Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Starbucks’.
Social Media Dominates Asia Pacific Internet Usage
Nielsen announced its Asia Pacific Social Media Report and found the region has undergone an unprecedented level of growth in the past year. Notably, social media is seen as having a noticeable impact on consumer purchasing decisions:
In Asia Pacific, online product reviews are the third most trusted source of information when making purchase decisions, behind family and friends. This is particularly so for purchases of consumer electronics, cosmetics and cars – products where consumers are most likely to base their purchase decisions on online product reviews.
The report looks at Internet usage across Korean, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore and China.
Foursquare in talks with Google, MS and Yahoo! about search partnerships
The Telegraph reports that Foursquare is in talks with the three major search engines which could allow people to look up the most popular bar or restaurant in their area in real-time. Dennis Crowley, Foursquare’s co-founder, has said:
Our data generates hugely interesting trends which would enrich search… Twitter helped the world and the search engines know what people are talking about. Foursquare would allow people to search for the types of place people are going to – and where is trending
It’s worth noting that Twitter’s first commercial deals were with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, licensing its real-time feed of information.
Say Hello to the New MySpace Profiles
After reports of falling traffic figures, it looks as though MySpace is trying to change its fortunes by completely redesigning its user profiles. MySpace confirmed that it was demoing a new look and feel to the site, which includes:
- An improved UI and navigation menu
- A Facebook like newsfeed with a user’s recent activity
- Social network integration with other sites like Facebook or Twitter
Facebook will announce 500 million users; announces 150 million on mobile
In anticipation of hitting the half billion user mark, Facebook is planning to mark the occasion with a new consumer marketing initiative called ‘Facebook stories’ in which they hope to celebrate the impact of the social network on their users’ lives.
The announcement is expected any day now, and will sit alongside other large milestones announced last week, such as hitting 141 million unique visitors in the US (comScore). There are also an estimated 150 global mobile users, according to Facebook’s Head of Mobile Products Eric Tseng, who also indicated last week that we can expect to see Facebook’s “Like” buttons in mobile applications soon.
The New York Times notes that with this impressive growth, comes some grim challenges at the social network grapples with how to handle deaths in the system as older users die:
Now, people over 65 are adopting Facebook at a faster pace than any other age group, with 6.5 million signing up in May alone… People over 65, of course, also have the country’s highest mortality rate, so the problem is only going to get worse.
That said, big steps have been made to improve the ease with which ‘ghosts in its machine’ are identified, and profiles can be “memorialised” such that grieving friends can still post messages on those pages as a tribute.
Apple deleting mentions of Consumer Reports’ iPhone 4 piece on forums
Since the iPhone 4’s release last month, Apple has been going through a bit of a rough time with widespread reports of an antenna design flaw that was causing the mobile signal to degrade and calls to be dropped.
Consumer Reports last week released independent findings that confirmed there was a design flaw with the iPhone 4 which caused problems with its reception. This news spread quickly online, but Apple made the questionable decision of “deleting threads about the Consumer Reports article from its support forums”, which deepened the crisis further.
Old Spice social media campaign
Last week Old Spice / Wieden+Kennedy turned a lot of heads with its innovative use of social media for its ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ campaign. We’ve twice written about the campaign so it needs little summary here – head over to our previous posts to learn more.
Starbucks is the first brand to reach 10 million Facebook fans
Following on the heels of Lady Gaga becoming the first ‘person’ to gather 10 million fans, Starbucks has now become the first brand to collect 10 million fans for its Facebook page. According to Inside Facebook:
The company’s audience of 10 million people around the world has been hard won with marketing, promotions and advertising. Over the years Starbucks has given away free ice cream on Facebook, been recognized by Facebook [for fan page innovation] and was also the most popular brand [on the social network].
Ben & Jerry’s drops email in favour of social media
Ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s is looking to abandon its current email marketing activity in favour of using social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage with customers on an ongoing basis. The decision was based on the feedback they received from customers who would prefer being contacted via social media. Ben & Jerry’s still plans to send one email update to customers each year, and the company has received “mainly positive feedback on the decision” thus far.
K2 Skis redirects entire company website to Facebook
K2 Skis has made the bold decision to redirect the company’s entire website to its Facebook Fan Page in an effort to boost its fan base. By becoming a Fan of their page, users will be able to see next year’s line up. All Facebook notes that this is the first time they’ve “ever seen a company shut down their corporate site as part of a promotion,” but it doesn’t appear to be driving significant numbers just yet.
