (200) Facebook (16.7) 2nd Sonico (1.2) Facebook (6.9) Wer-Kent-Wen (5.2) Skyrock (12.9) Facebook (11) Vkontakte (12.3) StudiVZ (12. as the table below shows.8) 56.6) Bharatstudent (3.6) World Facebook (290. May 2009.5) Baidu Space (35.nl: Holland Sonico: Argentina (though Facebook leads) One.8) Windows Live Profile (6. Most Popular Social Networks (millions of monthly unique visitors) 1st Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany India Italy Russ Fed Spain UK US Facebook (5.1) Facebook (58.ru).3) Orkut (21.5) Source: comScore.8) Windows Live Profile (6.5) MySpace (4.

And whilst some have questioned the relevance of these channels to FMCG brands. the experience of Unilever and Mindshare.
 13 .’ suggests there is relevance for nearly all of Unilever’s brands to engage in the social media space. backed up by data showing the growing power of ‘digital moms.

March 13. Country Populations Pingdom. Social Network Users vs.And if you’re struggling to get to grips with the scale of social media. QZone is even bigger than Facebook Facebook is bigger than Russia MySpace is pretty close in size to Mexico LinkedIn. and social networks in particular. 2009 Some quick observations: • • • • • • • The Chinese social network. the following chart should help provide some perspective. Bebo and Xanga are bigger than Canada It won’t be long before Twitter is bigger than Sweden Orkut is larger than France Friendster and the Philippines are the same size 14 .

etc. The key components are: P – People O – Objectives S – Strategy T – Technology • People: Whom do you want to talk to? Are they using social media? If so. there’s no point in doing anything in that space. your company and brand will need to be prepared to somewhat cede that control. widgets. it will also be impossible to completely retain control in the social media space. Method. called the P. then you should consider whether it’s really right for your brand.) Let go – control is in consumers hands* Take a long-term view Keep listening It’s worth noting that whilst a brand doesn’t need to completely relinquish control. and through what platform or technology.) Objectives: What do you want to talk to them about? Or do you just want to listen to what they’re saying about you? What do you hope to gain from the activity? What does success look like? Strategy: You need to plan for how using social media will change relationships with consumers – social media turns consumer-brand relationships into a dialogue. So.S. How Can Brands Effectively Use Social Media? 4. and how will you handle the fact that some of the feedback may not be positive? Technology: What is the best social technology to implement your plan? (See section 2.1. Defining a Social Media Strategy There is a simple system for brands to plan their social media strategies that Forrester has developed. 15 . so what’s your strategy for doing this. your business or your communications objectives. why. what are they using it for? If the sorts of people you want to talk to aren’t using social media.4. you can utilise the following process to implement a social media marketing strategy: • • • • • • • Listen to your consumers Understand the conversations Identify your influencers Add value to enhance conversations and experiences (via content. Once you’ve decided who you want to talk to. tools.T. (Forrester also has a handy tool for desk research into how different types of people use social media.O. More on that later. What can we do with it?” But if your customers aren’t using YouTube in a way that is relevant to your brand.1:Types of Social Media) • • • Many companies start with the technology and try to retrofit the strategy: “We’ve got a channel on YouTube.

4. Whilst there are thousands of reports available on how different users use different tools. it’s important to understand what your target audience is using social media to do. China (Metro). 16 . Japan. South Korea and Australia. Italy. Germany.2 People: Understanding Social Media Users When deciding how to make the most of social media. The following diagram illustrates how these different types of consumers use social media. UK. has a simple methodology for defining different users. Social media users are categorised by Forrester into six types with many users falling into more than one. Forrester Social Technographics Ladder Forrester also provides a web-based tool that allows you to see how different demographics fit into the different types of users: Forrester Groundswell Tool With research data from Canada. Forrester. this is a very useful tool for planning a top-line social media strategy. France. US.

This monitoring can be carried out using a number of different tools. product or phrase With any form of audit.. 17 .Syndicate. By listening carefully to the dialogue.Once you have an understanding of what types of activities your target audience is engaging in. Cymfony is one of only a few select tools capable of handling different languages and character sets. The following outlines a number of broad objectives to be considered: Audit: (The A. etc. bespoke listening data.Invite. Process – Audit. positioning.S. often answering each other’s questions and queries The different types of discussions within these communities can often provide powerful insights for brands such as Unilever’s.Track) Before any sort of social media marketing is carried out. you will need to establish concrete objectives and goals for your plan. in the A. Cymfony.Visible Technologies and Radian6. product development. consumers congregate in two kinds of digital communities: • • Friend communities: Users congregate and share information and experiences with friends and peers Knowledge communities: Users gather together around common themes and interests. to ensure robust and accurate monitoring: • • • • • Serph – Real-time buzz tracking Omgili – Find out what people are saying How Sociable? – Understanding how well a brand fares in social media Addict-o-matic – Brilliant visual social buzz aggregator using an automated NetVibes-type interface Google AdWords – See how many people are searching for a particular brand.S.T. are brand mentions positive or negative in tone? Does a mention in one space matter more than mentions in another?). you learn what your audience is passionate about and gain a real-time picture of how your brand is perceived. it’s essential that the brand spend time listening to what consumers are saying. including Nielsen BuzzMetrics. it’s not only important to understand the data it provides (i. which we recommend in addition to Cymfony. When looking to set-up a monitoring campaign.I.Share.Site. Generally. some of which can be managed on a much more basic level. not in place of it. some of which require investment. we recommend using Mindshare to manage your monitoring: they have partnerships with a sister company. A number of recommended free tools are also available to gauge opinion/interest including the following. but also ensure that this data is then aligned and implemented against concrete goals and objectives.e.S. which is a global monitoring service/ tool: it gives Mindshare full access to in-depth. Whilst there are a number of different tools available. The data collected in the Audit can also be used to drive a large number of other marketing activities including segmentation.

