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‘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
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
3. Why is Social Media Important? .....................................................................................11 4. How Can Brands Effectively Use Social Media? ...........................................................15
....................................................................... 22 Distribute
.................................................................................. 22 Generate
............................................................................................... 24 Ten
5. What are the Rules Of Engagement? Listen Up! .........................................................27 6. How Can We Measure Success? ......................................................................................29
7. Case Studies ........................................................................................................................32
7.1 Making Social Media Work ............................................................................ 33 7.2 When Social Media Goes Wrong ...................................................................39
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.
1. While you most likely will not see immediate returns or sales upticks. Why is Social Media Important? One of the main reasons to engage in the social media universe is to build relationships. you will see the long-term beneﬁts that come from fostering any good relationship. Therefore. Another example was the recreation of the Apollo 11 mission on twitter on the 40th anniversary of man landing on the moon. Once trust and respect have been earned. Since they operate in real-time. you can engender corporate loyalty and brand afﬁnity that is impossible to put a price tag on. 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. extra time should be factored in to establish long-term engagement strategies. engagement and social media programs should be integrated as a part of a sustainable. it becomes hugely beneﬁcial for brands to be where things are happening. content. people will be far more likely to turn to you to fulﬁl their needs and try your products and services. 5 . Additionally. where traditional news media was shut down and the only source for news coming out of Iran was the social networks. we often see breaking news happen in communities before it even hits “the news. holistic marketing strategy. resources. and time commitments. If you can successfully navigate the terrain.” The most recent example was the crisis in Iran. What You Need to Know Before You Leap into Social Media Social media is a commitment. not a campaign. especially to bolster relevance. Another way to look at social networks is as a bellwether for the times we live in.
Types of Social Media Networks. differing points of view and ongoing conversations. criticisms and advocates. By understanding the landscape. When you look at the social media landscape. 2. Blogging is a simple way of publishing content to the web and can take many forms. it’s not always easy to tell one type of social media from another. we really need to take a step back and understand just exactly what social media is. properties and brands with a unique opportunity to become part of those connections and conversations. So. Now that we’ve deﬁned what social media is. Whilst it may not matter to the end user how we label a particular experience. Sometimes they are Op/Ed columns representing one particular author’s point of view. When you think about it.2. the only real avenues for doing so were bulletin boards and forums where people would express themselves in public forums. we need to understand how many forms it takes. The main types of social media are: • • • • • • • Blogs Blogs (web-logs) basically grew out of the inherent human need to express oneself. most invite commentary from others and spark dialogue. 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. contain many different types of content and be used by many different types of people and organisations in an inﬁnite number of ways. What is Social Media Anyway? Before we can jump right in and start friending each other. Each type of social media has its advantages and disadvantages and each attracts a different type of social media user. The Cluetrain Manifesto: markets are conversations. Blogs (and Micro-blogs) Social networks Video/image sharing sites Social news aggregators Social bookmarking sites Wikis Forums 6 . 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. Regardless. The only real difference between then and now is that blogs today have become so much more. In the early days of the Internet. Technology + Connection. blogs and aggregators. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.1. 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. inviting other opinions. What’s different today is the application of technology and connection to the conversation. At its core. oh my. media has always been social in one form or another. providing individuals. social media can be summed up as simply as was done in the highly inﬂuential book. sometimes they are personal missions of those authoring them.
blogging is essentially the 21st Century equivalent of Guttenberg’s printing press. twtjobs) and it continues to evolve as a real-time communications tool that people are continually shaping to ﬁt their needs. by anyone.the cost and difﬁculty of publishing absolutely anything. The Gothamist. – Clay Shirky. bringing publishing to the masses. April 9th. just got a whole lot lower. instant messenger. 7 . news and image sharing service. a job board (TwitterJobSearch. somewhat through the evolution of its users. which is one of the fastest growing social media brands in the world. It has become a social network. their economies and proliferation of content comes from Internet strategist Clay Shirky: So forget about blogs and bloggers and blogging and focus on this -. however they limit the amount of content that can be posted at any given time. The most well-known in the micro-blogging sphere is Twitter. into a global medium. Twitter has become far more than just a micro-blogging service. 2004 Micro-blogs Micro-blogs share the same characteristics as blogs. Somewhat by design of its creators. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum (AP11_Spacecraft). And the effect of that increased pool of potential producers is going to be vast. The most well-known blogging platforms are currently: Another way to think of blogs. by institutions such as The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (ReliveApollo11) and the John F. Twitter is even being used to commemorate and track moment-by-moment historical monuments such as the Apollo 11 moon landing.When you think about it.
