tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/social-2 Latest Social content from Econsultancy 2017-10-23T10:10:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69519 2017-10-23T10:10:00+01:00 2017-10-23T10:10:00+01:00 Memes in marketing: Seven memorable examples from brands Nikki Gilliland <p>Defined as “any fad, joke or memorable piece of content that spreads virally across the web, usually accompanied by a clever caption” – a number of brands are recognising the power of memes as a marketing tool.</p> <p>So, which brands do it well and why? Here are a few examples, and a few key points to remember.</p> <h3>Barkbox</h3> <p>Memes are perfectly aligned to the highly visual nature of Instagram. Barkbox, a subscription service for dog treats and toys, recognises this, making up the majority of its Instagram content with animal-related memes.</p> <p>It creates memes that are both relatable and humorous to animal-lovers, which ensures that they are shared thousands of times (regardless of whether or not users are fans or followers of the brand itself). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9811/Barkbox.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="481"></p> <p>In fact, this is one of the main reasons this example (and the medium in general) tends to work. </p> <p>Usually, memes do not feel like an ad or promotion for a product, instead engaging users on the basis of being funny, clever, or irreverent. In turn, this can also help to build authenticity and the identity of a brand.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9812/Barkbox_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="482"></p> <h3>Gucci</h3> <p>Luxury retailers do not typically use humour or viral trends in marketing, instead relying on polished and carefully crafted content to mirror their exclusive and high-end nature. Surprisingly, Gucci recently decided to lower its tone, using memes as part of an ad campaign for its new ‘Le Marché des Merveilles’ timepiece collection.  </p> <p>The #TWFGucci campaign involved the brand commissioning artists to adapt well-known memes to feature Gucci watches. For example, one compares a mundane watch with a Gucci version, using the caption "me vs. guy she says I shouldn’t worry about". </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9809/Gucci_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="478"></p> <p>As you might expect, the campaign has divided opinion. Some were put off by the luxury brand’s attempt at high-jacking internet culture – others championed its refreshing and bold approach. Personally, I think it worked well, putting a high-end spin on what is typically an easy and low-effort form of content.</p> <p>The memes combine professional photography with quirky illustrations, cleverly promoting its product as well as a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9810/Gucci_3.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="485"></p> <h3>Seamless</h3> <p>Seamless, the US online food delivery service, often uses humorous imagery across its digital channels. In 2014, however, it created an entire set of memes on the back of what is always a popular topic on social media – the Academy Award nominations.</p> <p>Dubbed ‘OscarNomNoms’, it created a number of spoof film posters, including ‘Waffle of Wall Street’ and ‘August: Sausage County’.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">The Wolf of Waffle Street <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OscarNomNoms?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OscarNomNoms</a> <a href="http://t.co/q1HktcfllZ">pic.twitter.com/q1HktcfllZ</a></p> — Seamless (@Seamless) <a href="https://twitter.com/Seamless/status/423814343675764736?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 16, 2014</a> </blockquote> <p>One of the most effective parts of the campaign was the fact that it encouraged user-involvement, turning suggestions from followers into new film posters. By combining timely newsjacking with memes, this example created a somewhat short-lived but still memorable splash of engagement for the brand.</p> <h3>Nickelodeon</h3> <p>Memes tend to be popular because they convey relatable emotions and scenarios. Nickelodeon capitalises on this to create content (and promote its TV schedule) for Twitter and Instagram.</p> <p>Basing them on simple but relatable topics for children like living with parents, watching television, or feeling excitement about a new episode of a favourite cartoon – the memes are effective at engaging young viewers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When you're the first one awake on Saturday morning <a href="https://t.co/4SAY9AneTn">pic.twitter.com/4SAY9AneTn</a></p> — Nickelodeon (@Nickelodeon) <a href="https://twitter.com/Nickelodeon/status/842843098615074816?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 17, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, Nickelodeon takes snippets from its shows to create them, meaning that the content is guaranteed to grab the attention of fans invested in a particular character or programme. </p> <h3>Smile Train</h3> <p>Smile Train is a global children’s charity that works to help children with cleft lip and palate repair. In 2015, it launched a campaign inspired by popular baby memes, using the approach as a way of appealing to and engaging millennials.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9813/Smile_Train.JPG" alt="" width="616" height="299"></p> <p>Instead of the typical marketing used by this kind of charity, which often involves graphic and upsetting imagery, Smile Train used a light-hearted and relatable message to encourage donations. The campaign saw nine-month-old Walter going on a ‘smile strike’ in sympathy with afflicted children around the world. </p> <p>With the hashtag #seriousbaby, the campaign was deliberately designed to be shareable, capitalising on the idea that young people are more likely to do so when something is humorous or entertaining. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9814/Smile_Train_2.JPG" alt="" width="607" height="296"></p> <h3>Denny’s</h3> <p>Denny’s is well-known for its off-the-wall social media content, characterised by memes, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68745-five-examples-of-brands-using-emojis-in-marketing-campaigns" target="_blank">emojis</a> and internet slang.</p> <p>In March, it jumped on the ‘zoom in’ trend, with a meme that asks users to zoom in on particular parts of an image, before revealing hidden messages and the eventual punchline: “Has this distracted you from overwhelming existential dread lol”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">zoom in on the syrup <a href="https://t.co/omRBupjrXq">pic.twitter.com/omRBupjrXq</a></p> — Denny's (@DennysDiner) <a href="https://twitter.com/DennysDiner/status/837041513649606656?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 1, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The meme has generated 122,152 retweets and 172,548 likes to date, making it one of the most-shared brand tweets ever. The reason it generated so much engagement is that it was fresh and original at the time, with Denny’s being one of the first brands to jump on the zoom trend. </p> <p>Meanwhile, instead of coming across as inauthentic or try-hard, it’s perfectly aligned with the brand’s social strategy – something that consumers have come to expect.  </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">this pancake is not ripe enough to eat yet <a href="https://t.co/V1Sgsugafr">pic.twitter.com/V1Sgsugafr</a></p> — Denny's (@DennysDiner) <a href="https://twitter.com/DennysDiner/status/912731467083546624?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 26, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Hipchat</h3> <p>Start-up company Hipchat showed just how popular memes have become when it used a viral online image in an offline advertising campaign.</p> <p>It put a spin on the “Y U NO guy” meme for a billboard in San Francisco, cleverly capturing the attention of internet-savvy consumers as they drove by. This example is arguably a little lazy, merely jumping on another trend rather than creating anything particularly clever of its own. However, its context is what makes it clever, with the combination of an offline medium and an online phenomenon resulting in a refreshing ad.