exponentially increasing the effectiveness of communications. a forum. or your brand’s sector. a wellconnected Twitter user. This means that you can target your social media activity to the people and places where such messages are most likely to spread efficiently and effectively. a brand can reach and influence their audience through highly targeted contacts. This might be a blog. keywords related to your sector and the names of your major competitors and track Compare – measure sentiment for your brand and compare to the competitive set Trend – mine the chatter for hot trends and emerging themes. most bloggers are not professional journalists or public relations specialists and should not be held to the same standards. is that it is often possible to spread messages to entire communities through individuals or small groups of people. By identifying influential community members or groups of influential individuals.You can reach the largest possible proportion of your target market and gain invaluable insights from your most switched on consumers. a brand can build relationships with these influencers.Actions: Mindshare can help Unilever brands put in place audit activities to build an understanding of consumers and their perceptions. The tasks and outputs of this would include: • • • Listen – set up feeds to monitor for mentions of your brand. however that. or any and all of the above.) Tracking influencers involves data collected in a listening project along with more targeted and in-depth research to understand where conversations and discussions about your brand. are starting. By blending hard data and detailed desktop analysis. Influencer Identification/Activation: One of the benefits of social media. By cultivating such relationships with influencers and bloggers. and its basis in networks. (It is important to note. whilst they play an important role in the social media sphere. you can build a picture of your very own web – your web of influence. Actions: Identifying key influencers should be a priority for Unilever brands in order to yield the following actions and outputs: • • • • • Identification – Find and track hubs of influence Engage – Build relationships with key influencers and utilise exclusive content and other forms of social currency Distribute – Utilise these influencers for the distribution of content (see below) Converse/Develop – Engage advocates in product development/reviews and other future testing Track – Monitor the spread of messages and influence of key relationships 18 . a fan-created page on a social network.

com Technorati. press coverage. Content and Coverage. you will need to weed out bloggers from other countries – but. 2. Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes with all different interests and biases. you become a trusted source of bloggers: • • • Access to whatever they need to write the story Content to include in the story Coverage of the story (i.e.com Icerocket.com b. Search the Blogosphere: The following are recommended resource to identify where people are blogging about particular topics: a. you’re halfway there. However there are certain things that will help you when trying to build relationships: If you think of bloggers in the same way you might journalists. c. e. d. unfortunately there is no silver bullet. Geo-Target: If you only want to talk to bloggers from a particular region. (Contact your internal comms planner if interested in this) Google Blog Search Blogpulse. blogs may cross borders as well 19 . By providing Access. expanded news) If you make information freely available and back up your claims with tangible substantiation.  With full contact information and ranked in terms of visibility and popularity
in order of influence using Social Media Library’s proprietary scoring systems. events. But how to find bloggers? And how to find the right bloggers? 1.Blogger Outreach: How To Do It: Whilst it would be nice if there were a definitive way to find and communicate with bloggers. Social Media Library: Unilever has signed a deal with this company that offers a directory of categorised and influential social media contacts. where languages are spoken in more than one country. remember that. you will be showing the blogosphere transparency and a willingness to open up a dialogue.

3. Blog Ranking: Rank the blogs to prioritise their importance utilising the following: a. Inbound Links –Yahoo’s Site Explorer allows you to find out how much a blog is referenced by other sites c. 5. Comments per Post – Check to see how many comments are associated with a blog to determine their influence Alexa – Whilst Alexa is far from perfect and heavily skewed. it does act as an indicator when taken into account with other data Cache Date – The date when Google last cached a site gives an indicator as to how often the search engine bothers to visit the site Last Post – If nothing has been posted for more than a month. f. the blog may well be inactive Blogrolls: Check the blogrolls of the top blogs to find other influential ones you may have missed About Us: Check ‘About Us’ pages for email addresses & phone numbers 20 . d. Google PageRank – The Google Toolbar is a downloadable tool that allows you to see Google’s view of the importance of a webpage b. 4. e.

