Posts Tagged ‘social business’
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%).
Power out? No problem. twitter.com/Oreo/status/29…
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Mark Ritson recently wrote, If you think Oreo won the advertising Super Bowl with a tweet, look at the social media scoreboard. In 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
On and offline – when there is a surprise, welcome or not, how you respond makes all the difference. For brands and institutions, this can take you down interesting, unexpected and lucrative paths.
Like Oreos, who achieved 13,734 re-tweets for its Superbowl suggestion to ‘Dunk in the dark‘ after the lights went out. And the Leopold Museum, who has responded to an man stripping off at its exhibition by offering nude viewings of its ‘Nude Men’ collection.
within five years social media will be the number two way to engage with customers (after face-to-face personal interaction). That’s a step in the right direction, but why wait five years? The internet will have changed all over again by then, and business is in danger of being left behind.
The growth in Social media use and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are inextricably linked. With access to real-time information on companies are up to, and what the world work thinks about it, social media holds businesses to account. And they know it. So more and more, companies are seeking to be perceived as socially responsible. For example, by backing positive, healthy initiatives, like the London 2012 Olympic Games.
And it works beyond the perception. Behaviour is changed. Positive outcomes are achieved, e.g.
“Procter and Gamble, another Games sponsors, has also been doing this for a while. One of its many brands, Ariel, ran a campaign called Cool Clean to try and get customers to wash clothes at 30 degrees. Peter White, P&G’s global sustainability director, says proudly, “In the UK, only around 2% of consumers were washing their clothes at 30 degrees or lower in 2002. By 2011 this had risen to over 30%. In the Netherlands it has reached over 50%.” He also points to a Pampers-Unicef collaboration that vaccinated over 100 million mothers and babies in 46 countries against neo-natal tetanus.”
Tim Smedley on the new Guardian Sustainable Business Social Impact hub
But how can we measure programmes relatively? Consistently? As brand managers, marketers or CSR professionals?
Demos have recently teamed up with Coca-Cola to try and answer this question. Their efforts have resulted in a proposed new model, to help business people measure and compare the difference their sponsorship / CSR activity makes:
Disclosure: P&G is a current client and Guardian Sustainable Business are a former employer
This quick checklist is aimed at communications professionals on Twitter… who are likely to be, or want to be, tweeting for employers, clients or broadly as an individual in the industry:
1 State any client relationship within the tweet
If you mention a client, or share their news, or promotional content, whether they have asked you to or not, in a tweet, you should declare the relationship – for example this can be done neatly by using the #client hashtag
2 Declare financial compensation
Any tweets sent by any individual as part of paid advertising or social PR activity must include the #ad hashtag in line with UK regulations. This should be applied to your own tweets and if you ask any another person (e.g. blogger, celebrity, other influencer) to tweet for your client. If you are tweeting for any extended period of time as part of sponsored activity, also consider including a short description of the promotion in your Twitter bio during that period for absolute transparency.
3 Check any link before sharing
Read everything you tweet or retweet before sharing, if the tweet contains a link- check what it leads to – if you share without doing this your followers may not get what you bargained for. Sometimes tweeters will change or use uneexpected links to spread viruses or other objectionable content, or for comedy value like @Glinner did here (the link he posts is not actually from the Huffington post as you might expect):
OK, an extreme example, but expecting this, or not? 😮 (Tip: this is not the original link the Huffington Post tweeted!)
4 Use the delete button
If you make a mistake, and no one else has yet screen-shotted or picked up on it… you can delete your tweet to avoid most people seeing it. That is, unless you are a US politician who falls foul of Politwoops:
5 Absolve your employer in your bio
Specify in your Twitter bio that your views are your own – unless you are specifically tweeting as a mouthpiece for your employer.
6 Double check your tweets when using management tools
Be careful if you’re managing multiple accounts (employer, client, your own, your secret identities) on a tool like Hootsuite, it’s all too easy to post to the wrong account by mistake. Always check which accounts are ticked and review the account you thought you were going to post to after you hit send, to see if your tweet does indeed appear there.
Companies who find themselves at the centre of a high-profile mistake like this would do well to take a leaf out of the Red Cross’s book and not take it too seriously. When the tweet above was erroneously put out on their Twitter account, they responded with humour and wit, rather than condemnation and drama, thus:
7 Build respectful, reciprocal relationships
Reciprocal relationships (you follow them, they follow you) with people you most want to reach is where Twitter is most valuable to communication pros, especially for those last minute asks. Always operate on a you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, basis, and try these tips for taking your use of Twitter to the next level.
Far too often, brands forget that their “messages” in and of themselves aren’t always compelling to someone who doesn’t work there… Would you care if you got an email [from a company in which you have no professional interest] asking you to like its Facebook page so you could get ‘exclusive’ access to its new commercial?
Christopher Barger, in The Social Media Strategist
Disclosure: Christopher is a current colleague of mine at Porter Novelli