Here are all of the posts tagged ‘strategy’.
Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on using tragedy as content. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
12 years ago, two planes were hijacked and flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, collapsing both towers.
A plane was also crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth hijacked plane, supposedly heading for the White House, was brought down before it reached its target. 2996 people died.
The date was September 11, 2001. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten.
Nor have you forgotten those who died in the subsequent bombings in Bali. Nor the events in London on July 7, 2005. You will clearly remember the horrific tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean in 2004, and Hurricane Katrina, which decimated New Orleans, also in 2005.
Closer to home, you will no doubt remember the date of the Port Arthur Massacre in which 35 people died and 23 were injured. The annual flooding in Queensland and the bush fires that afflict much of the country in the hotter months – both claiming property, livelihoods and lives each year – will be fresh in your memory.
It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that next year, 2014, is the centenary of the outbreak of World War One – The Great War – a war that claimed over 37 million lives.
These are tragedies and disasters that affect us all, both personally and on a wider cultural scale. These are times to commemorate and reflect, commiserate and mourn.
However you choose to remember or forget such events, let us be clear on this: tragedies and disasters are not marketing opportunities.
Last week in the US, brands as large as GE and Verizon sent out reminders to ‘honour the memory of those we lost’ using the hashtag #neverforget, which many Tweeps were using to commemorate the 9/11 attacks.
Businesses as diverse as golf courses, plumbers, restaurants, sports nutritionists and tanning salons used 9/11 to give out discounts on their products.
‘Remembering the fallen heroes’ claimed one tweet, right before peddling their wares on the trending hashtag.
Much has been written before about how brands on social media are not friends with their customers, but it’s a point worth re-iterating, because brands need to understand their place – you are not people.
When a person likes or follows your brand they are giving you permission to talk to them. You are being invited into their newsfeed and their timeline along with their friends and family, but you are not one of them. You do not have permission to cross that line.
That line applies to topics such as sex, religion and politics – as it would when conversing with any customer – and it also applies to tragedies and disasters.
While social media has changed the way brands communicate with their customers, it has not changed the fundamental brand/customer relationship. You are still the brand. They are still the customer. The reason you are on social media is to sell things.
Never forget that.
The topics you have permission to talk about should be outlined in your social content strategy. They should be things that are valuable to your customer, and relevant to both your customer’s interests and to your brand.
When there is cause for national celebration, you may find some room in your content to reference it in a valuable, relevant way. But there is no valuable, relevant way to talk about tragedy.
I’ve said before that your social content strategy is as much about what you choose not to post, because everything you say as a brand on social media is marketing. Every post or tweet is branded content. You can’t brand grief.
Where I grew up, in the UK, tragedies were marked by an act of collective silence. At times like these staying silent will say more about your grief, and will sound a lot more sincere, than saying anything at all.
Marketing Magazine recently published an article by me on dealing with internet trolls.They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
In The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne seeks advice on his latest foe, Joker, from his astute cockney butler Alfred.
Mr Wayne (logical, measured, likes to dress up as a bat) is stumped.
“Criminals aren’t complicated,” he tells his trusty manservant, “we just have to figure out what he’s after.”
Let’s pause there. Substitute the word ‘criminals’ for ‘customers’, ‘fans’ or ‘followers’, and you’ve about summed up the way most brands approach community management:
‘Customers aren’t complicated, we just have to figure out what they’re after.’
Most brands have a list of pre-approved responses, an escalation matrix, tone and style guidelines, brand voice guidelines, community guidelines and so on.
They probably have directives to respond to each post or tweet within a set period of time (after all, brands are being judged on how quickly and efficiently they respond to posts), and community managers are tasked with being the arbiters of these directives.
But these directives, these guidelines – these community management ‘principles’ – fail to take into consideration posts that don’t play by the rules.
Picking up where we left him, Bruce Wayne is failing to grasp why someone would commit crimes seemingly without motive.
“With respect, Master Wayne” Alfred tells him, “perhaps this is a man that you don’t fully understand.
“Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with.
“Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
Alfred is of course referring to Joker, but his advice is also true for the arch nemesis of the community manager: the troll.
You can put in place all of the measures and matrices and management you can think of, but there will always be exceptions.
Trolls aren’t looking for customer service – in all likelihood they aren’t customers at all. They aren’t looking for a measured response or a reply within 15 minutes. They aren’t trying to make a point or a serious criticism.
They’re looking for opportunities to create chaos.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a top ten brand or a mom and pop shop, if the trolls see room to ruffle feathers, they’ll have a go.
So if the usual measures don’t work, how then do you deal with a troll?
In The Dark Knight, Joker is ultimately defeated by the people. They refuse to play his game, not giving him the satisfaction.
You can always do the same. You’ve probably heard the expression ‘don’t feed the trolls’, and certainly, that is one way to go.