relevant posts Use their name in correspondences 3. not for reward. Not just the biggest.Whilst you may think their blog is small or insignificant in the grander scheme. DO get to know your bloggers Read their recent posts so you understand what they’re interested in. you would do well to thank them for their time and move on. Don’t add them to your mailing list unless they request it. It’s good manners and it’s good business. Remember. you know the rest. If it is newsworthy to them. DON’T ask for links (i. they know this world far better than you do. 9. If you want something from bloggers..e. it’s probably not worth emailing them. DON’T spam! Don’t clog up their comments with remarks about your product and don’t flood their inbox with emails they haven’t asked for. for SEO) If you’re looking for your bloggers to create links. Refer to their recent. use tools such as Technorati. but also be aware that this breaches Google’s guidelines. Blogpulse or Alexa to identify relevant bloggers. be prepared to pay for them. but there needs to be a value exchange of some kind. 1. it might also help you decide if they’re really the right person to contact – if they say they hate being contacted by brands. DO be open to constructive feedback Just like the rest of the social network universe. You never can tell how influential a blogger might be. 21 . If not. to them it’s the world. When in doubt. DO create a targeted list of bloggers As stated. 8. b. follow this simple golden rule: Most bloggers blog for love. Some do. So craft your communications wisely and try to: a.The Do’s and Don’ts of Blogging Following these simple do’s and don’ts and should help you develop strong relationships with bloggers who will be receptive to creating buzz around your products. DO be respectful Make sure to treat bloggers with the same respect you would a professional journalist. DO offer to send product – no strings attached Some bloggers don’t accept gifts. DON’T be too pushy If you’ve sent them something to review. you can certainly ask if they’ve received it. Any blogger who takes the time to offer constructive criticism is worth your time to listen to. 5. 2. you need to ask yourself what’s in it for them – it may be great content. 4. Some also pass those products on to other influencers. But you don’t want to start nagging them to write about it. they will blog about it. Keep expectations low and respect high. it is imperative that you’re always listening. So always follow the golden rule and do unto others…well. DON’T use template letters You’ve chosen this person for a reason so take care with your communications. but the most relevant. It’s like feeding pork sausages to vegetarians. 7. 6.You should know that bloggers tend to share form letters with each other so they know when they’re being treated shabbily.

With careful preparation and activation. thoughts and content. Because in a world where media must increasingly be earned. But once you’ve started using social media to streamline and improve your customer service. With this sort of insight. It all comes down giving your audience a reason to care and a reason to share. wherever possible • Distribute Content: Social media is built on the idea of sharing – sharing ideas. social media can allow you to distribute content in order to amplify media budgets from other channels. Providing customer service through social media allows brands to have real. practical conversations with consumers.’ One tool that can be utilised to home in on the most relevant content is to engage Advocates in the creation process to help discover what type of content might resonate best. you should make sure to benchmark and track and monitor consumers’ attitudes to your brand. which allow people to share content more easily. interesting articles. Useful applications and widgets. initiate peer-topeer service by rewarding ‘super users. This can be implemented and tracked in the following ways: • • • Proactive – Use monitoring in the form of Twitter/Google/blog alerts to identify consumer issues and utilise relevant branded profiles to react to them Hubbed – Create profiles and blogs where consumers tend to congregate around branded spaces (i. (It’s worth noting that it’s not just videos that consumers choose to spread. Going viral on YouTube or hitting the homepage of digg is the Holy Grail for many marketers..e.Amplify Customer Service: The single biggest difference between social and other forms of media is the facilitation of real-time engagements between consumers and brands. it’s in everyone’s best interest to create a value exchange where everyone wins. Once you understand the main ways in which your customers utilise social media. you can then craft content that has the highest possibility of building up momentum amongst consumers and ‘going viral.’ In markets and sectors where this may not be possible. One of the most popular uses of social media by brands is the spreading of video content. even topical spreadsheets have all been passed around by millions of consumers. Unilever customer services execs can be empowered to set-up surgeries in large consumermanaged forums Measurement – Benchmark and track customer perceptions of brand and measure cost efficiencies and lifetime customer values. In order to achieve this sort of success. 22 . it’s important to understand what kind of content your audience will like and what are the key drivers that will make them pass it on. you give your brand the best chance of being promoted in the content space. Facebook) so customers know that detailed customer service is readily available Peer-generated – On Unilever branded properties with community capabilities.) By fully understanding your consumer and making full use of technologies such as social bookmarking icons. utilising these tools and channels to provide customer service is relatively simple. often gained from Auditing. Actions: Customer service operations should always be tested using social media channels.

payment of some sort can be necessary – test different forms of ‘paid’ seeding for different content types Optimisation – Activate campaigns using social media optimisation including optimising video for YouTube or content for digg Enablement – Ensure that content is fully shareable by utilising social bookmarking icons.Actions: Utilising social media as a new channel for distributing content should be tested by key Unilever brands. pass-on rates and traffic re: videos/other content Generate Positive PR/Manage Reputation: Whilst some would argue that any form of successful marketing would generate positive buzz. it’s really so much more. sensitive and inventive use of social media enables you to do this in ways that would have seemed impossible in the past. In a world where your corporate website can only handle a fraction of the digital discussions involving your brand. it’s possible to turn around perceptions of your brand or products more efficiently and effectively than before. Whilst this may just seem like an extension of Amplifying Customer Service. if you’re not prepared to enter a two-way conversation with consumers. it’s more than likely that some of these discussions will be negative. then it’s not necessarily right for your brand. 23 . Dell started off as a company that tried to ignore negative coverage online. such as real-time response to such negative PR. It can also enable you to turn a negative story into a positive one. Using social media to turn reputation disasters into successes can actually increase your customer base. Encouraging employees to blog and Tweet shows that human side on an even larger scale. or which are not backed up by traditional advertising spend. as well as improve your relationship with your existing customer base. Actions and outputs include: • • • • • Seeding – Enable advocates to push digital content and give them exclusives and other special access to give them social currency (See Nintendo/Dooce example below) Placement – Whilst many see social media as a free media channel. you have to decide whether or not this type of open policy is right for your brand. Blogging allows you to open up your company’s workings to allow consumers to see the human side of your business. by taking advantage of all the opportunities that social media allows. reach. As with all social media activity though. But. As always. but only if you’re listening for the bad news in the first place. but if it is then both these methods allow brands to engage in constructive conversations regarding decisions about products and strategies that may not be immediately popular with consumers. making video embeddable and targeting content sharing sites such as SlideShare and scribd Measure –Track views. but has since changed its attitude and its fortunes – the full story is detailed in the case studies at the end of this document.