BT uses social media to decide ending for TV ad campaign
BT has taken to Facebook in order to have the public decide the ending to their long-running ‘Adam and Jane’ TV ad campaign. Fans of the “Please don’t let Adam and Jane off the BT home hub advert break up…” Facebook group were given a sneak peak of the ad before it aired this weekend, and asked to vote on the ending which will be aired in late August.
The Human Avatar
This just about sums up The Human Avatar campaign for EA’s new game All Points Bulletin (APB). To tie in with the customisation available in the new game, APB decided to take a real person and over the course of several weeks transform them into a real-life avatar that will be released in the game – all to be decided by votes via their website. After selecting the candidate Josh, users then voted on his haircut (cyber punk), piercing (septum) and tattoo (back wings).
After the third day of activity, Isaiah Mustafa and Old Spice have bid farewell to their ‘Internet friends’ and recorded their final YouTube video. Much has been written about the campaign over the last few days (see our case study with links here), and the buzz on blogs and Twitter have been explosive.
Here at We Are Social, we were a bit curious as to what the viewing figures looked like so we had a closer look at the Old Spice YouTube Channel. This is what we found:
- Total videos uploaded: 183
- 12 July, 2010: 29 videos uploaded
- 13 July, 2010: 89 videos uploaded
- 14 July, 2010: 65 videos uploaded
- Combined viewing figures: 10,954,096
- Average video view (mean value): 59,858 views
- Median value: 40,536 views (Re: Idgit | Old Spice)
- Most watched video: 511,694 views (Re: Perez Hilton | Old Spice)
15 Most Popular Videos
|Rank||Video Name||Views||Date Uploaded||Video #|
|1||Re: Perez Hilton | Old Spice||511,694||13-Jul-10||32|
|2||Re: Anonymous | Old Spice||382,728||13-Jul-10||39|
|3||Re: @kevinrose | Old Spice||329,258||12-Jul-10||16|
|4||Re: @kpereira | Old Spice||290,461||12-Jul-10||27|
|5||Re: rosemcgowan | Old Spice||275,472||13-Jul-10||118|
|6||Re: jsbeals | Old Spice||233,838||13-Jul-10||108|
|7||Re: @TheEllenShow | Old Spice||231,960||12-Jul-10||1|
|8||Re: @Gizmodo | Old Spice||199,040||13-Jul-10||110|
|9||Re: Starbucks | Old Spice||177,008||13-Jul-10||113|
|10||Re: Alyssa_Milano | Old Spice||172,294||13-Jul-10||55|
|11||Re: Alyssa_Milano | Old Spice||165,338||13-Jul-10||88|
|12||Re: wheresweems | Old Spice||157,028||13-Jul-10||115|
|13||Re: pandarr | Old Spice||151,069||14-Jul-10||144|
|14||Re: themrchris0426 | Old Spice||149,183||13-Jul-10||117|
|15||Re: Laiba | Old Spice||144,450||13-Jul-10||3|
Among these popular videos, celebrities and key online figures standout like Perez Hilton, Alyssa Milano and Kevin Rose. The video directed at ‘Anonymous’ deserves a special mention:
According to ReadWriteWeb:
How loved has the new campaign proven to be? 4Chan, the anonymous nihilist obscene messageboard from whence sprang memes like LOLCats and RickRolling, was the subject of [Anonymous]… 4channers hate everything, especially people who talk about 4chan – which this savvy man in a towel did not do.
And now it occupies the second most watched spot, which is no small feat.
This covers off on the publicly available viewing figures (which have surely grown during the time of writing this), but there is surely so much more that can be learned from how the online audience behaved with this campaign and from the viewing behaviour on YouTube. Things like:
- Comments – Which videos were the most discussed/engaging? Was there any discussion of purchase preference or the Old Spice product in these comments, and how can this be fed back into product marketing and development?
- Demographics – Which audience(s) did this campaign appeal to the most? What is the age/gender make up, and the geographic spread of viewers? How does this compare with Old Spice’s target customer?
- Sharing data – How did the Old Spice videos make their way across the web? How did videos reach secondary and tertiary audiences? What were the most important platforms in driving this reach (Twitter vs. Facebook vs. Reddit vs. Digg vs. blogs)?
- Embed data – Who and what were the most popular / influential sources to embed the videos? What was the ratio of views on YouTube, compared to views of videos embedded elsewhere?
