Digital peer pressure


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Digital peer pressure

  1. 1. DIGITAL PEER PRESSUREAuthor: gurmit singh shakhonDate: 29.03.12www.esporis.comSocial   media   is   a   fast   growing   buzzword   hi6ng   businesses   from   all   digital  channels.   Brands  are  facing  a  decision  whether  to  acknowledge  this  channel  or  ignore  it  (which  is  becoming  harder  to  do),  increasingly  we  are  seeing  companies  jump  onto   Facebook,   TwiBer,   LinkedIn  and  other  social  networks.   But  are  they  ready   to   be   there   and   do   they   know   what   they’re   doing   there?   Businesses   are  tesGng   the   waters   of   social   media   to   best   understand   the   long   and   short-­‐term  benefits,  while  others  dive  in  to  reap  the  benefits  of  these  social  communiGes.  So  what’s  the  problem  with  these  half-­‐baked  teams  trying  to  make  a  mark  in  the  social  world?  Nothing  really,  they  can  provide  a  presence  online  and  voice  their  valuable   news   and   opinions   towards   their   audience…Great!   However   this  fundamentally   goes   against   the   principles   of   social   media.   Social   media   means  businesses  have  to  be  ready  to  get  social  with  their  audience  and  be  happy  to  let  lose  the  conversaGons  they  once  fully  owned  and  controlled.  It  means  accepGng  the   good   and   the   bad!   Allowing   customers   to   make   conversaGons   about   your  brand   that   they   believe   are   important,   and   to   build   relaGonships   with   you   on  their  terms.  However  what’s  the  value  of  engaging  with  customers  who  are  allowed  to  talk  about   anything   and   everything?   This   is   not   the   case,   when   engaging   with  customers   on   Facebook   they   must   ‘Like’   your   page   before   they   are   allowed   to  interact   with   you.   The   same   goes   for   TwiBer,   people   who   see   your   tweets   are  the   guys   who   ‘follow’   you.   Therefore   it’s   safe   to   say   that   the   customer   (or  prospecGve  customer)  has  a  level  of  interest  in  you  and  want  to  hear  what  you  have   to   say.   We   need   to   speak   to   people   in   a   way   that   welcomes   their  parGcipaGon,  allowing  them  to  understand  that  it  is  ok  to  converse  in  this  space.  
  2. 2. A case study of doing this well - Broadway BookshBp://  hBp://   small   bookstore   named   Broadway   Books   in   Portland,   Oregon   were   facing  financial   difficulty   during   Christmas   when   they   were   expecGng   a   peak   of   their  sales.   The   bookstore   owner   Roberta   Dyer   was   worried   she   may   need   to   close  the  business.   Her  son   Aaron   Durand  was  taken  back  by  this  and  decided  to  write  a  blog  post.   He  explained  the  situaGon  and  offered  anyone  in  the  area  who  visits  and   purchases   a   book   from   his   mum’s   store   a   free   burrito.   The   results   were  astonishing,   the   bookstore   was   seeing   customers   its   never   seen   before,   books  were   flying   off   the   shelves   and   the   community   was   saving   the   bookstore   from  closure.What did he do right? He  connected  to  his  community  at  an  emoGonal  level,  he  was   honest,   he   played   upon   the   community   sprit   and   provided   an   incenGve.    Now   this   is   the   fairytale   ending   to   a   real   business   problem   but   there   are   lessons  to   be   learnt.   In   order   to   connect   to   his   community   at   an   emoGonal   level   he  needed  to  understand  that  community,  who  they  are,  what  they  like,  what  they  don’t  like  and  how  to  talk  to  them.   He  was  honest,  honesty  is  really  important  and  a  single  lie  can  seriously  damage  the  reputaGon  of  a  brand.    John  Griffin  the  CEO   of   Addison   Lee   made   a   statement   to   Sky   News   highlighGng   that   his  business   has   grown   from   strength   to   strength   by   being   honest   ‘people   will  forgive   the   truth   but   they’ll   never   forgive   a   lie’.   This   concocGon   of   honesty,  community  sprit  and  incenGve  all  played  upon  the  success  of  this  campaign.