not on whether or not they can stuff a search term into their text 100 times. in many ways. social media allows marketers to boost their online brands through increased search visibility whilst simultaneously boosting brand equity. By providing content that people can link to and share. many have argued that it’s not a sales tool and that such activity will alienate an audience. becoming part of the wider blogosphere should benefit you Analyse – Track rankings and traffic from organic search for keywords being targeted by social media activity • • Drive Sales: Due to the fact that social media activity generally takes place in spaces that are not easily commercialised. This would include the following actions and measurements: • Blog – Set up a company blog on the main domain and use it to create link-worthy content (it’s worth noting that content that people may want to link to is often different from content that they may want to share – linkbait and viral are not the same) Connect – In order to put your blog onto other bloggers’ radar.YouTube or the relevant property to enable quick response to negative PR Converse – Draw up a policy for social interaction to enable employees to engage with relevant communities through social media: this doesn’t mean censoring output but ensuring that all understand what is being attempted Track – Utilise brand perception monitoring. if managed carefully. However. as detailed in earlier actions Boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Whilst social networks and blogs are now more popular than email. built on the same ideas that have led to the growth of social media. social media is the perfect channel to try and drive links to your content. This would include: • • • • Listen – Ensure that monitoring activity is set-up to track and find negative PR before it boils over Prepare – Ensure appropriate channels are in place on Twitter. It essentially ranks web pages. 24 . Actions: Social media marketing should be built into ongoing SEO activity. but on how much the content is referenced by the wider web community through links. as well as experiment with opening up systems to encourage positive buzz. search is still the number one activity online. this need not be the case. this means doing well in Google’s natural (unpaid) rankings is not so much a hygiene factor for modern businesses as a survival factor. So. it is often necessary to link out – whilst indiscriminate linking will not boost SEO. Google’s ranking formula is.Actions: Unilever brands should establish systems to allow negative PR to be countered through social media channels. And with Google’s global share currently at over 60% and rising rapidly.

e. special offers through different channels can reap large benefits. Tweet Shopper Promote – Use advocates as affiliates – their audience is likely to be exactly the type that your sales team would want to connect with Integrate – Tie-in social media activity with relevant calls to commerce spaces Measure – Track ROI against straight investment Below are just a few retailers who have found Twitter to be an effective tool. one consumer appears to the others to be ‘in the know’). it’s possible to utilise social media as a true commercial channel. It’s also possible to tie social media activity with simple ecommerce if done sensitively. Actions: If analysis shows that it will be accepted... Activities and outputs would include: • • • • Limited Time Offers – The real time nature of Twitter means that it can easily be used for promoting limited time offers i.e. then Unilever brands should test social media commerce. Because kudos can gained through social currency (i. More can be found on the No Turn on Red blog: 25 .Through listening to your consumers and understanding how and where they look to make buying decisions.