considering how Facebook. Video/Image Sharing Sites Video and image sharing sites are the most self-explanatory types of social media. the photo-sharing community for amateur and professional photographers and YouTube. most well-known websites around such as: At their most basic level. 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. which is one of the most visited sites on the web. At their most intricate level. videos. sports and travel to politics. since they comprise the largest. The most well-known of these is Flickr. allowing them to update them all from one place. what ﬁrst comes to mind are social networks. Social Media Aggregators For the more proliﬁc social media users. family and colleagues. 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. 8 . These communities allow users to submit links to content found on other websites that they like or wish to advocate. Essentially. images. but there is quite a lot of popular content that is professionally created. 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. It’s quite astounding to realize how the lines between what is ‘public’ vs. an aggregator might allow a user to update their status or deliver a message or blog across numerous networks and platforms at one time. such as FriendFeed and socialthing!. ‘private’ become blurred. aim to centralise users’ various social proﬁles. social networks facilitate connections between friends. which can lead to issues of copyright infringement and piracy. Flickr and YouTube store millions of its users’ info. the social network universe also includes a myriad of vertical and niche categories from music. They allow people to upload and share images and videos with their friends and the entire community.Social Networks When we think of social media. social media aggregators. Most of the content on these sites is created by average users (typically referred to as UGC or usergenerated content). and to manage multiple conversations from one location. the Google owned video site. sex and hobbies. Platforms such as Ning and KickApps are good examples of customizable social networks.
is one of the best-known wikis. which has a predominantly young American audience. The collaborative encyclopaedia. a ‘wiki’ is: A wiki is a website that uses wiki software. it’s like adding bookmarks to Favourites Bar in Internet Explorer but now you can share those unique ﬁnds with others. Tags are used to enable the content to be categorised and stored indeﬁnitely. Wikipedia. All they need to do is search for content based on what people say it is about. allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages. which is what it’s all about – organisational structure created by users rather than editors. delicious. its readers: essentially. The most well-known of these services is the Yahoo!-owned site. However. sometimes known as folksonomies. there are a growing number of news aggregators. 9 . 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. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites. – Wiki.The most well-known social news aggregator is digg. and for note taking. 100% user-generated content. Wikipedia. Wikis It seems only right that we use the best-known wiki. in fact. and can be edited by. but equally active. whose goal is to target various niche sectors and demographic groups. a wiki is a website that is created by. to power community websites. but so too can anyone else by using the tags. forums can be found on largest of sites with millions of users to tiny. 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. Often known as message boards. Social Bookmarking Sites These sites. Wikis are often used by organisations and companies to facilitate the generation of peer-created content. niche communities. from Wikipedia Essentially. to deﬁne what.
The following is an illustrative breakdown of the social media landscape.net) 10 . (FredCavazza.
Bebo. ﬁve are social 10 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute If Facebook were a country. Consider how long it took these media to reach audiences of 50 million: • • • • Radio: 38 years Television: 13 years. the deer now have guns. spend 2. Social media is also one of the fundamental drivers behind the changing relationship between people and brands.1 billion Internet users) Of the top 10 most popular sites globally. and the nature of shared experiences whenever they are online. the types of collaborative relationships that it engenders. Nielsen Online.K.14 billion minutes per month on Bebo Social networks and blogs are now more popular globally than email Every month. Technorati.com. The people have the power because they trust each other above all else.com. It is becoming the norm for them and it will be as expected as a dial tone once was. Alexa. 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. 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. And though we are all a part of the social media revolution. Because of the peer-to-peer conversation. • Two-thirds of all Internet users around the world visit social networks and/or blogs (734.TechCrunch. Whilst statistics mean nothing without context and analysis. 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. Facebook. The Internet: 4 years Facebook: 2 years. Why is Social Media Important? An entire generation is growing up with social media as the norm.2 million out of 1.3. 800 million photos uploaded to Facebook 10% of all time spent online is spent on social networks • • • • • • • • • • • Sources include: InternetRetailer. the next generation will come to expect the functionality that is common to social media. Wikipedia. 11 . the following ﬁgures provide a pretty convincing argument as to why brands need to consider social media in their media marketing mix.
8) Windows Live Proﬁle (115.3) StudiVZ (12.6) Windows Live Proﬁle (4.1) MySpace (56.ru).nl: Holland Sonico: Argentina (though Facebook leads) One.6) Bharatstudent (3. unique visitors – some services excluded due to inclusion of services such as webmail In other countries. local players maintain a home ﬁeld advantage: • • • • • • • Hyves. as the table below shows.2) Facebook (6. May 2009.7) 2nd Sonico (1. Dorothy is probably on Facebook. 2009 20 Most Popular Social Networks Globally Nielsen reports social networks being accessed by nearly 70% of global web users: Source: comScore.8) Windows Live Proﬁle (6.5) Baidu Space (35. Mail.8) Windows Live Proﬁle (6.7) Orkut (13.0) Windows Live Proﬁle (6.5) MySpace (4.9) Wer-Kent-Wen (5. Most Popular Social Networks (millions of monthly unique visitors) 1st Australia Brazil Canada China France Germany India Italy Russ Fed Spain UK US Facebook (5.8) 56.8) Bebo (7.1) Facebook (58.1) Windows Live Proﬁle (3.6) Facebook (6.3) Orkut (21.6) Facebook (18. putting to rest any suggestions that social media is only a Western phenomenon.8) QZone (200) Facebook (16. May 2009. unique visitors 12 .4) Odnoklassniki (7.ru – My World (5.1) Mail. February 22.5) Source: comScore.4) Windows Live Proﬁle (7.2) Skyrock (12.2) Tuenti (5.5) MySpace (112.8) Splinder (3.8) Facebook (22.It’s clear that we’re not in Kansas anymore although.6) World Facebook (290. And so is her Russian pen-pal Alina (well.1) 3rd Windows Live Proﬁle (1.3) Twitter (15.It: Lithuania Iwiw: Hungary: Mixi: Japan Cyworld: South Korea Wretch: Taiwan Source: Alianzo’s Blog.3) MySpace (2.5) MySpace (4.com (22.9) Facebook (11) Vkontakte (12.
