Nice infographic on the future of Facebook.
I was put on to this guy by a friend recently. This is solid social media thinking. Putting social at the centre of the company and putting the consumer at the heart of the thinking.
Matthew Guiste, Director of Global Social Media at Starbucks
I watched Moneyball the other day. It is a great movie about a baseball coach, Billy Beane, who develops a new way of creating a team and has massive success despite the financial limitations of the team. According to the film, baseball teams were all created with the same set of rules for the last 100 years. The scouts and managers looked for what they thought was the archetypal player for certain positions. Once they had found that player, they tried to bid for them in the draft system and how much money you had determined the quality of that player.
Beane and his assistant discovered that there was opportunities with players that had been undervalued and that by studying the statistics and applying a new formula and criteria, they could put together a team that out performed it’s perceived value. In essence they changed the paradigm of “spend big and get the best” which was prevelant not just in baseball but in sports across the world.
Pre-social marketing had a similar paradigm. The more you spent the more you got.It was a system that was built on the idea that, if people hear and see your message lots of times, they will act on it. Your money dictated your reach, influence and ultimately your success. Occasionally good creative would break through a little bit, but these instances were rare because again, in order to get good creative more often than not you would have to hire a good creative company and this again, cost money.
The ability for a brand to have owned and earned media has changed the game. Brands with a relatively small budget can now compete with the big players on an even field because in social media, spend does not necessarily gaurantee a win. Why? Because a win is now longer defined as numbers of likes and views. The key performance indicators of social media are engagement and brand advocacy. We now have the ability to have a relationship between consumer and brand and to quote the Beatles, “Money can’t buy me love”.
Knowing your consumer and having the ability to engage with them is the key here. As a brand you are better to have a smaller number of highly engaged brand mavens as your owned media than to have a large number of passive Likes on a page. The big brands cannot pay their way out of this, they have to engage. The trouble is that for them, this is a difficult thing to do, it is the antithesis of how they have operated and succeeded for the last fifty years.
New brands and small brands though have the opportunity now to take the high ground. Be bold, be daring and put the consumer first. Engage with them, listen to them and create an army of people who love your brand. Old Spice showed that this approach can yield serious commercial results. They weren’t a big player when they launched their campaign, now they are the coolest deodorant brand around.
Marketing is maturing. It is no longer enough for people to just hear or see your message. It is about them actually relating to the message now.
Numbers of ears and eyes is a simple sum – Money x Frequency x Creative = Reach.
Engagement is a less simple equation –
Consumer Knowledge x Potential Advocacy x Creative x Relevance x Sharability x Honesty = Engagement
But it is an equation without one vital component, Money. It can help, it can continue to make a difference but it is not necessary and that is the key.
Take money out of your strategy for social at the beginning and look at your approach as if your brand has no money at all. Create the core of your strategy around engagement and allow media and creative spend to enhance your strategy rather than dictate it.
McDonalds are licking their wounds after a social media beating on one of their campaigns. You can find a report on the story here . McDonald’s sent out two tweets with the hashtag #McDStories to highlight the “hard-working people” who help to produce its meals and promote the chain’s use of fresh produce . Not a bad idea on the surface.
They had to shut down the campaign within an hour when critics hijacked the hashtag to complain about McDonalds. Complaints ranged from food hygiene and sourcing to service and fast food culture in general.They accused the company of making customers sick, serving pig meat from gestation crates and offering up a burger containing a finger nail.
Rick Wion, McDonald’s social media director, admitted: “Within an hour, we saw that it wasn’t going as planned. It was negative enough that we set about a change of course.”
Rick, I feel for you. This was a good social media campaign but it wasn’t a good one for McDonalds. There are massive learnings to be had here though and this bad experience should only be the start rather than the end of McDonalds engagement strategy.
Since the documentary Super Size Me and other subsequent books and films like Fast Food Nation there has been a sustained and aggressive campaign against fast food chains. Being the leading brand in the market, McDonalds took the brunt of the attack and as such radically changed its image and product over the last six years.
This campaign opened the door to more of these attacks and the fact that McDonalds couldn’t even ride out more than an hour shows how powerful their opposition is. The issue for me is the brand.The McDonalds brand is still demonised as the ultimate in globalisation and corporate malpractice. I don’t think McDonalds can move into social media expecting brand loyalty and advocacy just yet. Instead, they should lead with product.
Their products have vastly improved since the documentary came out and now, McDonalds can actually stand over quality and sourcing alot better. In order to counter the arguements laid out, McDonalds should do seperate campaigns on social designed to fact check and promote individual products. Converse and debate with the opponents and ask brand mavens to defend and advocate the products. In essence, take the argument and conversation away from the McDonalds brand and focus it on the product.
They could tie product campaigns in with previous brand statements like “I’m Lovin’ It” by creating a hashtag brand to go with each product #imlovinMcNuggets #imlovinThickShakes etc etc. Replies about how terrible McDonalds are have a lot less relevancy and impact when the conversation point is a milk shake.Over 12 to 18 months, they could develop the advocacy to the point where a campaign like they just had could potentially live and breath.
Also, it might be an idea to take the perceived failure of this campaign and turn it around directly. There could be room for a McDonalds facts campaign on social. This would need a great deal of preparation but it could be a game changer for the company. Actively engage with each of the people attacking the brand and fact check their arguement, ask them if McDonalds can do anything to improve their experience for them. It would be rocky to start off with and would need significant investment but it could yield massively potent results.
What ever the case, I hope McDonalds don’t shut down social after this experience. It wasn’t a bad campaign, it was just too soon for McDonalds. Controversial brands will always attract negative comments on social but it is how the company deals with these comments and how they engage the next time that will determine the success.
Good luck McD’s. I am off for a KFC.