But comments left unattended look messy and can result in more trolls joining in. And if the troll hasn’t used offensive language, or insulted or threatened anyone, then you really have no room to delete their post or comment.
No, feeding the trolls isn’t the issue. It’s what you feed them that makes the difference, and to understand that, you need to understand the fundamental reason they behave the way they do.
In their own words, they do it “for the lulz”.
So give them what they want. Next time you have a troll, try this; simply reply to whatever they post with ‘lol’.
By ignoring the rules, you’ll both diffuse the troll and let them, and the rest of your community know that you’ve got a personality – that you’re not a machine stocked with automated responses.
Batman had to go to extreme lengths to defeat Joker, building a machine with the power to spy on every citizen of Gotham. But you don’t need to be that rigid, that inflexible. You don’t need to take the hard line.
As Joker would say: “Why so serious?”
So, have a little fun every now and then. Lol the troll.
Marketing magazine recently published an article from me about putting people first. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below:
A few years ago I attended a screenwriting class taught by a friend at UCLA. The topic that night was television.
After some discussion about the major television networks, a student asked what they generally looked for in a script.
“Well, who are their customers?” my friend asked the class – mostly mature students looking to break into full time writing. Hands shot up, and we all agreed that the viewers, the television audience, were the customer.
“Okay,” he continued, “what is their product, what are they selling?”
“The shows are the product,” a student answered, voicing the consensus.
“Nope,” my friend, a film and television producer, smiled. “Advertisers are the customers.”
“The product is you.”
It makes sense, of course, when you consider the origins of the televised serial narrative – the soap opera – funded by detergent brands in order to promote their wares.
It makes sense, and yet hearing it put like that, well, left a sour taste in the mouth. Something about that model just felt wrong. Obscured. Perverted.
But I’m not here to talk about television.
‘Advertisers are the customers.’
When Facebook went public earlier this year, much like television, people were no longer the customers. Brands were. Users simply became product to sell to advertisers.
When analysts spoke of Facebook’s need to monetise the platform, what they were really saying is that Facebook needs to monetise the users.
Since its IPO earlier in the year, Facebook has been building and testing, deploying and upgrading, optimising and tinkering. Why? To make its ads more effective.
To make users, Facebook’s product, more valuable. Users. You.
But I’m not here to talk about Facebook.
‘The product is you’.
Twitter is battening down the API hatches and locking the doors to its user base in order to more effectively monetise. Tumblr has begun rolling out (thus far relatively un-obtrusive) ad-supported content.
But I’m not here to talk about those platforms, either.
I’m also not here to talk about users, followers, likers, players, gamers, subscribers or customers.
Today I want to talk about people.
Today I want to consider the human.
Humans are an okay bunch. Most keep to themselves. They eat, they sleep, they love and laugh. They live. For a while anyway.
Humans have limited time, which makes them worry. They want ways to make their life easier, less complicated. They want less clutter.
They like new, shiny things. They like information. They like stories. In fact, humans love stories.
Humans buy what we sell. Sometimes because they need it, sometimes because their neighbour has one. If they like it, they’ll tell other humans. Sometimes, those humans will buy one too.
As marketers, humans are very valuable to us. But a single human can be subjected to as many as twenty thousand marketing messages a day.
That’s not very human friendly.
Marketers are human sometimes, but probably not often enough. Instead of finding ways to talk to other humans, to listen, to understand their needs, we spend time and money trying to shout louder than other marketers, and creating new places to put our messages.
How often do you hear a human say, ‘Well golly, those clever souls at Brand X found a devious and downright genius new way to show me ads. It’s amazing – the ad followed me around every other site I visited for days until I just had to buy one of their products. I just had to. It’s brilliant. I’m telling everyone!’
That’s not a speech I’ve ever heard a person give. Marketers… maybe. Perhaps this one is more recognisable:
‘I just read/watched/heard the most amazing/heartwarming/incredible/funny story. Brand X just shared it. It’s really good. I’ll send it to you.’
Humans love stories, not adverts.
When you’re thinking about your marketing plan for next year, when you’re allocating your budget and planning channels; consider the human.
Take some of that budget and hire content producers. Hire storytellers. Start campaigns that put humans first.
2013 is not the year of mobile, or whatever new social network your kids are using. 2013 is the year of the human. 2013 is about finding the right platforms and the right campaigns for the people who want to buy what you sell, and creating stories just for them.
Marketers are human sometimes. Why not think and act that way all the time.
We Are Social Australia is looking to add the right people in a range of roles across the business.
We’ve grown dramatically, both globally and here locally, where we’re working with some of the biggest and most socially ambitious companies in Australia - and now we need more great people to join us in our Sydney office.
We are looking for;
- Front end Developers – Mid level
- Back end Developers – Senior level
- Digital Producers
- Account Managers
- Account Directors
- Social Strategists
- Community & Content Managers
- Social Media Researchers
How to apply;
Send us an email with your name and the role you’re applying for in the subject line.