</p> <p>It worked too, with reports suggesting that search traffic for HipChat went up 300% when the billboard appeared.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9815/Hipchat.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="498"></p> <p>So what can we learn from these examples? Here are a few key takeaways.</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Memes can be hit and miss.</strong> Like newsjacking or <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67886-word-on-the-street-four-tips-for-using-slang-in-marketing" target="_blank">slang</a> in marketing, it's important to recognise the potential pitfalls of jumping on the meme trend. Simply put, it might make a huge splash or die a death within days. </li> <li> <strong>A meme can shake up marketing</strong>. However, like Gucci shows, memes can be used as part of a creative and innovative campaign – as long as it involves more than overlaying a funny caption on Grumpy Cat.</li> <li> <strong>Using memes can further engagement. </strong>Memes are so popular because they are an inherently shareable form of content. And as the Denny's example demonstrates, they can further flesh out a brand's humorous and quirky image.</li> </ol> <p><em><strong>Now read:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69505-eight-effective-examples-of-quizzes-in-content-marketing" target="_blank">Eight effective examples of quizzes in content marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65318-why-do-we-love-memes-i-haz-teh-ansur" target="_blank">Why do we love memes? I haz teh ansur</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69516 2017-10-23T09:26:00+01:00 2017-10-23T09:26:00+01:00 10 important digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Now, let’s get cracking.</p> <h3>Snapchat and Instagram ad spend up 73% and 55%</h3> <p>New data from 4C Insights has revealed that ad spend was up for both Snapchat and Instagram in Q3 2017, rising 73% and 55% respectively.</p> <p>There was a rise in paid media spend across the board, with a 31% quarterly increase on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat.</p> <p>Instagram Stories remains a particularly strong channel, generating 220% year-on-year spend growth. Elsewhere, Facebook ad spend grew 27%, travel sector spend on Twitter surged 250% for the quarter, and ad spend on Pinterest grew 33% over the course of the year.</p> <h3>60% of speciality retailers offer loyalty programs compared to 22% of brands</h3> <p>A new report by <a href="https://astoundcommerce.com/us/specialty/">Astound Commerce</a> suggests that specialty retailers are outperforming brands in almost all omnichannel categories.</p> <p>First, 60% of specialty retailers offer programs to inspire customer loyalty, while only 22% of brands have these capabilities. Second, ensuring prices are consistent across channels is more complicated for retailers with many different brands, yet 37% offer these capabilities compared to only 6% of global brands.</p> <p>Lastly, three in four specialty retailers have a mobile app, while less than a quarter of brands can say the same.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9797/Loyalty.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="323"></p> <h3>More than half of Brits plan to buy Christmas gifts online</h3> <p>The latest <a href="https://www.salesforce.com/uk/form/industries/connected-shopper-report-2017.jsp?nc=7010M000000uIke&amp;d=7010M000002MOCH" target="_blank">report</a> from Salesforce suggests that the majority of Brits will be shopping online this Christmas. It found that 56% (or nearly three out of five Brits) plan to do half or more of their holiday shopping via the internet.</p> <p>Alongside a frustrating in-store customer experience, this could be due to online shopping allowing consumers to become increasingly informed. So much so that 56% of Brits claim to typically know more about a product than the store employee.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9793/Salesforce.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="216"></p> <h3>Nearly one in seven companies unprepared for GDPR</h3> <p><a href="https://dma.org.uk/research/the-gdpr-and-you-chapter-four" target="_blank">DMA research</a> has revealed that 15% of companies still have no plan in place to be ready for the new GDPR laws by May 2018.</p> <p>While 77% of marketers now rate their awareness as ‘good’, and 74% describe themselves as feeling somewhat or extremely prepared for the changes, this drops to 58% when it comes to their organisation being ready. </p> <p>Meanwhile, it also appears as if worries are increasing as time goes on. 42% of marketers now feel their business will be “very affected” by the new laws and a further 22% feel they will be “extremely affected”. Lastly, 65% of those surveyed agree that the GDPR will be a hindrance to their marketing.</p> <p><em>Check out our hub page to learn more about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">how GDPR will affect marketers</a>.</em></p> <h3>98% of UK consumers believe in ‘bad personalisation’ </h3> <p>Research by Sitecore and <a href="https://www.vansonbourne.com/client-research/14121601jd" target="_blank">Vanson Bourne</a> has found that brands are failing to use customer data to deliver relevant and personalised customer experiences. In fact, a whopping 98% of UK consumers say that they believe ‘bad personalisation’ exists, with a further 66% believing brands are using out-of-date information about them.</p> <p>While brands say they’re collecting eight different types of data about online customers, 18% of them recognise that they lack the skills needed to properly use or analyse the data collected. </p> <p>Meanwhile, 42% don’t have the capabilities to integrate data collection and only 18% have the ability to collect online data on an individual (vs. consumer segment) level.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9791/Sitecore.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="618"></p> <h3>Click and Collect is driving additional in-store sales</h3> <p>A new report by <a href="http://now.jda.com/European-Customer-Pulse-Report-EMEA.html?srcid=jda-pr" target="_blank">JDA &amp; Centiro</a> suggests that click &amp; collect can be a pivotal driver for additional in-store sales. In a survey of more than 8,000 consumers across the UK, Germany, France and Sweden, 24% of European adults said that they have bought additional products while picking up their item from a physical retail store.</p> <p>UK consumers are particularly ahead of the curve in this area. 54% of UK shoppers say they have used it in the last year, compared to 42% for the European average.</p> <p>Despite this growing convenience, however, many consumers are still reporting frustrations over the online shopping experience. 55% of European adults say they have experienced a problem with an online order at some point in the last 12 months.</p> <h3>Consumers in developed countries are more suspicious of brands</h3> <p>Kantar TNS’s latest research has revealed that consumers in the UK and US are growing increasingly suspicious of brands, while those in emerging countries are more accepting of brand content and messaging.</p> <p>In China and Nigeria, 57% and 54% of consumers trust big global brands, however this falls significantly in developed markets like the USA and France, where just 21% and 15% trust big global brands.</p> <p>This ‘consumer trust divide’ was highlighted in a survey of 70,000 people across 56 countries. It also found that many consumers are choosing privacy over convenience, with 43% of global consumers objecting to connected devices monitoring their activities – even if it makes their lives easier.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9792/Kantar.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="390"></p> <h3>Majority of users happy with Twitter’s longer format</h3> <p>How do people feel about Twitter’s new 280-character limit?