. including what would qualify as a Twitter success story for your brand. and all over the world (it played a crucial communications role in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai). instead of being isolated from other activities. with early adopters. The popularity of Twitter on both sides of the Atlantic. 6. Consumers are also spending more time on the service. Keep in mind that we believe Twitter needs to be integrated into a client’s social media landscape.S. 2009. Become familiar with Twitter by reviewing. makes it a platform that is important for any company to understand — and use. the first 10 steps companies need to take to control their brand on Twitter and establish a successful presence: 1. 2007. tone of voice and method of engagement — that may be right for your brand.com/zappos) and Comcast (twitter. it was predicted Twitter would disrupt instant messaging giants Windows Live Messenger. According to Hitwise. Twitter exploded nationally. In the U. the activities of successful brands such as Dell (http://www.K. Look into competitive activities and potential legal considerations. 26 . it surpassed the equivalent U.Ten Ways to Make the Twitterverse Work for Your Brand On March 11. including valuable initial content to pique user interest.K. the short status updates (or “tweets”) of 140 characters or less are complementing. and Oprah Winfrey’s decision to join Twitter in May (twitter. it was the race to one million followers between Ashton Kutcher (twitter.. In the U.com/ cnnbrk) in April. with help from the mainstream media in both countries.020 in the U..Yahoo! Messenger. heightening the imperative for companies to also be there. In the U. of course.K. and often being consumed alongside.K. With the Twitter phenomenon now something no company can disregard. 4. Razorfish has developed 10 recommendations to help marketers take control of their brands on the platform. and AIM — if the site could manage its bandwidth issues. Internet visits versus 0. Here then. In both the U. the start-up Twitter won the Web award in the “Blog” category at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive. reach (0. Use the findings to decide on the appropriate opportunity — such as offers or community building. Instead.K. At that time. and Twitter has not replaced instant messaging or other social media offerings. 2. Fast-forward two years. Listen to what is already being said on Twitter about your brand.com/comcastcares). other media — from TV to social networks to email.com/twitter). consumers are spending 30 minutes on Twitter as compared with less than 10 minutes a year ago. that caused Twitter to break into the broader public consciousness.S. especially if there is already a Twitter account that uses your brand’s name or other intellectual property associated with it. and then..dell. According to comScore. The Stephen Fry-inspired Twitter surge in U. or following.twitter. Identify initial objectives for using Twitter. 7. Twitter then entered the U.).K.K.com/aplusk) and CNN’s breaking news feed (twitter. it took actor Stephen Fry on the show “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross” to introduce Twitter to the mainstream market. Twitter adoption began. Since Twitter is an ongoing activity — even if your company is only listening in — dedicate a resource to monitor the conversations and competitors. Twitter is now one of the fastest-growing sites in the U. with traffic tripling in 2009 — excluding traffic from third-party applications and mobile sites. Internet traffic meant that.S.com/oprah). top 100 most visited Web sites the week of February 2.S. at the time. Zappos (http://www. Map out a plan for the content you will share. 3. 5.024 percent of all U. and the U. there were 19 million Twitter users around the globe as of March — a 95 percent increase over the previous month.

as outlined earlier: • • • • • • • • Listen to your consumers Ask questions – invite feedback Identify your influencers Understand the conversations that are taking place Add value to enhance conversations and experiences (via content. The same can be applied to your social media strategy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to understand what they want. find points of commonality. Source: Fluent – The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report 5. what they need. what they like.) Let go – control is in consumers’ hands* Take a long-term view – social media involvement can’t be treated like a campaign Keep listening A deeper set of guidelines includes: • Listen: Just as you can’t have a meaningful conversation with another person unless you listen to what they’re saying. widgets. 10. by embedding it as a feed on the company Web site. Despite the level of sophistication some platforms have reached. What are the Rules Of Engagement? Listen Up! Although social media is almost as old as the web (Amazon and eBay were built on the principles of social media before the term had even been invented. The importance of points five. surprise. Brands that create an account but do not respond to followers’ posts have found their reputation tarnished for not using Twitter in the best way. Great conversationalists ask questions. and the word ‘blog’ celebrated its 10th birthday earlier this year). Dell used one of its Twitter feeds to promote discounts and generated more than $2 million from Twitter followers. social media is still fairly nascent in its development and many of its rules are still unwritten. tools. The best way to understand how best to use social media and engage with consumers is through ‘test and learn.’ Fortunately there are certain guidelines you can follow to ensure best practices to yield valuable data to ensure success. On the flip side. so you can’t expect to effectively engage with consumers unless you listen to them first. 9. etc.8. brands that have entered into Twitter with the right attitude are reaping the rewards. For example. responding to queries and joining in conversations without being too marketing oriented. and what they don’t want. including its URL in communications and so forth. it’s only in the last few years that it has grown to a relevant scale for marketers to consider its use as a communication tool. 27 . need or like – that way you can add something to relevant to the conversation rather than just talking or shouting at people. then think about what makes a great conversationalist. delight and engage.tune your Twitter activities. learn and fine. six and seven cannot be stressed enough. Integrate your Twitter account throughout your marketing experience. Provide ongoing direct value through your tweets by continuing to listen. If social media is essentially a conversation. Maintain momentum by following everyone who follows you.

not getting involved in social media doesn’t mean that these people will stop being vocal. attention and consideration. But. build a personal profile on Twitter so that you understand how corporate profiles are viewed. 28 . By interacting with a community. people don’t change – technology does). digital communities have standards and rules of behaviour for their members. then you need to understand and respect the community. you need to add something to the conversation. When consumers have a million different things vying for their attention. As in the real world. But you do need to give them something in exchange for their time. This might be by answering questions. Get a digg account. with a live Twitter feed of updates mentioning Skittles as its homepage. If you want to engage with these communities. And as with any real-world community. try to become a useful contributor to Wikipedia. you’ll soon realise that not everyone loves your brand.• Respect your community: The digital world mirrors and amplifies the real world (as we said earlier. you can work to turn negative perceptions into positive ones. However other consumers littered the brand’s homepage with highly colourful and offensive language. It just means that you won’t know about it and won’t be able to participate or respond to the issues that arise in the conversation. respect given generally results in respect earned. acting as an aggregator of knowledge – the choice is yours. The best way to ensure that you don’t offend the community is to take some time to ‘live’ in that world so you can better understand how they think.: In order to benefit from engaging in social media. Skittles decided to turn their entire site into an aggregator of social media facets of Skittles brand. offering some light entertainment. talk and interact. and being an active listener. • Be useful/interesting/entertaining/etc. And whilst you won’t always succeed. many praised it as a brave step. And some people might be quite vocal in expressing those feelings. often the simple act of trying is enough to generate positive consumer feedback and brand affinity. • Be prepared for the bad as well as the good: When you get involved in social media. you need to give them a compelling reason to pay attention to you. providing a useful app.

