Mariamz

Posts Tagged ‘brands

Our poll of 1,015 Americans shows that nearly 30 percent of consumers plan to increase the amount of goods and/or services they buy from socially responsible companies in the coming year. This is up from 18 percent who reported buying more from such companies in 2012 compared to 2011.

In total, 60 percent believe it’s important to shop responsibly, compared to “being green” (83%), reducing consumption (81%) and contributing financially to nonprofits (65%).

good.must.grow (PDF)

Mark Ritson recently wrote, If you think Oreo won the advertising Super Bowl with a tweet, look at the social media scoreboardIn this, he puts forward a bold position: firstly that social media reaches a relatively small number of people, in a relatively light way (in comparison to TV ads) and secondly, that “The players might have changed, but the game has always been the same.” I’d like to briefly tackle these sentiments with some counter-points:

  1. Two-way, multi-way, a new way:  It’s a standard social media point to make, but it’s seems it still must be. The game is not the same, because we are talking about many to many communication, about instantaneous interaction between publics and brands. Broadcast media (print, tv and to a great extent radio) was about crafting messages and pushing them out. Social media is about stakeholders, customers, innovators, product developers, consumers, suppliers, shareholders, customer services getting under eachother’s skin in real-time. It means a wealth of chances to make better products, services, institutions and outcomes, and for a brand to know, in no uncertain terms, whether it is delighting, inspiring, boring, horrifying, losing or poisoning its target customers and (former) audiences faster than ever, ever before.
  2. Broadcast reach vs reach on the brand’s terms: According to Ritson’s calculations, the Oreo tweet reached 200,000 people, which he compares with the 8 million Americans who eat an Oreos cookie during one year. But these sums ignore that social media engagement does not rest on one tweet alone, however brilliantly improvised its content. If an individual likes a brand enough to follow it, to endure its posts, by choice, day in day out - that brand has a chance of reaching that number of people, with what it chooses, on its own terms, and over and over again. It does not have to pay per placement, negotiate partnerships with publishers or pitch to journalists. It decides what to say and how to say it, and gets it out there immediately. And what happens on Twitter doesn’t stay on Twitter.  According to Exact Target, discussions that begin on Twitter are more likely to appear elsewhere on the web than they are from any other network.
  3. Tiny stories versus big bangs: Ritson challenges the value of Oreo’s tweet on the grounds of its ‘potency’, because he is apparently wedded to the old-school marketing obsession with the big bang, a million eyeballs, that golden moment where a message reaches every heart, and the earth moves for everyone simultaneously. But in the new social media environment, we ridicule and mock big campaigns when they don’t make sense to us – and our voices are so loud brands can’t help but hear. Conversely, we cheer those that listen, move collaboratively, give us choices and help us make our mark. As Marcus Brown recently wrote marketers / social business people need to “watch and listen to all of the tiny noises, the personal moments, the little disasters and the massive moments of personal joy that surround us daily. We should be improvising with the tiny stories.”
  4. We likee, we buyee, and there’s no excuse for metrical ignorance: There are various studies showing correlation between liking and following brands, and propensity to recommend, purchase, and purchase more from them. (And stats showing that poor social media engagement impacts bottom lines.) That given, there is still no need for any marketer to settle for anecdotal or macro-data: from Facebook insights to Google goal setting, tracking the effectiveness of digital communications through the customer and stakeholder funnel, brand by brand, product by product, is a matter of effort and skill, not luck or magic. There is simply no need, with the wealth of metrics at our fingertips, to be asking rhetorically the value of social media activation versus broadcast placements.

“Users say they’re frustrated by Facebook’s ‘incomprehensible’ personal privacy policies, frequent changes to the interface, and a lack of usability in general,” summarizes the [2012 Global Brand Simplicity] report authors (siegel+gale). “It’s just been one big ‘dislike’ for those seeking simplicity.”

Mark Wilson

Last weekend I took part in a Cambridge Festival of Ideas panel discussion on whether we are being ‘sold online’ alongside Michal Kosinski of Cambridge University, Professor Bill Dutton of the Oxford Internet Institute and Nick Pickles of Big Brother Watch.

During this I proposed that practitioners who deal with collecting, processing, analysing and sharing social media data can operate according to a simple principle, to weight privacy in favour of individuals, and transparency towards institutions. For indeed, such responsible data dealing is essential for attaining and retaining trust in 21st century institutions…


Delving further into what this means in practice I put forward the following framework, which can be used by marketers to clearly document and ask questions of social data usage:

Best Practice Data Dealers Recipe Card

Note: my recipe card is loosely based on Tony Benn’s five questions to power

You’ve done your research, you know what your audience like to read, watch, say online. You’re ready to take your brand presence to the next level online, you want to make it big on Facebook… to post, to listen, to learn, to really reach and engage with people. Trouble is, your prime prospects don’t want to talk about <insert products> all day long. They don’t want to muse on what colour theirs is, or what they did with it last week. They might think <insert products> are great… but they have no desire to go on about it, in any way, not even on your shiny, carefully constructed Facebook page.

So what’s needed is content your target people will talk about, and share.. that’s funny, or otherwise entertaining.. and whatever it is, ideally it needs to lead in some logical way back to your product. Even better, a rich content seam you can mine again and again. Sure it can be about ‘lifestyle’ – but if the product can be found in the message.. that’s when it’s working hardest.

Red Bull Wings Facebook post

A good example of this principle in action is Red Bull’s Facebook page posts – referring to ‘wings.’ The brand has cultivated a life on the edge image.. but importantly, for the day to day on Facebook, it references wings.. in all kinds of obscure ways, making its audience think back to the brand.. and the high octane fizzy concoctions it ultimately wants to sell.

‘Wings’ then, is a simple, effective ‘social object‘ that gives the brand lots of room to play. Which is what’s needed for inspiration when you are trying to engage one of the toughest, least patient, audiences online: young men.

Love the way Unilever are integrating sustainability communications into their Facebook page here – which currently has a healthy 697,000 likes. Within the dedicated ‘sustainable living’ tab on its app the brand asks people what they do and don’t want to hear about from its three sustainability pillars.

The thumbs down sign is almost, but not quite, a forbidden ‘dislike’ button. But in any case negative responses are not displayed – it seems only total thumbs ups are shown.

Participation numbers aren’t high – but that’s probably because it’s buried half way down a secondary tab on its main brands app (and not sure how long it’s been there). They also might want to consider integrating voting with some sort of incentive, e.g. a charity donation – like Petplan UK are doing at the moment on their Facebook app:

Disclosure: Petplan UK are a client


This blog is about utilizing and optimizing the social web for business, pleasure and social change

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