</p> <p>According to a survey by <a href="https://morningconsult.com/2017/10/13/u-s-adults-likely-favor-twitters-280-character-expansion/" target="_blank">Morning Consult</a>, people are largely positive, with 41% of users aged 18-29 responding well to the change, and just 14% expressing reservations.</p> <p>Similarly, 30% were somewhat supportive of longer-format tweets, while 17% said the increased character limit made them more likely to tweet themselves. 20% also agreed that they would be more likely to check Twitter for news about current events as a result of the change.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9796/Twitter.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="579"></p> <h3>Adspend on video ads overtake banners ads</h3> <p>The <a href="https://www.iabuk.net/research/digital-adspend" target="_blank">Internet Advertising Bureau UK</a> has reported that in the first half of the 2017, advertisers spent more on video ads than banner ads for the first time.</p> <p>Total digital adspend grew 13.8% to £5.56bn in the first six months of the year compared to the same period a year earlier. However, spending on online video ads grew at 46% to reach £699m, while spend on banner ads slowed to just 2%, reaching £685m.</p> <p>Video is now said to be the fastest-growing ad format, accounting for 35% of all spend going on display advertising. Meanwhile, display advertising as a whole grew 18% to £2bn.</p> <h3>Consumers think brands have a responsibility to break gender stereotypes</h3> <p>Finally, a <a href="http://blog.choozle.com/category/other/">Choozle</a> survey has delved into consumer sentiment on the usage of gender stereotypes in digital advertising, and whether or not it affects purchasing decisions.</p> <p>The results indicate that consumers feel it should be the brand’s responsibility to break down gender stereotypes, with 37% of people agreeing that the industry should not use them.</p> <p>Similarly, 36% of respondents said they like a brand more when it runs advertisements that break stereotypes and 25% said they are more likely to purchase from that brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9799/Gender_stereotypes.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="378"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69479 2017-10-09T14:30:00+01:00 2017-10-09T14:30:00+01:00 A beginner's guide to Facebook Custom Audiences Patricio Robles <p>Here's a look at the different Custom Audiences that Facebook allows marketers to create and some tips to get the most out of Custom Audiences.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Customer File</h3> <p>As the name suggests, a Custom Audience from your Customer File allows marketers to target their existing customers by uploading a list of its customers. This list typically contains unique customer contact information, such as an email address or phone number, but can also include other attributes, such as name, ZIP code, age and date of birth.</p> <p>With this information, Facebook attempts to identify customers who have Facebook accounts so that they can be targeted.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Website</h3> <p>Custom Audiences from your Website allow marketers to retarget Facebook ads to Facebook users who have visited and interacted with their websites. </p> <p>To start, the Facebook Pixel is added to a website, which allows Facebook to track users and match them to their Facebook accounts. To assist with matching, marketers have the option of configuring the Facebook Pixel to have access to information like the user's email address, where available.</p> <p>Once the Facebook Pixel is in place, marketers can create one or more Custom Audiences based on rules (and combinations of rules) that look at users' behavior on the website. For example, marketers can target users who have visited the website within the past X days, who have visited at a certain frequency or who visited specific pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9439/18761933_133200927235063_2653394198052470784_n.png" alt="" width="523" height="495"></p> <p>Marketers can also target users based on events that were tracked by the Facebook Pixel. For example, a Custom Audience could be built for users who added a product to cart, abandoned their cart or completed a purchase.</p> <p>Custom Audiences from your Website is one of the most powerful tools in the Facebook marketer's toolbox. Retailers frequently use it to retarget users who previously demonstrated interest in specific products. Real estate agents use it to retarget to users whose website behavior suggests they might be interested in a specific property. Professional sports teams use it to target previous ticket buyers. And so on and so forth.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Mobile App</h3> <p>Lots of companies have developed mobile apps, but mobile apps present numerous challenges for marketers. Specifically, acquiring app users can be a costly proposition and retention is notoriously difficult.</p> <p>To help marketers address these challenges, Facebook offers marketers the ability to retarget users of their mobile apps through Custom Audiences from your Mobile App. </p> <p>This functions a lot like Custom Audiences from your Website except that these Custom Audiences consist of users who have interacted with a marketer's native mobile app.</p> <p>Custom Audiences from your Mobile App takes advantage of Apple's IDFA (“identifier for advertisers”), Google's Android Advertising ID or Facebook's App User ID to match mobile app users to Facebook accounts.</p> <p>To help marketers create Custom Audiences that are meaningful, Facebook offers a set of standard app events that can be used to target users who have engaged with an app in a particular fashion. For example, standard app events offered to retailers include <em>Search</em>, <em>Add to Cart</em> and <em>Initiate Checkout</em>, while standard app events offered to game developers include <em>Completed Tutorial</em>, <em>Level Achieved</em> and <em>Achievement Unlocked</em>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9486/custom_audiences.png" alt="custom audiences" width="550"></p> <h3>Engagement Custom Audiences</h3> <p>While off-Facebook engagement is obviously important to many if not most marketers, many marketers are highly active on the world's largest social network and therefore might have reasons to target users based on how they interact with them on Facebook.</p> <p>To do that, Facebook offers Engagement Custom Audiences, which allows marketers to build Custom Audiences around on-Facebook interactions related to videos, lead forms, Pages, Canvases, events and Instagram business profile.</p> <p>Depending on the interaction type, Facebook offers marketers the ability to target users who have taken or haven't taken specific actions. For instance, when creating a Custom Audience for users who have interacted with a lead form, marketers can specify a specific lead form. They can also choose to specifically target users who interacted with it in the past X days and either submitted or didn't submit the form.</p> <h3>Custom Audiences from your Store Visits</h3> <p>Facebook's latest Custom Audience offering could prove to be one of its most interesting for businesses that have physical locations.</p> <p>As the name suggests, Custom Audiences from your Store Visits allows marketers to create Custom Audiences consisting of Facebook users who visited one or more of their physical locations. </p> <p>Facebook appears to automatically identify users based on its ability to track their physical movements through the Facebook App. As MarketingLand <a href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-tests-targeting-ads-people-visited-brands-brick-mortar-stores-221585">notes</a>, this is “the same method that Facebook has employed when targeting ads to people near an advertiser’s chosen location and when estimating how many store visits were driven by a brand’s Facebook campaign.”</p> <p>If eventually rolled out widely, Custom Audiences from your Store Visits will give lots of businesses – from local mom-and-pop shops to large, national retailers – the ability to connect the online and offline worlds and reach out to the people who have engaged with them in the real world.