what was the most meaningful conversation you had today? Was it one that changed your attitude? Or. shortterm campaigns or neglecting the relationships you’ve built can often do as much harm as good. And that will only make things worse in the long-run. So it stands to reason that. If you’ve done your due diligence in building relationships. 29 . established and emerging social monitoring technologies promise comprehensive. one that reinforced your point of view? Do you typically listen more intently to a podcast of a respected subject matter expert. or to your peer during a casual hallway conversation? These are questions that numbers cannot answer. and one of those is transparency. Because relationships are not built in a day. That’s why you need to be in it for the long term. But they don’t like being lied to or manipulated. the long-term rewards can be exponential. People don’t mind talking to brands. marketers still need to be able to determine whether or not a social media program is moving the needle or having an impact.• Be in it for the long term: Friendships and relationships take years to develop. 6. (See Appendix: IAB Social Media Metrics Definitions 2009 for further information. or brands talking to them (so long as they don’t shout and interrupt). communities and self-publishing average Joes. quantitative results that will deliver rich meaning and insight. it’s likely to come out in the end. in a medium built on relationships and interactions.) Word-of-Mouth (WOM) is perhaps the world’s oldest form of advertising and one that has proven nearly impossible for marketers to target and measure…until recently. it’s important that you’re honest about what you’re doing because if you’re trying to hide or manipulate. So whenever you engage in the social space. it’s good to keep in mind that immediate returns should not be expected. How Can We Measure Success? Social media measurement is one of those topics that everyone has an opinion about. • Be open and honest: Social media is built on many things. maintain and nurture. but nobody agrees on the method. What is the value of a conversation? Ask yourself. But success is a measure of more than just numbers and percentages across consumer buzz. In the absence of any accepted or standardised metrics. With the explosion of online social platforms.

comments or buzz does not paint a complete picture. Digital WOM is a quagmire of conversations. • Output: The output refers to the amount of exposure created by the PR and social media campaigns. The target audience is no longer a nameless. and using a singular approach to target and measure social media is a mistake. give and take. There is no silver bullet for social media measurement. Word-of-Mouth.. One of the primary reasons to measure outtakes is that it can be used as a leading indicator of outcomes. In the online world. but by relationships: peer-to-peer. honesty and transparency.You can use a variety of monitoring services (as well as free ones such as Google Alerts) to see in which blogs or news outlets you’re being mentioned. social media is relationship-building that requires time and effort. launch date.You can then measure the advertising equivalency of your PR campaign. Outcomes: Outcomes measures the business results of the campaign.and post-campaigns and is clearly harder and more complicated than simply measuring outputs. by its very nature. Social media metrics do require a quantitative backbone.” views.e. antagonist toprotagonist. but that doesn’t mean that we cannot define what it means to move the needle. Rather. number of leads generated on your site or any other desired effect. ratings. Marketers should define and interpret the metrics as numerically savvy social anthropologists – not pure data analysts. support groups. This is the easiest of the three to measure and uncovers who’s talking about you. end date” model. emotional connection). Fishing the meaning out of these complex online relationships can vary by industry. This is clearly the most important of the three measurements since it directly impacts your business. faceless desired demographic to whom brands can scale campaigns. And then there are those that don’t fit neatly into defined categories. • • 30 . originality. In the traditional PR measurement world. This is often done using audience surveys pre. one-to-many. which could be sales.A tally of “friends. Forget the “start date. But measure of social success includes intangibles that aren’t standard issue in campaign performance reports (i. many-to-many. business goals and by audience. Outtakes: This is what the audience takes away from the program and the degree to which the exposure has influenced their perceptions and attitudes. expert-to-advice seekers. This is clearly an important component because it measures exposure and awareness. tone of voice. is fueled not by technology. outcomes are calculated by looking at statistical correlations between the PR campaign output and the outcome. outcomes refer to the resulting site traffic and conversion as a result of your online PR and social media campaigns.

Key outputs and measurements include: • • • Volume analysis around key topics Sentiment analysis toward the marketer and their competitors Identification of key themes and unique insights Phase II: Influencer Engagement Identify key sites and authors where relevant conversations are occurring. marketers can generate new opportunities to fill gaps in the marketplace. marketers need to implement dedicated insights programs that can help quantify results. Key outputs and measurements include: • • • • Identifying and tracking influencers Gauging visibility with engaged communities Measuring propagation and impact of key messages across the web Driving conversion to key marketer initiatives Phase III: Community and Group Development By understanding the communities that already exist. They can also utilize these communities to introduce product ideas and get realtime feedback prior to new product launches. Key outputs and measurements include: • • Number of registered participants Key themes and feedback from focus groups 31 . Phase I: Benchmark Report and Monitoring Develop a baseline analysis of relevant content and set the framework for identifying trends in the marketplace.1 How to Capture Online Consumer Insights In order to leverage social media content and influencers to increase insights and drive down costs.6.