The opportunities for measurement are almost endless, and Wieden + Kennedy / Proctor & Gamble are sitting on some very interesting data behind the YouTube account login. We definitely hope to learn more over the coming months.
Meanwhile Twitter over the last few days has been busy:
Since 13 July 2010 there’s been about 175K Old Spice related tweets, and they were broken down as follows:
26% were retweets, which indicates how readily people passed around the content online. Meanwhile 8% were @replies, and the overwhelming majority of those were directed at @oldspice, showing that people were quite keen to get involved (even me). The remaining ‘regular tweets’ were, by and large, people commenting about the ‘old spice guy’/’old spice man’ videos as they watched, and shared the YouTube links. A cursory read of these Tweets were found to be extremely positive, which probably comes as no surprise. A word cloud, drawn from a sample of 10,000 Tweets from 13 July – 15 July tends to support this:
It’s worth noting that words like hilarious, like, love and awesome are among the 50 most prominent words of the 157,849 rendered in the word cloud.
So what now? It appears that Wieden + Kennedy and Old Spice have created a bit of a monster, but have phased out activity while it was still fresh and universally liked. I imagine the video viewcount will continue to climb as people make their way through all 183 videos, and the Twitter buzz will likely calm down. I expect attitudes towards the brand will remain positive, though it will be really interesting to see if this translates directly into sales.
As succesful as this campaign has been however, I can’t say that I envy the people behind it… I mean, how do they top that? Naturally, we’re hoping they (or perhaps even, we) do!
The Cannes Film Grand Prix-winning Old Spice campaign has evolved over the last 24 hours to dominate discussion in social media, in what is sure to become the ‘case study du jour’ for the foreseeable future.
“The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” spot from Wieden + Kennedy Portland was launched in February during the Super Bowl. It featured Isaiah Mustafa, a former NFL athlete, being totally awesome and became an almost immediate hit online. It has since racked up almost 13 million views on YouTube, with a couple new iterations launched in recent weeks.
Yesterday, however, the marketing campaign took a different turn and really got ‘social media right’. It’s been updated and sees Isaiah Mustafa respond directly to YouTube comments, Tweets, Yahoo! Answers and blog posts about him in 117 publicly available, timely and personalised video messages.
To ensure maximum coverage Old Spice replied to some of the most popular personalities on Twitter, such as @Biz (Twitter co-founder), @ryanseacrest (TV personality), @kevinrose (Digg founder), @Alyssa_Milano (actor), and @guykawasaki (social media thought leader). Blogger Perez Hilton’ s video response has already clocked up over 115k views. They’ve also hit up media outlets like GQ, Huffington Post, Gizmodo and The Ellen Show. Starbucks have even managed to get in on the action.
So what are the results? It’s still early to tell, but a few things are apparent.
The activity, according to Campaign, appears to be targeted at the ‘Twitter generation’ and it seems to be doing the trick. There has been a noticeable increase in followers to the @oldspice account, as well as a surge in conversation volume about the brand over the past 24 hours.
Searches for “old spice” or oldspice for the last week up until 10.45am today turned up the following:
That’s pretty spectacular, and the volumes were enough for Old Spice to trend on Twitter. What’s interesting though, is that Old Spice started yesterday as a Twitter Promoted Trend, but quickly ‘earned’ the status. TechCrunch explains:
[Old Spice] also just redefined the model for Promoted Trends. Old Spice is a promoted Trend, which takes you to the Old Spice Twitter account highlighting these videos as individual responses addressing each Twitter user who gets their own Old Spice commercial. The irony is that if Old Spice hadn’t paid to be a promoted Trend, it probably would have made it as a Trending Topic organically.
This morning Old Spice is still trending, organically.
There has been a similar increase in discussion on blogs as well. Again, a simple search for “old spice” or oldspice for the last week up until 11.45am today turned up the following:
But a key question is: can this goodwill and online buzz translate into sales?
Though the original adverts have been a massive hits, and clocked up millions of views on YouTube, sales of Old Spice haven’t necessarily seen the same upward trend. Just yesterday AdWeek reported that sales of the Old Spice body wash have actually dropped 7 percent over the last year.
So this surge of social media activity certainly comes at an interesting time, and it will be worth keeping an eye on, especially as brands like Dominos Pizza publicly pin their good fortunes on social media activity.