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9487/custom_store_visits.jpg" alt="store visits custom audiences" width="600"></p> <h3>Custom Audience Tips and Tricks</h3> <p>While Custom Audiences in all their forms have great potential, there are a number of ways that marketers can maximize the value they get from creating Custom Audiences. These include the use of:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Lookalike Audiences.</strong> Perhaps the biggest bonus to using Custom Audiences is that Facebook can use them to create audiences of users who are similar to the Custom Audiences. This gives marketers the ability to target ads to users who might be more interested in their products and services.</li> <li> <strong>Household Audiences.</strong> In addition to Lookalike Audiences, Facebook also gives marketers the ability to target individuals who it determines are members of the same household as Custom Audience users. This feature, which was unveiled this year, <a href="http://www.adweek.com/digital/facebook-will-soon-let-brands-target-ads-at-entire-families-or-specific-people-within-households/">is pitched</a> by Facebook as a means to “[influence] across the family.”</li> <li> <strong>Targeting.</strong> When creating an ad campaign for a Custom Audience, Facebook offers the ability to further target members of the Custom Audience based on characteristics such as location, age, gender and interests. While marketers should be wary of over-targeting, highly-segmented campaigns based on Custom Audiences can be very powerful when used wisely.</li> </ul> <p>There are also a number of potential gotchas marketers employing Custom Audiences should be aware of. </p> <p>One of the biggest is the potential for overlap when targeting ads to multiple Custom Audiences. Fortunately, Facebook offers an Audience Overlap Tool for determining how much overlap there is between multiple audiences. Armed with this knowledge, marketers can make adjustments to ensure their campaigns aren't being negatively impacted.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9440/13910710_1060868077338367_721590579_n.png" alt="" width="562" height="277"></p> <p>Another caveat, particularly for smaller businesses, is that it can be more difficult to achieve the best results when dealing with very small Custom Audiences. In this case, it's important for marketers using Custom Audiences from your Customer File to ensure that they're uploading refreshed customer files frequently as their customer numbers grow. </p> <p>It can often be advantageous for marketers working with smaller Custom Audiences to look at using Lookalike and Household Audiences.</p> <p><em><strong>For more on paid social media, subscribers can download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-social-media-advertising/">Paid Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3247 2017-09-08T11:13:37+01:00 2017-09-08T11:13:37+01:00 Mini Masters in Digital Marketing Online <p>If you want to accelerate your career to take a leadership role as a professional digital marketer then the Econsultancy Mini Masters in Digital Marketing is the course that will give you the practical and strategic skills to step up.</p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">Econsultancy’s Mini Masters is taught online with intensive, challenging, interactive modules taught by the very best in the business. Formalise your existing skills, and come away with the confidence that you really know your stuff – and how to prove it at the highest level. </p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"><strong>Book your place now! Next course dates are in April and October 2018.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3246 2017-09-08T11:02:07+01:00 2017-09-08T11:02:07+01:00 Mini Masters in Digital Marketing Online <p>If you want to accelerate your career to take a leadership role as a professional digital marketer then the Econsultancy Mini Masters in Digital Marketing is the course that will give you the practical and strategic skills to step up.</p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;">Econsultancy’s Mini Masters is taught online with intensive, challenging, interactive modules taught by the very best in the business. Formalise your existing skills, and come away with the confidence that you really know your stuff – and how to prove it at the highest level. </p> <p style="background-image: initial; background-position: initial; background-size: initial; background-repeat: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial;"><strong>Book your place now! Next course dates are in April and October 2018.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4583 2017-09-05T12:42:00+01:00 2017-09-05T12:42:00+01:00 Snapchat: How brands are getting creative on the service <p><em>Snapchat: How brands are getting creative on the service</em> looks at how leading brands are using image sharing and messaging service Snapchat in <strong>creative and pioneering ways</strong>.</p> <p>Launching in 2011, Snapchat now has more than 166m daily active users, and is particularly popular among younger users (Generation Z and millennials). This, along with its <strong>highly visual interface and storytelling tools</strong>, make the mobile-first platform attractive to marketers looking to <strong>engage younger audiences</strong>.</p> <p>This report offers valuable insight into just some of the ways marketers can use Snapchat's features, and should give some indication of the importance of <strong>'mobile moments'</strong> to marketing and engagement in the future.</p> <h2><strong>What you'll learn</strong></h2> <ul> <li>About River Island’s use of location-based in-store filters</li> <li>How the Electoral Commission used the service in an attempt to drive registrations among young voters</li> <li>About Marriott’s foray into creating ‘Snapisodes’</li> <li>How luxury fashion house Burberry has experimented with offering exclusive Snapchat content</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4581 2017-09-05T10:33:00+01:00 2017-09-05T10:33:00+01:00 Adidas: New rules of social engagement <p><em>Adidas: New rules of social engagement</em> is part of a series of brand strategy briefings examining the marketing strategies and tactics of the most popular and searched-for brands. As part of this series, Econsultancy curates a selection of brand case studies and stories to help you improve your modern marketing efforts.</p> <p>Adidas understands the need for existing and new customers to have <strong>meaningful experiences</strong>, whether they are coming to the brand from a fashion perspective or with a more serious interest in health and fitness. To engage these different types of <strong>digitally agile customers</strong>, adidas crafts <strong>social campaigns both across visible platforms and dark networks</strong>, which we consider in this Brand Strategy Briefing.</p> <h2><strong>What you'll learn</strong></h2> <ul> <li>Insight from adidas’ VP of Digital Strategy and Delivery, Joseph Godsey, on how the brand is creating valuable customer experiences via social</li> <li>Adidas’ recent activity using dark social</li> <li>How the brand is combining chatbot technology with Facebook Messenger to engage consumers</li> <li>Specific social media wins from the adidas Originals team</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69320 2017-08-10T09:44:00+01:00 2017-08-10T09:44:00+01:00 Six superb social media marketing campaigns from the past 12 months Nikki Gilliland <h3>Worldwide Breast Cancer - #KnowYourLemons</h3> <p>Viral videos and images are ten a penny, but while they’re largely funny or entertaining, it’s not often that they’re educational. At the beginning of this year, an image of lemons started to gain traction on social media, which turned out to be part of Worldwide Breast Cancer’s #knowyourlemons campaign.</p> <p>Designed by the founder of the charity, Corrine Beaumont, the image serves as a visual metaphor for signs of breast cancer. Each lemon shows a symptom such as dimpling of the skin or indentation – alerting people to the lesser-known signs of the disease. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fworldwidebreastcancer%2Fposts%2F1489882171043949&amp;width=500" width="500" height="570"></iframe></p> <h4>Why did it work?</h4> <p>Where <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69132-how-cancer-research-is-using-smart-technology-to-drive-fundraising" target="_blank">other cancer campaigns</a> might drive fundraising or raise awareness about the topic, #knowyourlemons informed people about exactly what to look for.</p> <p>By taking a common, everyday item such as a lemon and using it to convey a serious message, the campaign cleverly captured the attention of the public with just a single image. </p> <p>The campaign was deliberately designed to break down taboos, taking away possible embarrassment or fear about the topic, and targeting women who might otherwise avoid graphic imagery or feel uncomfortable talking about their breasts. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fworldwidebreastcancer%2Fposts%2F1536554793043353%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="466"></iframe></p> <h4>The results</h4> <p>While the image was already generating interest, it went viral after cancer survivor Erin Smith Chieze shared it alongside a message detailing her own experience. From there, it has gone on to be shared more than 45,000 times, with 166m people seeing the image in the space of just three weeks.</p> <p>Now, the campaign is being used by over 1,000 global education partners, in over 70 countries and in 17 different languages.</p> <h3>Salt Bae</h3> <p>Social media marketing doesn’t always come from established organisations or big brands. Occasionally, it can originate from the unlikeliest of places. </p> <p>Take ‘Salt Bae’ for example, or Nusret Gökçe – the co-owner of restaurant chain Nusr-et Steakhouse in Turkey. Earlier this year, he posted a quick Instagram video showing off his knife skills and flamboyant seasoning style, leading to the video going viral and being turned into one of the most popular memes of the year.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/J5GGG0PaSe4?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>Why did it work?</h4> <p>There’s nothing particularly strategic about this example, however, that’s exactly what has contributed to its success. With zero budget and a complete lack of planning, Nusret is the antithesis of a large-scale social media campaign – showing that anyone can harness the instantaneous power of platforms like Instagram.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When you double tap someone's pic then realize they never like any of your stuff <a href="https://t.co/A5HXrNvBWc">pic.twitter.com/A5HXrNvBWc</a></p> — #SaltBae Memes (@SaltBaeMemes) <a href="https://twitter.com/SaltBaeMemes/status/836607984830672900">February 28, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4>The results</h4> <p>In just 48 hours, the original ‘salt bae’ video generated 2.4m views and 8,700 comments. Since, it has gone on to exceed 15m, with the chef now reaching 8.6m followers on his Instagram channel.</p> <p>The campaign has generated so much interest that it has also allowed Nusret to expand his restaurant business, with the chef announcing plans to launch restaurants in both the US and UK.</p> <h3>Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them</h3> <p>Movie marketing is no longer just about trailers or celebrity appearances. Since Deadpool’s highly successful guerrilla campaign, movie studios are ramping up online activity to increase excitement in the run up to release.</p> <p>Last year, Warner Brothers partnered with a number of social media platforms as part of its multichannel campaign for Fantastic Beasts – the much-anticipated Harry Potter spin-off. It used <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67808-10-pioneering-examples-of-brands-using-facebook-live/" target="_blank">Facebook Live</a> to stream Q&amp;As with the cast, and launched special emojis on Twitter. However, the most interesting parts of the campaign involved work with Amazon and Google.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8163/Amazon_HP.JPG" alt="" width="560" height="366"></p> <p>Tapping into the Harry Potter fandom, Amazon created a special hack that allowed visitors to ‘cast spells’ from the series when typing in words like ‘lumos’ or ‘incendio’ into the search bar. Elsewhere, Google launched a special VR experience for its Daydream headset, allowing users to experience what it is like to be inside Newt Scamander’s study. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I played the Fantastic Beasts VR game on the Google Pixel and it was SO fun and I am low key a wizard.</p> — Lauren Zimmer (@laurenthenerd) <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenthenerd/status/830496809315217408">February 11, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4>Why did it work?</h4> <p>Warner Brothers <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69285-five-great-examples-of-integrated-brand-partnerships-online">used content partnerships</a> to reach a wider audience, helping to build momentum and excitement online. Instead of focusing on just one medium – such as live video – its use of VR, custom emojis and creative animation meant that social media users were able to discover content depending on their platform of choice.</p> <h4>The results</h4> <p>With over 3m fans on its Facebook page, Fantastic Beasts certainly amassed a large social following. Brandwatch found that Fantastic Beasts generated over 70,000 social mentions on the day of its UK release.</p> <p>Of course, the real proof of success for Warner Brothers is in terms of tickets sold. And despite lower than expected numbers in both the UK and US, the movie has now earned $800m worldwide, leading to the franchise expanding from three to a total of five films.</p> <h3>Airbnb – We Are Here</h3> <p>With its ‘Live there’ campaign, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68225-10-examples-of-great-airbnb-marketing-creative" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> already established itself as a brand that offers more than just accommodation. Last November, it also integrated trips and experiences into its app – marking the launch with a one-off Facebook Live event called ‘We Are Here’.</p> <p>Over the course of 24 hours, Airbnb used the platform to live-stream unique experiences around the world, including surfing in LA and street dancing in Seoul. Each video was filmed from a first-person point of view to enable the viewer to feel like they were actually there, while allowing them to interact and engage via the comments in real time. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fairbnb%2Fvideos%2F10154738417987458%2F&amp;show_text=0&amp;width=560" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h4>Why did it work?</h4> <p>By using Facebook Live, Airbnb managed to create an experiential campaign that brought together millions of people from around the world at one time. It also allowed viewers to have a direct impact on the experience, with comments and user-interaction steering content. </p> <p>While other video platforms like YouTube and Periscope also allow live streaming, Facebook’s massive reach and targeting features means that it is one of the most effective channels – allowing Airbnb to tap into a highly engaged audience. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8164/Airbnb.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="340"></p> <h4>The results</h4> <p>Six million people participated in Airbnb’s We Are Here campaign in just 24 hours. As well as high level of interaction on the day itself, the campaign also generated a 22-point lift in ad recall and a seven-point lift in brand favourability. </p> <h3>Nintendo Switch</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68060-what-brands-can-learn-from-nintendo-s-digital-transformation-and-pokemon-go/" target="_blank">Nintendo</a> released a three-minute trailer for its new Switch console last October – kicking off a marketing campaign that largely concentrated on digital and social activity. </p> <p>In order to make Nintendo relevant again (post-Wii), the brand executed a guerrilla strategy in the run up to release. First came the trailer, which resulted in over 10m views in the US within the first 48 hours, as well as 75,000 likes and just under 65,000 retweets in the same period.  </p> <p>Following on from that, Nintendo President Reggie Fils-Aimé unveiled the console on Tonight with Jimmy Fallon – a show that already gets huge amounts of views and shares via its YouTube channel.</p> <p>Marketing activity for the Switch continued with celebrity endorsement from wrestling star John Cena, and a much-anticipated Super Bowl commercial in February.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/f5uik5fgIaI?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>Why did it work?  </h4> <p>From October to March, Nintendo created a trickle effect, carefully ramping up excitement with the release of each ad or online video. Unlike its former campaign for the Wii, which was marred by confusion over the actual functionality and features of the console itself, Switch’s USP was clearly promoted.</p> <p>By capitalising on the shareable nature of online video content, as well as the influence of personalities like Jimmy Fallon and John Cena, Nintendo ensured its message reached a large audience.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Starting my day with <a href="https://twitter.com/NintendoAmerica">@NintendoAmerica</a> and the new <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NintendoSwitch?src=hash">#NintendoSwitch</a>. Who's ready for some <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Zelda?src=hash">#Zelda</a>: Breath of the Wild? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ad?src=hash">#ad</a> <a href="https://t.co/UO8piJ2Atf">pic.twitter.com/UO8piJ2Atf</a></p> — John Cena (@JohnCena) <a href="https://twitter.com/JohnCena/status/834855042037473280">February 23, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4>The results</h4> <p>Nintendo recently announced that it had sold 4.7m Switch consoles by the end of June. The company also earned a reported $1.37bn in revenue, an increase of 149% over the same quarter last year. </p> <p>With $190m profit, which was primarily down to the Switch, it's likely that the social campaign has contributed to success.</p> <p><em><strong>Come to the <a href="https://goo.gl/nJMlTI">Festival of Marketing</a> in London on October 4/5 to hear from social media experts from brands including Diageo, JustEat and Thomson Reuters.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69315 2017-08-07T12:15:00+01:00 2017-08-07T12:15:00+01:00 Love Island 2017: Is this the future of influencer marketing? Dave Trolle <p>This year, ITV2’s Love Island took to our screens for the third year running. Those that know their reality TV (and admittedly there’s a few in the Summit office) will be aware that Celebrity Love Island started way back in 2005. Although the show only ran for two seasons, it came back with a bang in 2015 with a non-celebrity line up and Caroline Flack at the helm as host.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8152/love_island.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="119"></p> <p>For those who haven’t seen the show, the premise involves single contestants entering a villa with the aim of coupling up. To get their hands on the £50,000 prize money, they must then convince the public that their love is true.</p> <p>As the last three series have evolved, so has the programme’s popularity. A record 2.4m viewers tuned in for the finale on Monday night; up 1.3m from last year’s figures. But what is it that has increased the interest of the show’s audience and for many, made the show 100% their type on paper?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8146/google_trends_love_island.png" alt="" width="650" height="243"></p> <p><em>Google searches for ‘Love Island’ over the last three years. Source: Google Trends </em></p> <h3> <strong>Shareable content</strong> </h3> <p>In a world where we are bombarded by content from the moment we wake up until we put our head on the pillow at night, content really is everywhere we look. Whether it's reading an article shared by a friend on Facebook, watching a recipe on YouTube or downloading your favourite podcast, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/content-marketing-and-strategy">content marketing</a> has the power to resonate with an audience on every level. </p> <p>Content that is tailored to an audience’s interests does not always need to lead with a promotional motive, but should cater to what the audience is looking for, even if they don’t know what they are looking for at that moment in time. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7937/Love_island_image_Blazin_1.jpg" alt="" width="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7938/Love_island_image_Blazin_2.jpg" alt="" width="250"> </p> <p><em>@LoveIslandNot Twitter Account &amp; Love Island App</em></p> <p>Over the last few months, Love Island has spawned a huge amount of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67547-10-excellent-examples-of-user-generated-content-in-marketing-campaigns">user-generated content</a> in the form of memes. These images or videos with humorous accompanying text made fun of the quotes or scenarios that played out in the popular show.</p> <p>Many memes have gone on to be made into products, helping ITV make additional profit and further the programme’s messaging by providing consumers the opportunity to buy products in the Love Island app. </p> <p> <img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7939/Love_island_app_1.png.jpg" alt="" width="250"><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7940/Love_island_app_2.jpg" alt="" width="250"></p> <p><em>Love Island App</em></p> <p>Over the last few years, memes have become a significant part of how content is shared online. In many instances, memes create an inclusive group for consumers. This can be attributed to an increase in viewing figures as audiences become inquisitive and look to join up dots from the content they see online with offline media such as television. After all, no one who scrolls through their Instagram or Twitter feed wants to feel like they are missing out on the joke.</p> <p>TV content has been shown to prompt an increase in related online searches, and the tendency of audiences to browse on their phones and tablets while simultaneously watching television creates an opportunity for online advertisers to capitalise. Increasing online activity during opportune moments is likely to yield an increase in revenue.</p> <p>The benefit of this type of user-generated content is that it puts the consumer first. They are in the driving seat and producing the content being shared. When attributing this type of content to the <a href="http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/10/kraft-content-marketing/" target="_blank">KRAFT model</a>, its perishable and executional nature mean it reaches its desired audience in a real-time and opportunistic way, having a great impact at the time of distribution.</p> <p>This type of content gets shared all around the country in a matter of minutes, all the while further building the Love Island brand.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8147/Julie_Fleischer_s_KRAFT_Model.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="373"> </p> <p><em>Julie Fleischer’s KRAFT Model</em></p> <h3><strong>Understanding your audience</strong></h3> <p>Over 7.2m #LoveIsland tweets were created during the seven weeks over which the show aired this summer. With A-lister fans including Stormzy and Liam Gallagher (who even admitted to missing the first night of Glastonbury to tune into his favourite show), the show has gone from strength to strength in pulling in a large and varied audience. </p> <p>With ratings plummeting for shows such as X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, audiences are looking for new forms of reality TV to quench their thirst. With less of a focus on staged scenes (although we’re not naïve enough to believe Love Island is a documentary) the programme incorporates modern forms of media to entertain and create a sense of relatability.