In the previous blog, we were able to understand that social media users are copious. Having said that, it is important to point out to that fact that organizations need to connect with audience via social media platforms to establish themselves.
Let us look at the “Pin It to Give It for Breast Cancer – Elizabeth Arden” campaign. This social media campaign was launched on Pinterest to help women in the fight against cancer. Pinterest users were asked to keep pinning the image and spread the message. For every image re-pinned from Elizabeth Arden’s ‘Pin It To Give It’ board, the beauty brand would donate one Elizabeth Arden eyeliner to the charity with a total of 10,000 eyeliners. This campaign was a great way to reaching women who use social media and Pinterest in particular. This campaign helped Elizabeth Arden establish their brand image as caring for women. This was an interesting way of connecting with up to 10,000 women while involving them in the campaign.
Connecting with public is a very important aspect of handling social media effectively. How Valuable is a Social Media Audience, Really? is an article that explains the importance of having audience on social media sites. Having a huge fan following is not the final step. The purpose of establishing the followers/ fan base is to open up a communication channel that will keep the audient engaged with the organization. However, an organization can keep the audience engaged only by determining the outcome they are trying to achieve. The first step to devising social media strategy is understand the goals.
Let us take a look at Thomas Cook Facebook page. Thomas Cook is an integrated travel and travel related financial services company. They offer a broad spectrum of services that include Foreign Exchange, Corporate Travel, MICE, Leisure Travel, and Travel Insurance. Thomas Cook social media team has kept their Facebook page interactive. They post photos of desirable destinations and ask questions about the destination. This is a good way to keep their audience enticed to their organization webpage. This method compels the user to think of Thomas Cook the next time he is planning a trip. Using social media creatively is the key to being successful.
Being creative is as important as being timely and prompt in responding to social media posts. Simply having social media page is not useful. Neither is being negligent. Using social media platforms comes with a lot of responsibilities. The organization has to stay aware of what they are posting and also about what someone else is posting on their behalf or about them. In spring 2009, Domino’s Pizza found itself in the midst of a crisis when a leaked video of two employees tampering with the food went viral.
The employees, Kristy Hammonds and Michael Setzer, recorded themselves while doing abominable things to the product. Domino’s took immediate action to clean up after the mess but the real challenge was gaining customers trust after the mishap. To overcome this ordeal, Domino’s president, Mr. Patrick Doyle recorded an apology video and posted it on YouTube. The message also included an assurance from Mr. Doyle about how they were dedicated to customer service.
This was a very effective way of utilizing social media to mitigate the crisis. Any person looking for the employee’s video would find the presidents video and would get the message.
These are only two example to demonstrate how social media can be utilized effectively during crisis and at other times also. Another example of how a company utilized social media platform during a predicament to their advantage and thus connect with a multitude of audience is “Oreo’s Snappy Super Bowl Blackout Ad.” During the SuperBowl blackout, Oreo took advantage of the blackout situation to convert it into an opportunity by tweeting an ad real-time using the caption “Power out? No problem” reminding Oreo eaters that “you can still dunk in the dark.” The timeliness and pithiness made this ad extremely popular and was tweeted over 14,000 times. The same ad was also posed on Oreo’s Facebook page which generated more than 20,000 “Likes.”
To just emphasize further on how social media using YouTube can be beneficial, I would like you to take a look at the Dove Real Beauty Sketches video. This video was Doves latest campaign, launched to connect with millions of women and tell them that they are more beautiful than they think. Since its release, The Dove ad has had more than seven million views on YouTube. This is a very effective way of not only getting you brand name conveyed, but also establishing a relation with you audience with positive and strong messaging.
These case examples show how an organization can use social media to not only connect with their publics but also to manage their image and reputation. This is an era of social media, but what is its future? We shall discuss the future of social media in my next blog.