Ultimately, this level of social media engagement which was born from a television advert is really remarkable. Old Spice has done a great job in updating the campaign so that it really ‘works’ online. Most importantly though, the video responses are consistently funny in their own right, making it hard not to love this campaign.
So on that note, we’ll leave you with Isaiah Mustafa’s responses to The Huffington Post, Guy Kawasaki and Perez Hilton – some of the finest examples:
Update: ReadWriteWeb has the lowdown on how the Old Spice videos are being made:
A team of creatives, tech geeks, marketers and writers gathered in an undisclosed location in Portland, Oregon yesterday and produced 87 short comedic YouTube videos about Old Spice. In real time. They leveraged Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and blogs. They dared to touch the wild beasts of 4chan and they lived to tell the tale. Everybody loved it; those videos and 74 more made so far today have now been viewed more than 4 million times and counting. Here’s how it’s going down…
One of the unique things taking place in the studio is we have a team of social media people, we have the Old Spice community manager, we have a social media strategist, a couple of technical people, and a producer. And we’ve built an application that scans the Internet looking for mentions and allows us to look at the influence of those people and also what they’ve said. They’re working in collaboration with the creative team that are there to pick out the messages that: 1. Have creative opportunity to produce amazing content; or 2. Have the ability to then embed themselves in an interesting or virally relevant community.
Iain also gives more background on the project on his own blog.
And now it seems, the end has arrived, with this closing message from Isaiah:
Update 2: We’ve conducted some in-depth analysis into the results of the campaign – Old Spice videos viewed 11 million times.
Social media helps drive purchases by 10x
Recent research reveals that customers visiting an online store via social media are 10x more like to by something than other users: “whereas 7% of all visitors to an online store make a purchase, a significantly higher 71% of visitors initiated via social media will click their way to the transaction section.” The study showed that while many online stores are good at attracting visitors, a small amount will be converted to customers. But “reassurance from a positive review” and “social media marketing” can be highly effective in closing sales.
Sorrell questions commercialisation of social web
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell likened social media to letter writing at one of the closing sessions of the 57th Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, and said that it could be “polluted” by attempts to monetise it. On the same panel, Keith Weed, the global chief marketing officer of Unilever, likened social media instead to the modern day equivalent of a pub or bar chat, and that social networking sites “will and they must” find ways to monetise their offerings.
…companies like ours can develop with companies like Facebook or Microsoft. So I think ‘yes’, they will monetise. How they do it, I think [Sorrell is], right they have to be clever.
Facebook commits to UK support
King Mark Zuckerberg was in London last week at the first official London Facebook Developers’ Garage event, and he committed to increasing support for UK brands and content providers. Zuckerberg also “stressed the importance of the UK to the company, and highlighted personalisation and its virtual currency Facebook Credits as key themes for the year ahead.”
Statistics update reveals that more than one million websites are using Facebook’s platform
Facebook has updated their official Statistics page, and announced in the process that more than one million websites have integrated with its developer platform, up from about 80,000 websites.
This difference is due, in a large part, to Facebook’s launch of the Like Box and other social plugins in late April; the company said this week that more than 300,000 sites have already implemented the plugins, and the number appear to still be climbing.
Elsewhere, it was reported in a study by Experian Simmons that half of US web users visit Facebook each month.
Twitter makes it easier to find friends and colleagues, Facebook ‘blocks’ Twitter friend finder
Last week Twitter announced that it was making it easier to find friends on Facebook and connections on LinkedIn, by improving their Find Friends section and tweaking their LinkedIn and Facebook applications.
The Tweets application by LinkedIn allows users to see which of your LinkedIn connections are on Twitter and follow the ones you choose right from the app. Meanwhile the Facebook app was meant to show which of your Facebook friends are on Twitter, but this was blocked by Facebook disallowing people to see which of their friends on the social network also have Twitter accounts.
A whole new way of experiencing LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups received their first major overhaul since August 2008, which is one of many that are expected in the coming months. In addition to improving the look and feel and ease of use of groups, LinkedIn has also:
- Made it easier to receive email updates from select group members
- Made it possible to vote up or down content and discussions
- Introduced a way to highlight the most active members/contributors to a group
We expect that these changes could go a long way to changing the way that users interact in groups for the better.
Foursquare hits 1.7 million users, and the threat from spammers looms
Foursquare announced that it had passed the 1.7 million user mark, after having added 100,000 in a mere 10 days. At that rate, the location-based service should hit 2 million users before August.