</p> <p>Mobile phones are used by contestants on each show (“I’ve got a text!”) and audience participation - such as creating tweets - is featured in challenges, which adds a further sense of inclusion.  </p> <h3><strong>Influencer marketing</strong></h3> <p>In a saturated market where brands continually struggle against competitors in order to be seen by their audiences, influencer marketing can be the golden bullet in a brand’s strategy.</p> <p>Influencers, for those who do not know, are individuals who have a large social following on a particular platform. By working with influencers, brands are able to target specific groups and individuals rather than a market as a whole.</p> <p>Marketing to your audience has increasingly become about specificity and identity. If consumers can identify with products based on their own interests, such as reality TV, they are more likely to feel inclined to buy. Products that are ‘on trend’, such as slogan t-shirts or water bottles, allow the consumer to say ‘I’m part of this group and I know what’s popular!’</p> <p>But what influencer marketing does, which in itself is unique, is it allows the audience to identify with that person. <a href="https://www.tapinfluence.com/influencer-marketing-statistics/" target="_blank">49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions</a>, highlighting the opportunity for brands to further their reach.</p> <p>With the sponsorship deals rolling in for this year’s contestants now they’ve left the island, it is no wonder that brands are making the most of their new-found fame. With viewing figures as impressive as they were for the programme, <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40204228" target="_blank">a mainly female (67.4%) audience with many falling into the under 35s (63.6%)</a> category, it is a perfect opportunity for brands to reach their target audience by aligning with social platforms such as Instagram, which mirror the audience demographic.</p> <p>Although these numbers are important, it's key to understand that an influencer’s content must work in line with a brand’s overall messaging in order to be authentic and encourage a desired action (e.g. sales).</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7943/Instagram_demographics.jpg" alt="" width="657" height="650"></p> <p><em style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://napoleoncat.com/blog/en/instagram-user-demographics-in-united-kingdom-march-2017/">Instagram Demographics – Napoleon Cat March 2017</a></em></p> <h3>Instagram Demographics – Napoleon Cat March 2017</h3> <p>Digital marketing expert <a href="https://considerableinfluence.com/blog/really-influences-customers/" target="_blank">Jay Baer</a> says ‘true influence drives action, not just awareness.’ While social media influencers may have thousands or millions of followers, if they are not the right fit for your audience it will not drive customers towards your brand, but rather in the other direction.</p> <p>Influencer marketing used as part of a wider digital marketing mix can have a dramatic impact on a brand’s overall objectives. Ultimately, consumers have the option to tune in or tune out of what is put in front of them, making it crucial the right voice is chosen for your audience.</p> <p>It is worth noting it is not always those who shout the loudest, but who have the most engaged audience, who reap the rewards. The <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69161-micro-influencers-how-to-find-the-right-fit-for-your-brand">rise of the micro-influencer</a> has been a key discussion topic of 2017, and this shows no sign of slowing down. Working with influencers who charge less and yet are just as effective is a way for brands to generate a high return for a minimum investment.</p> <p>The future of influencer marketing ultimately comes down to brands remaining authentic with who they choose to represent their brand and building influencer relationships that will last longer than just a social post. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, download these Econsultancy reports:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/measuring-roi-on-influencer-marketing"><em>Measuring ROI on Influencer Marketing</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/"><em>The Rise of Influencers</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer"><em>The Voice of the Influencer</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69153 2017-06-15T13:00:00+01:00 2017-06-15T13:00:00+01:00 How big brands coped with social media crises Nikki Gilliland <p>Social media crises can occur for a variety of reasons, ranging from accidental Tweets to massively misjudged marketing campaigns. And as we all know, they can spiral out of control incredibly fast. As a result, it’s important for brands to create a plan of action, including guidelines on how to act and respond both publically and internally. </p> <p>You can use Econsultancy’s new <a href="http://hello.econsultancy.com/socialmediacrisis/" target="_blank">Social Simulator tool</a> to test your own crisis plan. Meanwhile, here’s a bit of analysis on how some of the biggest brands in the world have reacted in the face of a social media storm, and why their strategies did or did not work.</p> <h3>British Airways</h3> <p>Brands often use social media to update or apologise to customers about a problematic service. This also means brands open themselves up to a surge of criticism – with users taking the opportunity to reply saying exactly what they think. </p> <p>British Airways recently took this approach in response to an IT failure that grounded hundreds of passengers in Heathrow and Gatwick, tweeting a video of chief executive Alex Cruz saying sorry.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="und" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/E7B5im0C09">pic.twitter.com/E7B5im0C09</a></p> — British Airways (@British_Airways) <a href="https://twitter.com/British_Airways/status/868520211976212480">May 27, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Instead of curbing further reaction, the tweet generated a fresh wave of anger from disgruntled passengers, mostly complaining that they had been told very little otherwise. In turn, this made British Airways’ apology appear cursory – as if a single tweet would make up for the hours customers spent waiting for help and information. Combined with unanswered questions about the cause of the IT failure (and the suggestion that it was human error) – BA has been the subject of huge criticism on social and in mainstream media coverage.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Speaking as someone who was at Heathrow all morning, people aren't annoyed at the IT failure. They're annoyed about being kept in the dark.</p> — Jamie McConnell (@jsm) <a href="https://twitter.com/jsm/status/868531294967398400">May 27, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>The question now is whether the current feeling will impact the airline’s reputation in the long-term. But could BA have prevented such a profoundly negative response? It seems unlikely considering the sheer scale of the inconvenience and annoyance caused by the problem, however the brand’s late and lacklustre response on social media has done nothing to help. </p> <p>Instead of using the medium in the moment of crisis - to respond and stay on top of customer queries - BA has largely been using it apologise way after the issue has occurred. Certainly not the best way to use social media for customer service, at <em>any</em> given time, let alone in the face of a huge crisis.</p> <p>Better or indeed heavier resource planning would have allowed British Airways to respond to user queries in the moment of customer need - even if there was no real update at that time. After all, it is better to respond to a question in any way possible rather than leave people hanging, with the latter only resulting in further criticism.