Diddy & Burger King How Not to Tweet: Habitat = #twitterfail Most are success stories but some are cautionary tales reflecting the dark side of social media as well. you should come away with a good sense of how to navigate the terrain successfully. Case Studies In an effort to illustrate the effectiveness of social media marketing. From Blogging Hell to Twitter Heaven: Dell Customer Care Makeover: Comcast Compelling Content: Compare the Market’s ‘Compare the Meerkat’ Low Budget Viral Success: Transport for London’s ‘Do the Test’ How Not to Do YouTube: P. 32 . when brands enter this space without thinking.7. we encourage you to review the following case studies: • • • • • • • • Making an Unsexy Product Compelling: Blendtec’s ‘Will it Blend?’ Unpaid Blogging: Wii Fit & Dooce. Taken together.

When the first iPhone came out. the videos started to build a strong audience on YouTube. 33 . Their solution was brilliant in its simplicity and demonstrated just how community engagement can drive the distribution of content and. and posting them on a Blendtec YouTube channel called. Blendtec created videos of their blenders blending all sorts of everyday objects. the brand started inviting viewers to suggest objects to test out the theory: Will it Blend? The community interaction ensured the popularity of the videos. in its wake. ‘Will it Blend?’ Through seeding and Word-of-Mouth. the video had racked up millions of views. viewers clamoured to see Blendtec try to blend an iPhone. And within weeks of doing so. To build on that momentum.7. When you consider the millions of views that Blendtec has received for nominal production and marketing costs. what’s really impressive is the five-fold increase in sales since the series was started.1 Making Social Media Work Making an Unsexy Product Compelling: Blendtec’s Will It Blend? Blendtec faced a challenge common to many brands – how to make an unsexy product fun and interesting. drive sales. driving the ‘Will It Blend?’ videos to new heights.

reading blogs from people they could relate to) and aligning their product with an influencer who embraced the product. By understanding what their target market did in the social space (in this case. who runs Dooce. Nintendo was able to generate a huge amount of positive coverage and buzz on what was probably a pretty small budget.com. 34 . Whilst she had been accepting advertising for many years. Heather Armstrong.com When it comes to blogger outreach. its important to understand your market. they decided that there was only one place to go – über Mom Blogger. and the nature of Wii product made her change her mind. Nintendo organised a party for Armstrong in which she and ten of her friends were shown the Wii Fit and had their Wii Fit age tested. because the product was so relevant to Heather Armstrong and Dooce. But the way Nintendo approached Armstrong. they gave her five copies of the console and the game to give away – Armstrong asked people to leave a comment if they wanted to win one. with the winning comments being picked at random. Result – over 42.000 entries.com. To top it all off.Unpaid Blogging: Wii Fit & Dooce. she didn’t even request a fee for her endorsement. Sometimes this will mean building relationships with a multitude of different blogs. she had never been involved in any sort of product placement or integration. When Nintendo wanted to promote the launch of its Wii Fit last year to American women. Then. but sometimes it may only involve building one key relationship.

These actions have lead to a hugely positive swing in consumer attitudes towards the computer company: • • • Active web-monitoring and pro-active and positive interactions with bloggers to ward off another ‘Dell Hell’ Launched Direct2Dell blog. Dell has turned a huge problem into a massive R&D and revenue generating strategy. – Michael Dell.From Blogging Hell To Twitter Heaven: Dell In 2005.You can learn from that.K. It took some time for Dell to realise the serious nature of the customer service issue that was blowing up around them. allowing consumers to interact with each other and Dell employees in order to solve problems IdeaStorm is launched.? Well. Dell implemented a widespread change in the way that it dealt with its customers. recognising the problem.’ His post gelled with a growing zeitgeist of customer dissatisfaction with Dell and played a large part in a huge drop in Dell’s brand equity.You can improve your reaction time. ‘Dell Hell. October 2007 By showing itself willing to listen and learn. Dell has been able to open up an entirely new sales channel by offering special discounts to their hundreds of thousands of followers. über-blogger Jeff Jarvis wrote of his terrible experience with Dell’s customer service and christened his experience. Consumer-induced changes to date have included the use of Linux and a reduction in ‘bloatware’ By creating a Twitter presence. allowing customers to suggest improvements to Dell’s products. And you can be a better company by listening and being involved in that conversation. driving over $3 million since turning the service on. Business Week. • As the company’s founder said in an interview with Jarvis after they had implemented these changes: These conversations are going to occur whether you like it or not. the search results for phrases connected to Dell were littered with expressions of anger at the company – just Google 'Dell Hell' to see exactly what went on. do you want to be part of that or not? My argument is you absolutely do. Finally. Shortly after. 35 . O. and especially its customers online.