Attach your CV, and then introduce yourself in no more than 400 words – tell us your background, examples that clearly demonstrate your proven track record – links to work if possible, and importantly, why you want to work at We Are Social.
We suggest adding links to LinkedIn and your social profiles.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Welcome to Movember, folks! Also know round these parts as ‘Tom Selleck appreciation month’.
To ease you into your month we’ve gathered the biggest stories from the social web for you to digest in one-easy-to-swallow blog post.
Here are the Top 10 stories in social media this week;
1. Facebook and Twitter users spamming friends in exchange for cash
In what amounts to a hijacking of brand advocacy, Socialloot are offering marketing dollars to users who sign up and post about brands to their communities.
The site has over a million users in Australia across Facebook and Twitter, with 500 Australian brands – including Reader’s Digest, Perfume Connection, Starshots and Bevilles Jeweller - offering users cash in exchange for links.
With the company set to go Global next year, it’s worth keeping an eye on. If your friends start trying to sell you random products, it’ll likely be the end of social networking as we know it.
2. Marketers use fan numbers to measure social media success
A newly-released survey suggests that although marketers realise fan numbers aren’t the be-all and end-all, they do end up relying on them for measuring success. 60% still used fan numbers as a primary measure of gauging success.
The folly of this is clear: just accruing fans is not enough; it’s what you do with them which is important.
3. Vitrue research into Facebook fans
Vitrue have produced a really useful bit of research outlining how the demographics of Facebook overall are markedly different from the sub-group who like Pages, who tend to be younger and predominantly women.
In the case of consumer packaged goods Pages, the fans skew even more female but are slightly older.
4. How the F8 changes are affecting Facebook Pages
Analysis from PageLever suggests that the recent Facebook changes have made more fans see Page updates, but those fans are seeing fewer updates:
Facebook’s changes, announced at its F8 Developers Conference last month, appear to have boosted brands’ visibility among more of their fans but decreased the frequency with which a brand’s fans see its messages, according to a study of more than 300 brand pages. In what should be considered good news, the new layout has substantially increased fan interactions with brands.
EdgeRank Checker have produced other research, highlighting how engagement is generally up massively, with comments up 14% and likes up 16%, although impressions are down 22%.
In addition, engagement has dropped on smaller Facebook Pages, meaning that although this is good news for big brands, it’s bad news for local restaurants:
5. Google+ launches more updates in bid to improve UI
Google+ rolled out three new features last week, in a bid to increase the amount of time people spend on the site:
1) They’ve launched a what’s hot on Google + feature, to highlight – how did you guess?! – what’s hot on Google+:
2) There’s also now Google+ Ripples, which allows you how to track how popular posts are shared, and who the big conversation drivers and contributors are:
3) Finally and most interestingly, they’ve launched Google+ Creative Kit which allows users to edit their photos with some cool effects:
With Google+ now also available with Google Apps, one can hardly accuse Google of giving up on Google+ just yet.
6. BBC moves to human-edited Twitter feeds
The BBC has announced that its four core Twitter feeds will now be curated by real people. Nieman Journalism Lab has an interesting post about the effect human curation can have.
7. Airlines outed for bad customer service in social
There was bad news for two airlines this week: first, American Airlines was declared the least popular airline in social media, with only 12% positive sentiment.
Then, Qantas managed to fully step up to the fail-plate with some unbelievably wooden customer service via social media.
All of this left them flying towards the top of the trending topics, before the fuel of negative sentiment overpowered the account, leading them to truly crash and burn. It’s plain simple: it’s just not good enough to wing it.
8. adidas Originals Womens’ Look Book Instagram Contest
adidas recently launched an interesting city vs city Instagram challenge to encourage fans to capture their Originals styles.
Fans then upload photos of their outfits and their friends’ and tag them with #adidasoriginals and a geo-tag of their city and vote for their favourite look.
9. Chapstick’s social media suicide
A real #epicfail for Chapstick: first they posted an image of a woman with her backside in the air looking for her chapstick behind the sofa.
This photo received a spiral of negative comments which were subsequently deleted. More comments were posted, more comments were deleted, still with no word of apology.
Finally Chapstick issued an apology containing the words “we’re committed to listening…” but we’re not sure that message will stick, chaps.
10. Mexican football team replaces players’ names with Twitter handles
In a nifty move, Mexican football team Jaguares di Chiapas put their players’ Twitter handles on the back of their shirts instead of their names.
They also advertised their sponsor’s Twitter account, rather than the sponsor itself. Tweet idea!
The Week According To The Internet:
- Twitter Account Of The Week: Shippam’s Fish Paste
- Tumblr Of The Week: Barack Obama
- Heartwarming Reddit thread of the week: Boy suffering Leukemia photoshopped into amazing pictures to cheer him up.