  3. 3. A case study of doing this badly - SkittlesSkiBles  took  a  brave  move  by  transforming  their  main    .com  website  into  a  social  media   campaign.   The   aim   of   this   campaign   was   not   enGrely   clear.   SkiBles  allowed   their   audience   to   tweet   whatever   they   wanted   about   the   different  colours   of   SkiBles.   The   more   tweets   about   a   specific   colour   would   push   the  SkiBle  colour  up  the  rankings  and  be  published  on  the  site.  What did Skittles do wrong? Although   this   sounds   like   a   great   idea   and   ‘a  dream   project’   for   many   digital   agencies   SkiBles   didn’t   put   in   place   any  management   precauGons   to   allow   them   to   manage   negaGve   feedback,   not   even  basic  fowl  language  filters!   From  an  external  perspecGve  it  seemed  like   SkiBles  had   fully   handed   over   ownership   of   their   site   to   their   audience.   If   SkiBles   had  more   control   over   this   campaign   they   would   have   had   the   opportunity   to  parGcipate   in   ‘their’   conversaGon   and   create   processes   to   manage   negaGve  comments.Another  contribuGng  factor  is  the  tone  of  voice  /  language  used  on  the  campaign  page.   SkiBles   adopted   a   blunt,   cold,   slang   approach,   se6ng   the   stage   for   the  audience  to  believe  it  was  acceptable  to  converse  in  such  a  way  e.g.  ‘Don’t  get  cocky’   (wriBen   by   SkiBles   on   their   campaign   site)   which   could   have   led   to   the  type  of  response  they  were  receiving.
  4. 4. Cont: A case study of doing this badly - SkittlesIt’s  not  enGrely  clear  what  was  the  social  strategy  was  for  this  campaign.  If  it  was  to   increase   visitors   to   their   site   the   tweets   may   have   lead   to   a   rise   in   links   to  them   however   the   campaign   itself   had   liBle   to   no   content   therefore   removing  any  SEO  value.  Maybe  the  value  was  to  increase  digital  conversaGons  with  their  audience?   If   it   was   only   for   an   increase   in   metrics   this   campaign   would   have  been   considered   a   wide   success!   However   in   reality   most   of   the   conversaGons  were   negaGve   and   had   low   senGment   (at   least   not   enough   for   me   to   change   my  purchasing  habits  from  M&M’s  to  SkiBles).It   has   to   been   handed   to   SkiBles,   although   the   campaign   wasn’t   an   obvious  success,  their  bravery  to  become  a  socially  engaged  brand  has  to  be  respected.  They  made  some  obvious  errors  and  could  have  targeted  their  campaign  beBer  for  greater  results.  The  management  was  poor  and  opportuniGes  were  lost,  but  hey  we  all  hope  they  learnt  from  their  mistakes.
  5. 5. A case study of not doing anything (till its too late) - Dominos PizzahBp://  hBp://­‐gvs2Y2368&feature=relatedDomino’s  pizza  was  in  a  media  frenzy  when  two  of  their  employees  took  pictures  of   themselves   spi6ng   into   customers   food,   taunGng   customers   behind   their  backs   and   even   having   a   bath   in   the   large   Domino’s   pizza   kitchen   sink.   Once  these   photos   and   videos   hit   Facebook   they   went   viral   and   were   posted   on  peoples   walls   all   over   the   USA   (and   way   further).   The   news   eventually   went  across   the   naGon   and   was   even   broadcasted   on   the   news.   Very   quickly   the  customer   community   up-­‐roared   regarding   this   issue   and   forced   Domino’s   Pizza  to  close  their  store.  The  employees  involved  in  the  incident  were  later  sentenced  to  a  jail  term.    The  USA  president  of  Domino’s  Pizza  made  an  apology  and  took  full  responsibility,  view  the  apology  video  on  the  link  above.What did Dominos do wrong? Domino’s   Pizza  were  not  monitoring  their  brand  percepGon   across   social   networks,   not   measuring   senGment   nor   the   trends   for  what  people  were  watching  or  talking  about  regarding  Domino’s  Pizza.  They  did  not   monitor   their   staff   nor   regulate   the   use   of   social   media   (or   socially  connected  devices).    They  also  missed  the  opportunity  to  connect  to  the  upset  users  who  were  viewing  the  photos  and  videos  posted  by  the  rouge  employees.  Domino’s   Pizza  held  a  helpless  posiGon  where  they  did  not  speak  or  listen  to  the  social  communiGes  who  were  upset  by  the  behaviour  of  their  staff.   The  outcome  of  this  incident  proves  how  important  it  is  not  to  do  anything.   These  problems  don’t  go  away  in  a  world  of  connected  broadcasters!
  6. 6. Social   media   is   being   used   to   empower   the   individual,   bringing   their   thoughts,  ideas   and   concepts   to   the   front   of   the   discussion.   Its   important   we   do   not  become   passive   to   their   views   or   respond   like   a   robot.  The   value   of   social   media  comes   from   the   closeness   of   the   conversaGon   and   conversing   through  technology   as   humans.   Its   important   we   never   forget   this   fact   and   implement  processes  and  technologies  that  support  organizaGons  to  behave  in  such  a  way.About the author Gurmit Singh Shakhon is an enthusiastic and experienced digital professional in the fields of experience strategy, social strategy and interaction design. Gurmit has worked in some of the worlds leading digital agencies and been part of market shifting projects. Gurmit has also worked alongside some of the most intelligent minds in the industry including Don Norman, Brett King and Martin Lindstrom. Gurmit is a partner in promoting the creation of highly creative social solutions across the UK and Australia.