Michael Arrington. In April 2008. Arrington’s woes were picked up and bounced around Twitter and the wider blogosphere. the editor of influential tech-blog. influential digital commentators. they were monitoring these channels for customer woes and soon managed to contact Arrington and rectify his problem.Customer Care Makeover: Comcast Comcast has learned that using social media as a customer service channel can have a hugely beneficial effect. Before long. which has a wider and larger readership than his Twitter profile. In a fit of pique he posted an update on his Twitter profile: Whilst this may not seem too much of an issue. so it is likely that more people saw the positive than the negative. He then posted about how Comcast were using social media to deal with customer service on the main TechCrunch blog. TechCrunch. Luckily for Comcast. was experiencing problems with his Internet connection from ISP Comcast. 36 . many of whom are. it’s worth noting that Michael Arrington’s Twitter profile has just under 1 million followers. themselves.

Aleksandr.000 fans and Twitter profile with over 21. print. who also has a Facebook page with over 493. Facebook. Twitter and YouTube. Over and above all of the engagement that came through this highly thought-out campaign however. you have to be interesting in some way shape or form. it also resulted in three quarters of the monthly quotes target being met within three days and a year-overyear uplift in quotes of 45%.000 followers. content and conversation than the product itself. The results shown by the recent campaign by British financial comparison site. our look at Blendtec’s success has already shown that that’s not the case. further the point that it is more about the nature of engagement. Understanding that in order to get people to talk about you. and all forms of digital including search. Compare The Market decided to invent an entirely new site where people could Compare the Meerkats. An entire marketing campaign was then based around the owner of the site. Compare The Market.Compelling Content: Compare The Market’s ‘Compare The Meerkat’ Many marketers have said that social media only works for ‘sexy’ brands. Compare The Market became one of the most talked about brands in the U.K. 37 . With an integrated campaign spanning TV. However.

38 .S. It has so far racked up over 12 million views worldwide. U. reaching out to influential cycling bloggers and forums and optimising the content through proactive promotion on sites like YouTube and digg. both niche and mainstream.K. But. been featured on television in the U. By creating content that was inherently shareable. ‘Do The Test’ became a global phenomenon. it has changed attitudes amongst road users in London and saved lives as a result. To conquer this. the video did so in such a way that viewers felt compelled to pass the video on to see if their friends could spot the twist in the video’s tail. A video was created that highlighted the fact that accidents often occur because cyclists and drivers aren’t concentrating on what’s happening around them. they created content that was built to be shared and let a network of influencers. and Australia and. most importantly.. do the rest.Low Budget Viral Success: Transport For London’s ‘Do The Test’ Transport For London was faced with the challenge of raising awareness of the dangers faced by cyclists and drivers on London’s roads with a media budget that wouldn’t get them very far.

Diddy left himself. But when the partnership was announced on Diddy’s YouTube channel. the video was reinstated to the channel. other than chatting in the pub with their friends. Diddy & Burger King Many marketing efforts that go wrong in social media would probably have worked out fine in the broadcast world. it had been ripped and reposted. the partnership would have been announced via press releases and interviews and ads and billboards. Finally. One of these is Burger King’s partnership with rapper P. parodied and spoofed. After consumers started leaving scores of comments mocking the video. “Burger King has named me ‘The King of Music and Fashion. By simply assuming that people are happy to be talked at. by then. Diddy showed his ignorance of how YouTube worked by announcing that he had bought a channel (at the time such things tended to be free) and offered nothing more interesting than the news that the channel would be about him and his life. Diddy and Burger King soon discovered that some conversations aren’t that pleasant to be involved in. Diddy. Consumers would have had nowhere to express their thoughts. This again showed a lack of understanding of the medium and its far-reaching effects because. Diddy had it pulled.’” consumers were quick to pour on their scorn. with the rapper stating proudly. By attempting to look cool when he had no idea what he was talking about. 39 . and Burger King.2 When Social Media Goes Wrong How Not To Do YouTube: P.7. in an admission of defeat. looking pretty stupid. and by offering viewers no value exchange to consume the content. In days gone by. good or bad. even when the things being said are utterly inane.

Habitat decided to do the same. There is currently an ongoing search by Twitter users to find this intern and it remains to be seen if this case study on the dangers of spamming Twitter will end here. many users marked updates with #mousavi to show their support for the demonstrators. in a recent example of how not to use Twitter. In an attempt to mitigate the onslaught of negative press and postings. The value exchange was nil and.How Not to Tweet: Habitat = #twitterfail As we’ve already mentioned. one of the problems many marketers face is that they don’t feel like they have brands that people would want to discuss. Retail Week. thinking that it would be a great way to bring its latest offer to a wider audience. this just exacerbated the problem. the community at large held them accountable. Habitat issued a backhanded apology. Most marketers deal with this by coming up with creative ways of driving ‘talkability.’ However. Because Twitter is such a sprawling communication network. users have come up with an inventive way to track trends and chatter by appending a hashtag (#) to a keyword to make it possible to follow a conversation. when Iran was gripped by unrest after their elections. So they tagged their updates with #mousavi as shown below. For example. 40 . causing people to take the brand to task for failing to take responsibility and for blaming a lowly employee. Habitat made the unfortunate decision to hijack existing conversations. because Habitat neglected to set up even the most basic filtering. blaming an intern and saying the intern was no longer working for Habitat. Unsurprisingly this misuse of Twitter resulted in a barrage of negative publicity on the site leading to an article on The Guardian and industry title. However.

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