And whilst some have questioned the relevance of these channels to FMCG brands. backed up by data showing the growing power of ‘digital moms. 13 .’ suggests there is relevance for nearly all of Unilever’s brands to engage in the social media space. the experience of Unilever and Mindshare.
And if you’re struggling to get to grips with the scale of social media. and social networks in particular. the following chart should help provide some perspective. Social Network Users vs. Country Populations Pingdom. 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 . 2009 Some quick observations: • • • • • • • The Chinese social network. March 13. QZone is even bigger than Facebook Facebook is bigger than Russia MySpace is pretty close in size to Mexico LinkedIn.
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. More on that later.1. 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. How Can Brands Effectively Use Social Media? 4. so what’s your strategy for doing this. (Forrester also has a handy tool for desk research into how different types of people use social media.) 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.4. why.) 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. your company and brand will need to be prepared to somewhat cede that control. Once you’ve decided who you want to talk to. what are they using it for? If the sorts of people you want to talk to aren’t using social media. then you should consider whether it’s really right for your brand.O.T.S. etc.1:Types of Social Media) • • • Many companies start with the technology and try to retroﬁt the strategy: “We’ve got a channel on YouTube. your business or your communications objectives. widgets. 15 . Deﬁning a Social Media Strategy There is a simple system for brands to plan their social media strategies that Forrester has developed. 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. So. and through what platform or technology. Method. tools. it will also be impossible to completely retain control in the social media space. there’s no point in doing anything in that space. What can we do with it?” But if your customers aren’t using YouTube in a way that is relevant to your brand. called the P.
Whilst there are thousands of reports available on how different users use different tools.2 People: Understanding Social Media Users When deciding how to make the most of social media. Germany. 16 . 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. China (Metro). has a simple methodology for deﬁning different users. France. South Korea and Australia. The following diagram illustrates how these different types of consumers use social media. Social media users are categorised by Forrester into six types with many users falling into more than one. UK. it’s important to understand what your target audience is using social media to do. this is a very useful tool for planning a top-line social media strategy.4. US. Forrester. Italy. Japan.
it’s not only important to understand the data it provides (i.Track) Before any sort of social media marketing is carried out.S.Visible Technologies and Radian6. By listening carefully to the dialogue. including Nielsen BuzzMetrics. 17 . This monitoring can be carried out using a number of different tools. 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. you learn what your audience is passionate about and gain a real-time picture of how your brand is perceived.e.Share. The data collected in the Audit can also be used to drive a large number of other marketing activities including segmentation. Cymfony. bespoke listening data. we recommend using Mindshare to manage your monitoring: they have partnerships with a sister company. you will need to establish concrete objectives and goals for your plan.Syndicate. are brand mentions positive or negative in tone? Does a mention in one space matter more than mentions in another?).S. which is a global monitoring service/ tool: it gives Mindshare full access to in-depth. The following outlines a number of broad objectives to be considered: Audit: (The A. 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. positioning.Site. which we recommend in addition to Cymfony. some of which require investment. Generally. Cymfony is one of only a few select tools capable of handling different languages and character sets.S. not in place of it. in the A.I. but also ensure that this data is then aligned and implemented against concrete goals and objectives.T. Process – Audit. A number of recommended free tools are also available to gauge opinion/interest including the following. Whilst there are a number of different tools available. it’s essential that the brand spend time listening to what consumers are saying. When looking to set-up a monitoring campaign. some of which can be managed on a much more basic level. product development. etc.Invite..Once you have an understanding of what types of activities your target audience is engaging in. 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. product or phrase With any form of audit.
are starting. however that. 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. or any and all of the above. By cultivating such relationships with inﬂuencers and bloggers. and its basis in networks.Actions: Mindshare can help Unilever brands put in place audit activities to build an understanding of consumers and their perceptions. This might be a blog.You can reach the largest possible proportion of your target market and gain invaluable insights from your most switched on consumers. Inﬂuencer Identiﬁcation/Activation: One of the beneﬁts of social media. 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 wellconnected Twitter user. The tasks and outputs of this would include: • • • Listen – set up feeds to monitor for mentions of your brand. a brand can reach and inﬂuence their audience through highly targeted contacts. or your brand’s sector. is that it is often possible to spread messages to entire communities through individuals or small groups of people. a brand can build relationships with these inﬂuencers. (It is important to note.) 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. By identifying inﬂuential community members or groups of inﬂuential individuals. a fan-created page on a social network. 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 . most bloggers are not professional journalists or public relations specialists and should not be held to the same standards. you can build a picture of your very own web – your web of inﬂuence. By blending hard data and detailed desktop analysis. exponentially increasing the effectiveness of communications. whilst they play an important role in the social media sphere. a forum.
