Archive for the Online PR Category

Why brands should base decisions on Social Media

Posted in Online PR, sociable brands, Social media with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by nijay

‘Brands should not base decision on social media’… if Doron Meyassed, as cited in this MarketScan blog post, is to be believed.

Apparently, the managing director of Promise Communities said:

“decisions are too important to base on research from sources that are unverified. Indeed, this is the problem with social media interaction – it fails to define who is actually take part in the conversation.”

Of course, in reality, this isn’t the problem with social media interaction at all – it’s the problem with BAD social media interaction.

Ill-planned social media interaction fails to define who is actually taking part in the conversation. When it’s done properly, you know exactly who you are listening to and engaging with.

If brands only conduct low-cost, low-level tactical social interactions online without any strategic research, insight or planning, Meyassed is right – they are very likely to end up interacting with the ‘the same people who call to complain about Coronation Street’ rather than loyal customers.

But to extrapolate from this that ‘brands should not base decisions on social media’ is akin to saying a brand that got it’s MD’s 8 year old son or daughter to design and build an ugly, badly-functioning website for £4.50 and a packet of Smarties should therefore not ever bother having a website at all.

In reality, the brand in question should simply do the job properly.

Social tools and social web offer an unparalleled and previously unavailable opportunity to learn enormous amounts about your existing customers and target customers.

Before any brand interacts socially, a rigorous research approach should be taken to map your audience landscape and identify true influencers and detractors online and sift out those that aren’t relevant – Meyassed’s ‘Coronation Street compainers’.

Unfortunately, it seems the low-cost, low-level tactical engagement with no strategy or insight behind it that many brands have experienced from their digital and PR agencies seems to be giving the industry a bad name.

In reality, brands should definitely use the power of the social web to get an intimate knowledge of their customers and potential customers. When done professionally, they can then use that knowledge to enage with them on a real-time, ongoing basis. This feeds into better customer service, improved brand perception and allows brands to derive higher levels of customer insight.


United hates guitars (and social media)

Posted in Internet marketing, Online PR, Social media, Uncategorized on July 24, 2009 by tomplaner

I woke up the other morning, to Radio 4 as usual, to catch the end of a story about a nice sounding Canadian chap who had flown on United Airlines and had his guitar damaged in the process.

I didn’t hear the whole story, but heard a clip of a song that had apparently received 3.5m views on Youtube so far.

I came into work and found a few links on twitter to articles about the man (Dave Carroll), who had received such a bad customer service experience that he had written 3 songs about it, the most popular being “United breaks guitars.”

It made me think about the power of social media and how some enourmous brands just don’t see the value of it. Dave Carroll saw the value of it, his song has 3.5m hits on youtube, and he will probably launch a successful music career off the back of it.

Taylor, the guitar company who made the guitar that Dave was singing about, also saw the value of social media. They posted a video response to Dave’s stating their support for him and also offering other travelers advice on travelling with their guitars.

But unfortunately United had not realised the value of social media. How brilliant would it have been though if they had posted a video response song apologising to Dave? I personally think it would have turned a negative PR situation into a very positive one.

It’s easy to scoff at United airlines, but it is important to remember that is much more difficult to change culture when a company is so big. It’s easy to use social media when you’re a 4 person band, or even a 400 person hand made guitar manufacturer, but things are different when you have 50,000 members of staff.

That isn’t to say however that it can’t be done, and there are plenty of large companies doing it. If you think you should be doing it too, here are 5 important things to remember when changing your culture to encourage social media.

  • Start sooner rather than later – Chances are social media isn’t going away. The sooner you start to incorporate it into your business, the sooner your culture will start to change and make it easier in the long run.
  • Have a social media policy – Have a clearly defined policy of what social media you will use, and how your company will be represented on each platform. Will you have a company twitter account or multiple staff accounts? These are questions that need to be answered by you.
  • Let your staff know where the line is – So you decided to unblock twitter and Facebook but now your staff spend all their time talking to their friends. Remind them that although you encourage the use of social networks during office hours, they still have other work.
  • Encourage staff to get involved in conversations – If your staff are spending time on social networks anyway, encourage them to get involved in conversations about your company. Social media is about 2 way communication. So why not join in the conversation?
  • Remember everyone can see you – Social media is about being open. Don’t give yourself positive reviews, don’t pretend to be an amazingly happy customer and don’t think you’re too clever to get caught out doing these things. You’re not.

Child Protection Online – Best Practice Guide Launch

Posted in Forums, Internet marketing, Online community, Online PR, Qube, Social media with tags , , , , , , on July 17, 2009 by monawalsh

I attended the launch of  Child Protection Online – Best Practice Guide on Tuesday run by Tempero. Lots of interesting information and tips on the type of stuff we need to know if we are working in the social media space.

The one bit of info that stood out for me was:   If more than 25% of traffic to site are children (under 18) then Child Protection laws apply to you.

Here’s a Vox Pox Video from the event:

Public Engagement Conference

Posted in Online community, Online PR, Social media on June 23, 2009 by nijay

Qube’s got a social media clinic at the Public Engagement Conference at the IBIS, Earls Court today.

Social Media tag cloud

Our MD, Andrew, did a round table (with more than 100 people, no mean feat) talking about openness, transparency and their role in helping people engage with your organisation.

It generated some very interesting discussion and showed a variety of differing opinions from people in the public sector.

Caroline Wright, Director of communications for the Department of Children, Schools and Families gave an insightful talk on exploiting digital to create dialogue and engage. She highlighted the importance of having a consistent message delivered through a number of platforms, rather than a ‘build it and they will come’ philosophy.

On a personal note, I’ve just eaten an enormous piece of chocolate cake and feel a little sick, but Glenn’s thinking of going back for seconds…

Are they all like Tom and Glenn? Be afraid…

Posted in Online PR, Qube, Qube press with tags , , , on April 21, 2009 by nijay

Last year, Qube took part in the Brighton Internship Programme. We were incredibly lucky with both our candidates and employed both Tom and Glenn. We will be taking part again this year…

If anyone is interested, we highly recommend it. Qube is quoted in the Argus newspaper today, discussing the programme – check it out for more details.

Meet the Facebloke

Posted in Internet marketing, Online community, Online PR, Social media on August 28, 2008 by qubemedia

Very very funny video clip on the BBC, translating online social behaviour into offline. A cautionary tale for anyone venturing into the world of social networks for a marketing purpose, with proper planning and execution, it can reap amazing rewards. Without it, you might just seem creepy.

Actually, this video has given Qube a splendid idea… watch this space…

>> Meet the Facebloke >>