But with growing popularity, comes a greater threat from spammers. The Next Web notes that while spam is still a minor problem, it is becoming more prevalent as people ‘innovate’ by changing their profile name to a company name in order to raise awareness atop local leaderboards, or by leaving advertising messages as ‘tips’.
Foursquare, Starbucks need better blend of offers
When Starbucks and Foursquare announced their joint loyalty program last month in the US, it generated quite a bit of positive publicity. The offer, $1 discount on Frappuccinos to the mayors of individual Starbucks stores, has since come under criticism from Forrester analyst Augie Ray who laid out five reasons that it has become both ‘noisy and bothersome’, and potentially damaging in the long term. Fair play to Starbucks for being amongst the first to implement a nationwide Foursquare promotion, but there are certainly some lessons to be learned with respect to offering better targeted and easier to redeem Foursquare offers.
Virgin America Offers Free Flights to Twitter Influencers
Virgin America has partnered with Klout, an analytics service that tracks users’ influence on Twitter, to offer free flights (plus tax) to influencers in Toronto:
The offer includes free round-trip airfare (Wi-Fi included) between Toronto and San Francisco (SFO) or Los Angeles (LAX) between June 23 and August 23. Those who received invitations for the offer — whether or not they decide to accept the flight that comes with it — were also invited to Virgin America’s Toronto Launch Event on June 29.
Interestingly, ‘influencers’ who have been offered the free flight aren’t require to blog or Tweet about the experience, though Klout has requested that users who do accept the offer and chose to write something, disclose the promotion. Handing out free flights to those with Twitter ‘influence’ is not without its critics however, and some question the validity of ranking people based on an algorithm alone.
JD Sports campaign turns 900,000 visitors into 180,000 sign-ups
A recent campaign for the JD Sports-owned fashion label Bank managed to generate 900,000 unique users and 180,000 sign ups for a competition to become the face of Bank and model the Autumn/Winter 2010 range.
It used Facebook Open Graph – only two clicks to connect with a site and then sending info that they’d signed up or voted for someone into the user’s Facebook profile, which meant that their friends (on average 150 people) also saw it.
LOFT ansers the Facebook call for ‘real women’
Meanwhile, LOFT, a US fashion retailer, received interaction of an entirely different nature on its Facebook Fan Page. The company posted images to Facebook of a tall, blonde model wearing the brand’s new silk cargo pants, and received a number of complaints that the trousers were not universally flatterig unless you’re a “stick like model”. LOFT quickly responded to calls for ‘real women in photos’ the next day by posting pictures of its own staff – ranged from size 2 to 12, and from 5′3″ to 5′10″ – posing in the cargo pants. In so doing they managed to turn things around, address the negative sentiment head-one and show that they were indeed ‘listening’ to their customers.
Digg redesign takes the fight to Twitter, Facebook
Digg has also recently announced a redesign, and “aims to directly challenge Twitter and Facebook by redefining the way Diggers share, view, and submit content.” Chief among the changes, are the ability to follow friends, publishers, and “taste-makers”; as well as view content shared/promoted by their friends.
The idea seems to be that Digg will become much more of a true social networking site, but still based around links and news so as to cut out miscellaneous status updates so common to Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, it will now be easier to submit stories to the site, as well as become easier for Top News to spread amongst friends.
FourWhere now combines Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare
FourWhere, free service developed by Toronto-based social media monitoring and analytics company Sysomos, now integrates information from the three leading location-based services: Gowalla, Yelp and Foursquare.
If you’re not familiar with Fourwhere, it integrates data from Foursquare, Gowalla and Yelp, and displays it using Google Maps API in order to provided users with “ an easy way to discover places and comments for thousands of restaurants, bars, cafes, stores, tourist attractions and other venues.”
So, here’s the big one, does spending on social media really pay back? A fresh MBA graduate from MIT, Niki Gomez, passing through London and We Are Social on her way to Mumbai, gives her views.
At last, a study quantifies what many of us felt must be true, that social media does translate into increased sales. As Violette mentioned last week, a study by Wetpaint and Charlene Li’s Altimeter Group shows an extremely strong correlation between engaging in different social media and earning higher revenues. The study looks at the engagement of top 100 brands from the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands report and ranks them from 1 to 127, based on how they use social media channels. It finds that the top brands with their rankings in brackets are:
- Starbucks (127)
- Dell (123)
- eBay (115)
- Google (105)
- Microsoft (103)
- Thomson Reuters (101)
- Nike (100)
- Amazon (88)
- SAP (86)
- Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)
The most engaged brands experienced revenue growth in 2008 of 18% whilst the least engaged brands experienced losses of negative 6% over the same period.