Blogger Outreach: How To Do It: Whilst it would be nice if there were a deﬁnitive way to ﬁnd and communicate with bloggers. By providing Access. But how to ﬁnd bloggers? And how to ﬁnd the right bloggers? 1. 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. you will need to weed out bloggers from other countries – but. you will be showing the blogosphere transparency and a willingness to open up a dialogue. 2. Geo-Target: If you only want to talk to bloggers from a particular region. events. (Contact your internal comms planner if interested in this) Google Blog Search Blogpulse.e. remember that. Social Media Library: Unilever has signed a deal with this company that offers a directory of categorised and inﬂuential social media contacts. Content and Coverage. 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.com Icerocket. where languages are spoken in more than one country. With full contact information and ranked in terms of visibility and popularity in order of inﬂuence using Social Media Library’s proprietary scoring systems. d. Search the Blogosphere: The following are recommended resource to identify where people are blogging about particular topics: a. expanded news) If you make information freely available and back up your claims with tangible substantiation. Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes with all different interests and biases.com b.com Technorati. c. e. press coverage. blogs may cross borders as well 19 . unfortunately there is no silver bullet. you’re halfway there.
e. Blog Ranking: Rank the blogs to prioritise their importance utilising the following: a. 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. 5. 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 . 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. d. Inbound Links –Yahoo’s Site Explorer allows you to ﬁnd out how much a blog is referenced by other sites c. Google PageRank – The Google Toolbar is a downloadable tool that allows you to see Google’s view of the importance of a webpage b.3. f. 4.
DO create a targeted list of bloggers As stated. it might also help you decide if they’re really the right person to contact – if they say they hate being contacted by brands. it’s probably not worth emailing them. relevant posts Use their name in correspondences 3. it is imperative that you’re always listening. but also be aware that this breaches Google’s guidelines. you need to ask yourself what’s in it for them – it may be great content. 4. 6. 21 . If it is newsworthy to them. When in doubt. DON’T ask for links (i. to them it’s the world. Blogpulse or Alexa to identify relevant bloggers. b. Some do. but the most relevant. they know this world far better than you do. Not just the biggest. 9. DO offer to send product – no strings attached Some bloggers don’t accept gifts. You never can tell how inﬂuential a blogger might be. DON’T use template letters You’ve chosen this person for a reason so take care with your communications. It’s good manners and it’s good business. not for reward. DO be respectful Make sure to treat bloggers with the same respect you would a professional journalist. So craft your communications wisely and try to: a. 5.Whilst you may think their blog is small or insigniﬁcant in the grander scheme. 8. 1. but there needs to be a value exchange of some kind. follow this simple golden rule: Most bloggers blog for love. It’s like feeding pork sausages to vegetarians. Don’t add them to your mailing list unless they request it.. Keep expectations low and respect high. you can certainly ask if they’ve received it. Remember. Some also pass those products on to other inﬂuencers. Any blogger who takes the time to offer constructive criticism is worth your time to listen to. use tools such as Technorati. for SEO) If you’re looking for your bloggers to create links. you would do well to thank them for their time and move on. Refer to their recent. If you want something from bloggers. they will blog about it. But you don’t want to start nagging them to write about it. DON’T be too pushy If you’ve sent them something to review. 2.e.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. If not. DO get to know your bloggers Read their recent posts so you understand what they’re interested in. 7. be prepared to pay for them. you know the rest. 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.You should know that bloggers tend to share form letters with each other so they know when they’re being treated shabbily. DO be open to constructive feedback Just like the rest of the social network universe. So always follow the golden rule and do unto others…well.
Actions: Customer service operations should always be tested using social media channels. which allow people to share content more easily. you should make sure to benchmark and track and monitor consumers’ attitudes to your brand. practical conversations with consumers. social media can allow you to distribute content in order to amplify media budgets from other channels. 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. interesting articles. Going viral on YouTube or hitting the homepage of digg is the Holy Grail for many marketers. 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.’ 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. initiate peer-topeer service by rewarding ‘super users. 22 .’ In markets and sectors where this may not be possible. With this sort of insight.. Providing customer service through social media allows brands to have real. With careful preparation and activation. 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. you can then craft content that has the highest possibility of building up momentum amongst consumers and ‘going viral. utilising these tools and channels to provide customer service is relatively simple. Once you understand the main ways in which your customers utilise social media.) By fully understanding your consumer and making full use of technologies such as social bookmarking icons.e. you give your brand the best chance of being promoted in the content space. Because in a world where media must increasingly be earned. often gained from Auditing. In order to achieve this sort of success. it’s in everyone’s best interest to create a value exchange where everyone wins. But once you’ve started using social media to streamline and improve your customer service. wherever possible • Distribute Content: Social media is built on the idea of sharing – sharing ideas. Useful applications and widgets.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. 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. Facebook) so customers know that detailed customer service is readily available Peer-generated – On Unilever branded properties with community capabilities. thoughts and content. It all comes down giving your audience a reason to care and a reason to share.