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We're sorry you've been without your bag, Nelson. We hope you've now been reunited. ^Alex</p> — British Airways (@British_Airways) <a href="https://twitter.com/British_Airways/status/870512210304303106">June 2, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>KLM</h3> <p>This example is quite a few years old now, but KLM’s response to the 2010 ash cloud is a nice counterpoint to BA, demonstrating the benefits of embracing social media for customer support.</p> <p>When the ash cloud hit, KLM’s social media team and wider strategy was limited, however, it soon realised that its Twitter and Facebook channels would be the best way to stem the onslaught of queries coming in to phone lines and ticket desks.</p> <p>Instead of making do, KLM also decided to pour as many resources into social as possible, deploying volunteers and people from various other departments to respond to stranded passengers online.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">If you're not able to contact us by phone for rebooking, please send us a request via twitter. We will then ask for details via DM.</p> — Royal Dutch Airlines (@KLM) <a href="https://twitter.com/KLM/status/12590724833">April 21, 2010</a> </blockquote> <p>When you compare KLM's tone of response to BA, it is far more directional and self-assured (arguably easier when the crisis is not self-inflicted). It's also interesting to note that it did not merely say sorry for its busy phone lines - instead giving users a simple and guaranteed alternative rather than a shallow apology.</p> <p>In the five years since, KLM has <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65752-klm-we-make-25m-per-year-from-social-media/" target="_blank">continued to develop</a> its reputation for good social strategy. As well as focusing on fast response times, KLM strives to intercept user complaints to identify and solve problems as quickly as possible. With 42% of customers said to expect a reponse to a social media enquiry within 60 minutes - KLM's dedication to this has undoubtedly contributed to positive brand sentiment.</p> <h3>Walkers Crisps</h3> <p>Walkers Crisps was the culprit of a recent social media blunder, with a crisis arising from a seemingly innocent online competition for Champions League tickets. </p> <p>Run by Pepsico, owners of the Walkers brand, the competition involved people tweeting in selfies that would be featured alongside Gary Lineker in an automated video.</p> <p>Soon enough, users realised that the video generator was not being monitored by a real person, and would therefore accept any photo that was recognised as a human face. This led to a number of people sending in photos of notorious criminals like Jimmy Saville and Harold Shipman. </p> <p>Walkers promptly shut down the competition and responded with a single tweet. Not before the gaff went massively viral, of course.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">We recognise people were offended by irresponsible &amp; offensive posts &amp; we apologise. We are equally upset &amp; have shut the activity down.</p> — Walkers Crisps (@walkers_crisps) <a href="https://twitter.com/walkers_crisps/status/867794946954149888">May 25, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>But did it take the best course of action - and has it damaged the brand? </p> <p>It’s hard to feel too much outrage at this example, especially considering the crisis arose out of the mischievous behaviour of Twitter users – not a deliberate move on Walkers’ part. Most of the reaction on Twitter has also been sheer disbelief at how the brand failed to see such an obvious flaw in its campaign, rather than offence at the tweets themselves.</p> <p>Walker’s obviously wanted to brush it under the carpet as quickly as possible (out of sheer embarrassment more than anything else), hence the short and swift apology. Sometimes, this is enough to bury a crisis, resulting in nothing more than a place in the list of some of the biggest Twitter backfires of all time.</p> <p>In order to prevent the situation, Walkers should have been much more thorough in its planning of the campaign, recognising the potential pitfalls of automation. While this example is far less extreme than other instances where the computer takes control - such as Microsoft's chatbot, Tay, which learnt racist and sexist terms from users - it still demonstrates the danger of automated social campaigns, and what happens when there is no real-time monitoring sytem in place.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Walkers: Let's run a promotion where people can send in selfies to win match tickets.</p> <p>Brilliant! How can it fail? <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WalkersWave?src=hash">#WalkersWave</a> <a href="https://t.co/7bQlj1zIWC">pic.twitter.com/7bQlj1zIWC</a></p> — Ben (@Jamin2g) <a href="https://twitter.com/Jamin2g/status/867774880594489344">May 25, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Taco Bell</h3> <p>Sometimes, a crisis can occur out of nowhere. In the case of Taco Bell, it happened due to accusations of wrong-doing from just one individual.</p> <p>The fast food chain was sued in 2011 for allegedly using just 35% beef in its meat, with the claim suggesting that the remaining 65% contained water, wheat oats, maltodrextrin, and other ‘fake’ ingredients. This then led to the story being widely shared and talked about on social.</p> <p>Despite a number of media outlets also covering the story, Taco Bell did not merely rush to publish a statement counteracting the claim. Of course, it denied it. But then it also launched an entire advertising campaign based around it, posting videos on Facebook and YouTube of President Greg Creed talking about the correct ingredients of its products.</p> <p>It also created print ads to educate consumers about Taco Bell recipes, even going so far as thanking the person who sued the company for giving it the opportunity to do so.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/6579/taco_bell.JPG" alt="" width="400" height="778"></p> <p>Though this example is more of a brand crisis than a social media one, it still demonstrates how social channels can be harnessed to turn around perceptions.</p> <p>By focusing efforts on marketing via channels like Facebook and Twitter, the brand effectively reached and engaged customers, resulting in a swell of comments in support of Taco Bell’s campaign. This shows that effective social media crisis management is not just about how to respond in the short-term, but finding ways to recover reputation long after the incident has occured.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ah05FEWcJWM?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>What can we learn?</h3> <p>With users increasingly looking to social media channels like Twitter for real-time updates and information, it’s not only a huge opportunity for brands to quash controversy before it catches on – but to impress consumers with <em>how</em> it does so. </p> <p>Regardless of the size of the crisis, it’s clear from the aforementioned examples that a swift, honest, and measured response to any issue on social media is always the best plan of action. Alongside this, it is important for brands to set up clear guidelines in relation to identifying and managing crises, determining who is responsible and for what, as well as how to manage approval processes and resourcing. </p> <p>As KLM and Taco Bell particularly show (and from which BA should take heed), it also a real understanding of the medium – and what users want from it – that can ultimately turn a crisis around. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68546-social-media-customer-service-six-important-talking-points/" target="_blank">Social media customer service: Six important talking points</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65478-how-20-top-uk-retailers-handle-social-customer-service/" target="_blank">How 20 top UK retailers handle social customer service</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69128-seven-steps-for-managing-social-media-for-live-events/" target="_blank"><em>Seven steps for managing social media for liv</em>e<em> events</em></a></li> </ul>