Also interesting is that only arguably half of these are internet companies. The study categorizes the brands, a la Malcolm Gladwell, into mavens, those heavily engaging in 7 or more channels, such as Starbucks and Dell; butterflies, such as American Express and Hyundai who engage with seven channels but with less engagement; selectives who engage in six or less but do some on a deep level such as H&M and Philips; wallflowers like BP and McDonalds who engage with six or less but with a light touch. My question was whether social media pays off because of lower marketing spend, as there is a shift from spending on more traditional channels. However it seems, revenues, actual sales are up on previous years, even boom times!
Their findings conclude that it is not how many social media channels you use, but how deep that engagement is: so being social pays, but it’s the quality rather than quantity of these conversations that seems to triumph yet again. So, please think before you tweet… a good piece of advice for brands and individuals alike.
Three years into its existence, the recent media frenzy around celebrity Twitterers, including Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross, and Barack Obama’s successful use of the medium in the run-up to the US election, has seen the popularity of the “microblogging” site increase 27-fold in 12 months.
Advertisers could learn a lot from celebrity Twitterers using the site to shape their personal branding, creating a close, one-on-one relationship with their fans without constantly filtering their thoughts through a PR sieve.
Robin Grant, the managing director of the social media agency We Are Social, which advises Fry on his use of Twitter, explains: “The advice we gave to Stephen centred on being himself and having genuine conversations with people. It’s the same for brands. It’s about being human, showing your real personality and allowing people to connect with you on an emotional level.”
The article then gets quite bizarre, with Flo Heiss, the creative partner at Dare giving this advice about who should sit behind a brand’s account:
It could be a real person, such as a receptionist, or character made up by yourself
How about an imaginary friend who’s a receptionist, Flo? On to David Bain, an ‘internet marketing consultant’:
it’s cleverer when you don’t anthropomorphise it. What if an inanimate object was to Tweet, for example?
Why is it cleverer David? And what would it say? Amelia Torode, managing partner at VCCP:
It has to be a friendly, chatty brand. A brand such as Coca-Cola would be too large in its entirety. You need to work less at a higher-brand level and go down to the actual campaigns or smaller brands under the umbrella in order to start up the conversation.
Not quite as unhinged as Flo and David admittedly, but I’d point to the examples of brands like Burger King, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, Starbucks, JetBlue and even VCCP’s client O2, who are having meaningful and useful conversations at the higher-brand level. As usual, our friend Faris Yakob talks sense:
Previously we had a model of buying attention from media companies. Now we’ve got direct relationships so we have to earn that attention – we have to earn it by being entertaining, useful and also nice.
To be honest, there is no ‘right approach’, but there are some general principles that apply (as expressed by myself and Faris above) and then there is the hard won experience at the coalface, learning what works and what doesn’t, that brands doing it themselves (and the agencies like ourselves helping them) have acquired. Most importantly your approach should be built around, yes, you guessed it again, the business objectives you’re trying to achieve.
This diagram from Fallon’s Aki Spicer of six different potential participation strategies brands could use is a useful thought starter (each of which of course might be used in combination or not at all), but even the approaches I deliberately ridiculed above could be valid in the right circumstances. Fictional characters can work really well as part of a campaign as VCCP’s own Compare the Meerkat work shows, and I’m sure at least one of Zappos’ receptionists is on Twitter. Even inanimate objects might have their place – in fact I’ve been trying to persuade Kew Gardens to get their plant life on Twitter for a while now.
But deciding on a strategy is only the first and easiest step. The hard work is the day after day of micro-interactions with real people, and striking the right balance between the opportunities and risks presented by having a real person as the voice of the brand, which I touched upon in the hotly debated post on learning to speak human. David Armano brilliantly investigates this dynamic in The Age of Brandividualism and his recent follow-up, Battle of the Brands (both of which are required reading here at We Are Social towers):
For each brand on Twitter, there’s an individual (or individuals) behind that effort. It’s both business and personal. The two have become one. The tactic comes from a fundamental truth when it comes to the social spaces on the Web. People want to talk to other people. They want transparency. They want to know who they are talking to.
The potential reward of course, is the ability to spread surprise and delight, turn negative word of mouth into positive and to really engage people with your brand at an emotional level. There is no greater prize…