it’s really so much more. As always. Dell started off as a company that tried to ignore negative coverage online. sensitive and inventive use of social media enables you to do this in ways that would have seemed impossible in the past. 23 . you have to decide whether or not this type of open policy is right for your brand. as well as improve your relationship with your existing customer base. reach. 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. by taking advantage of all the opportunities that social media allows. 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. it’s possible to turn around perceptions of your brand or products more efﬁciently and effectively than before. It can also enable you to turn a negative story into a positive one. 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. But. making video embeddable and targeting content sharing sites such as SlideShare and scribd Measure –Track views. if you’re not prepared to enter a two-way conversation with consumers. but only if you’re listening for the bad news in the ﬁrst place. Encouraging employees to blog and Tweet shows that human side on an even larger scale. but has since changed its attitude and its fortunes – the full story is detailed in the case studies at the end of this document. such as real-time response to such negative PR. Whilst this may just seem like an extension of Amplifying Customer Service. Blogging allows you to open up your company’s workings to allow consumers to see the human side of your business. 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 more than likely that some of these discussions will be negative. As with all social media activity though. then it’s not necessarily right for your brand. or which are not backed up by traditional advertising spend. Using social media to turn reputation disasters into successes can actually increase your customer base. In a world where your corporate website can only handle a fraction of the digital discussions involving your brand.
social media is the perfect channel to try and drive links to your content. as detailed in earlier actions Boost SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Whilst social networks and blogs are now more popular than email. not on whether or not they can stuff a search term into their text 100 times. 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. many have argued that it’s not a sales tool and that such activity will alienate an audience. it is often necessary to link out – whilst indiscriminate linking will not boost SEO. as well as experiment with opening up systems to encourage positive buzz. It essentially ranks web pages. built on the same ideas that have led to the growth of social media. in many ways. And with Google’s global share currently at over 60% and rising rapidly. but on how much the content is referenced by the wider web community through links. if managed carefully. Actions: Social media marketing should be built into ongoing SEO activity. By providing content that people can link to and share.Actions: Unilever brands should establish systems to allow negative PR to be countered through social media channels. 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. search is still the number one activity online. However. Google’s ranking formula is. 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. 24 . this need not be the case.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. So. this means doing well in Google’s natural (unpaid) rankings is not so much a hygiene factor for modern businesses as a survival factor. social media allows marketers to boost their online brands through increased search visibility whilst simultaneously boosting brand equity.
Actions: If analysis shows that it will be accepted.e.. then Unilever brands should test social media commerce. 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.Through listening to your consumers and understanding how and where they look to make buying decisions. More can be found on the No Turn on Red blog: 25 .. 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. special offers through different channels can reap large beneﬁts.e. one consumer appears to the others to be ‘in the know’). Because kudos can gained through social currency (i. 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.
K. 3. that caused Twitter to break into the broader public consciousness. with trafﬁc tripling in 2009 — excluding trafﬁc from third-party applications and mobile sites. According to comScore.Ten Ways to Make the Twitterverse Work for Your Brand On March 11.com/comcastcares). According to Hitwise. 6. Map out a plan for the content you will share. consumers are spending 30 minutes on Twitter as compared with less than 10 minutes a year ago. and often being consumed alongside..S. 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. Twitter is now one of the fastest-growing sites in the U.com/aplusk) and CNN’s breaking news feed (twitter. including valuable initial content to pique user interest. Internet trafﬁc meant that. 4. Instead.K. 2007. 2. Twitter then entered the U. 26 .S.K. other media — from TV to social networks to email. there were 19 million Twitter users around the globe as of March — a 95 percent increase over the previous month. it was predicted Twitter would disrupt instant messaging giants Windows Live Messenger. makes it a platform that is important for any company to understand — and use.. instead of being isolated from other activities. it surpassed the equivalent U.com/ cnnbrk) in April. with help from the mainstream media in both countries.020 in the U.K. Since Twitter is an ongoing activity — even if your company is only listening in — dedicate a resource to monitor the conversations and competitors. The popularity of Twitter on both sides of the Atlantic.024 percent of all U. the start-up Twitter won the Web award in the “Blog” category at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive. Become familiar with Twitter by reviewing.. Twitter adoption began. top 100 most visited Web sites the week of February 2. Identify initial objectives for using Twitter. Fast-forward two years. At that time.dell. With the Twitter phenomenon now something no company can disregard. Internet visits versus 0. and Oprah Winfrey’s decision to join Twitter in May (twitter. Use the ﬁndings to decide on the appropriate opportunity — such as offers or community building.. and Twitter has not replaced instant messaging or other social media offerings. including what would qualify as a Twitter success story for your brand.K. and the U. Consumers are also spending more time on the service. the ﬁrst 10 steps companies need to take to control their brand on Twitter and establish a successful presence: 1. Twitter exploded nationally. In both the U. or following.).K. Here then.Yahoo! Messenger.com/twitter). The Stephen Fry-inspired Twitter surge in U. Listen to what is already being said on Twitter about your brand. 5.S.twitter. especially if there is already a Twitter account that uses your brand’s name or other intellectual property associated with it. In the U. 2009.K. at the time. In the U.S. with early adopters. Keep in mind that we believe Twitter needs to be integrated into a client’s social media landscape. tone of voice and method of engagement — that may be right for your brand. reach (0. Look into competitive activities and potential legal considerations. of course. Zappos (http://www. 7. and then. it was the race to one million followers between Ashton Kutcher (twitter.com/oprah). it took actor Stephen Fry on the show “Friday Night with Jonathan Ross” to introduce Twitter to the mainstream market.com/zappos) and Comcast (twitter. In the U. the activities of successful brands such as Dell (http://www. the short status updates (or “tweets”) of 140 characters or less are complementing. heightening the imperative for companies to also be there. and all over the world (it played a crucial communications role in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai).
Integrate your Twitter account throughout your marketing experience.’ Fortunately there are certain guidelines you can follow to ensure best practices to yield valuable data to ensure success.) 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. For example. 9. Provide ongoing direct value through your tweets by continuing to listen. including its URL in communications and so forth. On the ﬂip side. six and seven cannot be stressed enough. The best way to understand how best to use social media and engage with consumers is through ‘test and learn. need or like – that way you can add something to relevant to the conversation rather than just talking or shouting at people. 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. etc. what they like. and what they don’t want. Source: Fluent – The Razorﬁsh Social Inﬂuence Marketing Report 5. 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.8. Dell used one of its Twitter feeds to promote discounts and generated more than $2 million from Twitter followers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to understand what they want. surprise. Great conversationalists ask questions. responding to queries and joining in conversations without being too marketing oriented. 10. social media is still fairly nascent in its development and many of its rules are still unwritten. The importance of points ﬁve. brands that have entered into Twitter with the right attitude are reaping the rewards. The same can be applied to your social media strategy. and the word ‘blog’ celebrated its 10th birthday earlier this year). Despite the level of sophistication some platforms have reached.tune your Twitter activities. Maintain momentum by following everyone who follows you. widgets. ﬁnd points of commonality. 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. 27 . If social media is essentially a conversation. by embedding it as a feed on the company Web site. then think about what makes a great conversationalist. 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. what they need. delight and engage. so you can’t expect to effectively engage with consumers unless you listen to them ﬁrst. learn and ﬁne. tools.
But. • Be useful/interesting/entertaining/etc. However other consumers littered the brand’s homepage with highly colourful and offensive language.• Respect your community: The digital world mirrors and ampliﬁes the real world (as we said earlier. many praised it as a brave step. talk and interact. not getting involved in social media doesn’t mean that these people will stop being vocal. providing a useful app. 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. you’ll soon realise that not everyone loves your brand. And as with any real-world community. you can work to turn negative perceptions into positive ones. people don’t change – technology does). And some people might be quite vocal in expressing those feelings. try to become a useful contributor to Wikipedia. often the simple act of trying is enough to generate positive consumer feedback and brand afﬁnity. offering some light entertainment. When consumers have a million different things vying for their attention. acting as an aggregator of knowledge – the choice is yours. digital communities have standards and rules of behaviour for their members. And whilst you won’t always succeed. If you want to engage with these communities.: In order to beneﬁt from engaging in social media. This might be by answering questions. Skittles decided to turn their entire site into an aggregator of social media facets of Skittles brand. But you do need to give them something in exchange for their time. attention and consideration. • Be prepared for the bad as well as the good: When you get involved in social media. As in the real world. Get a digg account. 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. then you need to understand and respect the community. 28 . and being an active listener. respect given generally results in respect earned. you need to give them a compelling reason to pay attention to you. build a personal proﬁle on Twitter so that you understand how corporate proﬁles are viewed. with a live Twitter feed of updates mentioning Skittles as its homepage. By interacting with a community. you need to add something to the conversation.
But success is a measure of more than just numbers and percentages across consumer buzz. And that will only make things worse in the long-run. maintain and nurture.) 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. 6. What is the value of a conversation? Ask yourself.• Be in it for the long term: Friendships and relationships take years to develop. (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). but nobody agrees on the method. the long-term rewards can be exponential. In the absence of any accepted or standardised metrics. one that reinforced your point of view? Do you typically listen more intently to a podcast of a respected subject matter expert. in a medium built on relationships and interactions. If you’ve done your due diligence in building relationships. quantitative results that will deliver rich meaning and insight. shortterm campaigns or neglecting the relationships you’ve built can often do as much harm as good. With the explosion of online social platforms. That’s why you need to be in it for the long term. and one of those is transparency. How Can We Measure Success? Social media measurement is one of those topics that everyone has an opinion about. People don’t mind talking to brands. 29 . it’s important that you’re honest about what you’re doing because if you’re trying to hide or manipulate. marketers still need to be able to determine whether or not a social media program is moving the needle or having an impact. what was the most meaningful conversation you had today? Was it one that changed your attitude? Or. Because relationships are not built in a day. So whenever you engage in the social space. it’s good to keep in mind that immediate returns should not be expected. established and emerging social monitoring technologies promise comprehensive. • Be open and honest: Social media is built on many things. But they don’t like being lied to or manipulated. or to your peer during a casual hallway conversation? These are questions that numbers cannot answer. So it stands to reason that. communities and self-publishing average Joes. it’s likely to come out in the end.
But measure of social success includes intangibles that aren’t standard issue in campaign performance reports (i. Outcomes: Outcomes measures the business results of the campaign. One of the primary reasons to measure outtakes is that it can be used as a leading indicator of outcomes. comments or buzz does not paint a complete picture.e. Marketers should deﬁne and interpret the metrics as numerically savvy social anthropologists – not pure data analysts. emotional connection).. is fueled not by technology. In the traditional PR measurement world. one-to-many. launch date. tone of voice. but that doesn’t mean that we cannot deﬁne what it means to move the needle. This is the easiest of the three to measure and uncovers who’s talking about you. Outtakes: This is what the audience takes away from the program and the degree to which the exposure has inﬂuenced their perceptions and attitudes. Forget the “start date. originality. • Output: The output refers to the amount of exposure created by the PR and social media campaigns. • • 30 . And then there are those that don’t ﬁt neatly into deﬁned categories.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.and post-campaigns and is clearly harder and more complicated than simply measuring outputs. give and take. by its very nature. number of leads generated on your site or any other desired effect. outcomes refer to the resulting site trafﬁc and conversion as a result of your online PR and social media campaigns. honesty and transparency. but by relationships: peer-to-peer. many-to-many. end date” model. business goals and by audience. outcomes are calculated by looking at statistical correlations between the PR campaign output and the outcome. This is clearly the most important of the three measurements since it directly impacts your business. Digital WOM is a quagmire of conversations. faceless desired demographic to whom brands can scale campaigns. Fishing the meaning out of these complex online relationships can vary by industry. antagonist toprotagonist. Word-of-Mouth. The target audience is no longer a nameless. support groups. This is often done using audience surveys pre.” views.A tally of “friends. and using a singular approach to target and measure social media is a mistake. social media is relationship-building that requires time and effort. ratings. Rather.You can then measure the advertising equivalency of your PR campaign. In the online world. Social media metrics do require a quantitative backbone. There is no silver bullet for social media measurement. This is clearly an important component because it measures exposure and awareness. which could be sales. expert-to-advice seekers.
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. 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. They can also utilize these communities to introduce product ideas and get realtime feedback prior to new product launches. 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.6. marketers need to implement dedicated insights programs that can help quantify results.1 How to Capture Online Consumer Insights In order to leverage social media content and inﬂuencers to increase insights and drive down costs. marketers can generate new opportunities to ﬁll gaps in the marketplace.
32 . Taken together. 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. 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. Case Studies In an effort to illustrate the effectiveness of social media marketing. we encourage you to review the following case studies: • • • • • • • • Making an Unsexy Product Compelling: Blendtec’s ‘Will it Blend?’ Unpaid Blogging: Wii Fit & Dooce. you should come away with a good sense of how to navigate the terrain successfully.7. when brands enter this space without thinking.
and posting them on a Blendtec YouTube channel called. ‘Will it Blend?’ Through seeding and Word-of-Mouth. When you consider the millions of views that Blendtec has received for nominal production and marketing costs.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.7. When the ﬁrst iPhone came out. drive sales. the videos started to build a strong audience on YouTube. 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. the video had racked up millions of views. in its wake. driving the ‘Will It Blend?’ videos to new heights. Blendtec created videos of their blenders blending all sorts of everyday objects. viewers clamoured to see Blendtec try to blend an iPhone. To build on that momentum. Their solution was brilliant in its simplicity and demonstrated just how community engagement can drive the distribution of content and. 33 . And within weeks of doing so. what’s really impressive is the ﬁve-fold increase in sales since the series was started.
But the way Nintendo approached Armstrong. Result – over 42. 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. When Nintendo wanted to promote the launch of its Wii Fit last year to American women. and the nature of Wii product made her change her mind. its important to understand your market. she didn’t even request a fee for her endorsement.com When it comes to blogger outreach. Nintendo was able to generate a huge amount of positive coverage and buzz on what was probably a pretty small budget. Then. because the product was so relevant to Heather Armstrong and Dooce. Sometimes this will mean building relationships with a multitude of different blogs. 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. 34 . By understanding what their target market did in the social space (in this case. they decided that there was only one place to go – über Mom Blogger. reading blogs from people they could relate to) and aligning their product with an inﬂuencer who embraced the product.Unpaid Blogging: Wii Fit & Dooce. who runs Dooce. Whilst she had been accepting advertising for many years. she had never been involved in any sort of product placement or integration. but sometimes it may only involve building one key relationship.com. Heather Armstrong. with the winning comments being picked at random.com. To top it all off.000 entries.
Consumer-induced changes to date have included the use of Linux and a reduction in ‘bloatware’ By creating a Twitter presence.? Well. über-blogger Jeff Jarvis wrote of his terrible experience with Dell’s customer service and christened his experience. allowing customers to suggest improvements to Dell’s products. – Michael Dell. 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. O. Shortly after.You can learn from that. and especially its customers online. do you want to be part of that or not? My argument is you absolutely do.You can improve your reaction time.K. Dell has turned a huge problem into a massive R&D and revenue generating strategy. Dell has been able to open up an entirely new sales channel by offering special discounts to their hundreds of thousands of followers. allowing consumers to interact with each other and Dell employees in order to solve problems IdeaStorm is launched. It took some time for Dell to realise the serious nature of the customer service issue that was blowing up around them. recognising the problem. 35 . Dell implemented a widespread change in the way that it dealt with its customers. • 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. ‘Dell Hell.From Blogging Hell To Twitter Heaven: Dell In 2005. Business Week. Finally. 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. And you can be a better company by listening and being involved in that conversation.’ 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. October 2007 By showing itself willing to listen and learn. driving over $3 million since turning the service on.
the editor of inﬂuential tech-blog. which has a wider and larger readership than his Twitter proﬁle. they were monitoring these channels for customer woes and soon managed to contact Arrington and rectify his problem. Arrington’s woes were picked up and bounced around Twitter and the wider blogosphere. 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. it’s worth noting that Michael Arrington’s Twitter proﬁle has just under 1 million followers. Before long. Luckily for Comcast.Customer Care Makeover: Comcast Comcast has learned that using social media as a customer service channel can have a hugely beneﬁcial effect. many of whom are. was experiencing problems with his Internet connection from ISP Comcast. themselves. Michael Arrington. inﬂuential digital commentators. In April 2008. 36 . TechCrunch. In a ﬁt of pique he posted an update on his Twitter proﬁle: Whilst this may not seem too much of an issue.
37 . you have to be interesting in some way shape or form. further the point that it is more about the nature of engagement. Compare The Market became one of the most talked about brands in the U. our look at Blendtec’s success has already shown that that’s not the case. Over and above all of the engagement that came through this highly thought-out campaign however. With an integrated campaign spanning TV. Understanding that in order to get people to talk about you. The results shown by the recent campaign by British ﬁnancial comparison site. Compare The Market decided to invent an entirely new site where people could Compare the Meerkats. Aleksandr. and all forms of digital including search. Facebook.000 fans and Twitter proﬁle with over 21. An entire marketing campaign was then based around the owner of the site. content and conversation than the product itself.000 followers. print.Compelling Content: Compare The Market’s ‘Compare The Meerkat’ Many marketers have said that social media only works for ‘sexy’ brands. 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%.K. who also has a Facebook page with over 493. Compare The Market. Twitter and YouTube. However.
By creating content that was inherently shareable.. But. reaching out to inﬂuential cycling bloggers and forums and optimising the content through proactive promotion on sites like YouTube and digg. it has changed attitudes amongst road users in London and saved lives as a result.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. 38 .K. do the rest. been featured on television in the U. U. ‘Do The Test’ became a global phenomenon. It has so far racked up over 12 million views worldwide. To conquer this. and Australia and. 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. most importantly. 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.S. both niche and mainstream.
After consumers started leaving scores of comments mocking the video. the video was reinstated to the channel. by then.7.2 When Social Media Goes Wrong How Not To Do YouTube: P. even when the things being said are utterly inane.’” consumers were quick to pour on their scorn. In days gone by. other than chatting in the pub with their friends. the partnership would have been announced via press releases and interviews and ads and billboards. But when the partnership was announced on Diddy’s YouTube channel. “Burger King has named me ‘The King of Music and Fashion. Diddy left himself. By attempting to look cool when he had no idea what he was talking about. and by offering viewers no value exchange to consume the content. Diddy had it pulled. Diddy & Burger King Many marketing efforts that go wrong in social media would probably have worked out ﬁne in the broadcast world. Finally. good or bad. looking pretty stupid. 39 . Consumers would have had nowhere to express their thoughts. in an admission of defeat. parodied and spoofed. with the rapper stating proudly. This again showed a lack of understanding of the medium and its far-reaching effects because. Diddy and Burger King soon discovered that some conversations aren’t that pleasant to be involved in. Diddy. One of these is Burger King’s partnership with rapper P. it had been ripped and reposted. 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. By simply assuming that people are happy to be talked at. and Burger King.
Habitat made the unfortunate decision to hijack existing conversations. when Iran was gripped by unrest after their elections. blaming an intern and saying the intern was no longer working for Habitat. Retail Week. For example. because Habitat neglected to set up even the most basic ﬁltering. However. this just exacerbated the problem. Most marketers deal with this by coming up with creative ways of driving ‘talkability. 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. Because Twitter is such a sprawling communication network.’ However. 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. So they tagged their updates with #mousavi as shown below. causing people to take the brand to task for failing to take responsibility and for blaming a lowly employee. Habitat decided to do the same. one of the problems many marketers face is that they don’t feel like they have brands that people would want to discuss. thinking that it would be a great way to bring its latest offer to a wider audience. 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.How Not to Tweet: Habitat = #twitterfail As we’ve already mentioned. the community at large held them accountable. The value exchange was nil and. 40 . in a recent example of how not to use Twitter. Habitat issued a backhanded apology. In an attempt to mitigate the onslaught of negative press and postings. many users marked updates with #mousavi to show their support for the demonstrators.