June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
Summary of the Campaign:
Skinnygirl Margarita uses both Facebook and Twitter to promote the cocktail. The Twitter page “@skinnygirlmarg” has nearly 20,000 followers; however, the Facebook page “Skinny Girl Margarita” has only a little more than 700 likes. Although the cocktail’s Facebook page does not have very many likes, Bethenny Frankel’s official page (the creator of the drink) has over 500,000 likes. She uses her official page to promote the drink as well as other products of hers and her television show. The Skinnygirl Margarita Twitter page is generally used to promote both bottle signings and other Skinnygirl events. Some tweets also show photos and other various information about Bethenny and her as a product. The Skinny Girl Margarita Facebook page appears to be recently created, possibly around the beginning of this May and the Twitter page looks like it was created mid April with the first tweet on April 12th of this year. The Facebook page is used as a platform for Skinnygirl fans to talk to the brand; the posts by Skinnygirl do not appear to have a specific focus except promotion.
What issues are at stake for Skinnygirl Margarita?
By creating a Facebook and Twitter page Bethenny’s fans expect her to engage in conversations with them. They ask for retweets and ask questions about the brand as well as where it can be found. If these questions are not answered then her fans may feel as if she does not care about them, which in the end could result in declining support. (Engage, Brian Solis) On the Facebook page, I can see many questions posted on the wall that were not answered. There is a small amount of engagement, some posts were commented on; however, about 80% of the posts have no comments and unanswered questions. The Twitter page seems to engage its audience more than the Facebook page by retweeting positive comments about the brand. Another issue at stake could be transparency. Neither the Twitter nor the Facebook page discloses who manages the page, which could be a problem. People could be assuming that Bethenny manages the pages because she is the creator and face of the product and this may not be the case. (Tactical Transparency, Shel Holtz)
Pros and Cons of Skinnygirl Margarita’s decision:
The use of Twitter and Facebook is actively raising awareness of the brand. Most of the comments and conversation about the brand is positive, which could help to increase sales because people tend to believe other people’s testimonials before believing the brand.
It appears that the Skinnygirl Margarita twitter page has a recent focus, to let its fans know where Bethenny is for bottle signings and other events. However, this was not the main focus when the page was first created. Various information about Skinnygirl, Bethenny and her show were being posted. One of the main trends is retweets of fans who promote the cocktail. One of the issues at stake for the twitter page is that fans may be overwhelmed with all the different information about Bethenny, her TV show and her various other products. This can blur the line for what the page is actually promoting. Although the main focus is, of course, the margarita, cross promotion is done on the page. However, anyone else following Bethenny’s or any of her other pages knows that she cross promote her products through all of them therefore her fans may be use to it.
On the Skinnygirl Margarita Facebook page they are only engaging some of their customers. By only responding to some people the people who are not responded to may feel left out, which could result in declining support for her product. The Skinnygirl Margarita Facebook and Twitter pages are not being transparent with who manages the pages. There is no disclosure saying who is representing the brand on that page.
My recommendations to continue the campaign is to engage with their audience more. When someone posts a question on their Facebook wall answer it and when someone says something good about the brand like it. They also should disclose who is managing the pages in the about me sections. That way they are being both transparent and engaging, which in the long run will help the brand gain even more support.
June 18, 2011 § Leave a comment
Six years ago, Intuit, a tax preparation software company, created an interactive feedback community called Inner Circle. The site was created to engage their customers and provide a platform where they could give comments and feedback about products and services. In the beginning, Intuit asked its customers for feedback via the customer community program on TurboTax, which was basically an email. It was apparent there was a more effective way to get customer feedback; it took almost a year, but Intuit finally got The Inner Circle up and running. It featured a host of social channels for customers to interact with including a blog, user forums, an idea exchange center, and poll and survey questions. Intuit has many customers that are willing to give feedback on its products and services and they found an effective and interactive way to obtain the information. They listen and monitor the site making changes to their products and services as they see fit.
Issues at Stake for Intuit:
One of the issues at stake for Intuit is the amount of customer response they would have received. They could have put a lot of time and money into creating the site and then received little or no customer response and feedback. Luckily, this was not the case and they received a lot of customer feedback. However, an issue with receiving lot of customer feedback could be that there would be many negative responses. A site with mostly negative responses could give the impression that purchasing the products or services is a negative experience and could steer potential customers away from their products. However, Intuit used listening and monitoring to ensure that the site not only had negative but positive comments and concerns as well. They also made sure that any negative feedback that is posted is addressed properly to ensure the problems are solved and that they have happy customers.
Intuit used P.O.S.T. They found out how their customers (people) were using social media and created an objective, which was listening and monitoring customer feedback to improve their products and services. They then created a strategy to develop an interactive social media site dedicated to customer feedback to meet their objective, and used online technology to develop the site.
Pros and Cons of Intuits decision:
There were many positive aspects to Intuit’s campaign. They created a successful platform where customers felt comfortable sharing their feedback and it allowed Inuit to actively listen and monitor for customer feedback. For the campaign to be a success Intuit needs to do more than just listen to the suggestions, they need to implement the good ones. This is something they have begun doing. Intuit has taken 35 of the requests from their site and has implemented them within their products and services. They also share those changes and improvements with their customers via blog posts and webinar. They have created a balance that works for serving the needs of not only the external community but the internal company as well.
One of the negative aspects of the campaign was the claims that the member mix was not a true representative of the larger Turbo Tax customer base. Because the site allowed both external customers and internal company employees to give feedback on the site some customers believed that the majority of people participating were Intuit employees and not true customers. However, as the online community grew the claims slowly dwindled down, until there were no more complaints about the issue. Intuit has also created customer survey questions on the site to ensure they are reaching the right customers with the right information. This has also helped the issue.
My recommendation for revisiting the campaign:
The campaign itself was a success. The only recommendation I would have is to make sure they get their customers the information they need. Creating general information to address everyone is not a way to connect with its customers individually. They need to make sure they are addressing each of their customers concerns and that they are creating a personal and practical relationship with each of them.
May 11, 2011 § 1 Comment
Summary of the Case
During the 2010 elections for the Mayor of Toronto, Canada, Rob Ford’s staff, created a fake Twitter account to pretend to support his opposing candidate in the run for mayor, he also mislead a voter via twitter into handing over incriminating evidence to him. Fraser Macdonald, a member of Ford’s Staff established the fake twitter account where he pretended to be, @QueensQuayKaren, a women who “likes politics, her cat Mittens and a good book.” The twitter account acted as if “she” was supporting George Smitherman, Ford’s opponent. Some of @QueensQuayKaren tweets include, “I can see Ford’s appeal. I don’t agree with him on everything, but the man speaks the truth. George needs to improve on that,” and “@ThomsonTO that bitchy attitude sure got you far, Sarah [another opposing candidate]. It’s funny that I once respected you. Now you’re just a total embarrassment.”
The account was also used to befriend a person who made tapes of Rob Ford offering to buy prescription painkillers on the street. Through Twitter, Macdonald was able to get a copy of the tape to give to the “Toronto Sun” before it was leaked to “Star” where it could be more damaging to their campaign.
After people began to realize Ford’s deception through Twitter the account was deleted. Although the account was deleted Ford was still getting complaints about the deception, which Macdonald handled by tweeting “Enjoying the feedback: Positive and Negative, re: One of the many ways the Ford Campaign outsmarted the competition. #voteto #Getoverit”
Issues at Stake
Rob Ford’s electoral campaign was at stake. Although he won the election, the deceit he portrayed may have lead some of his supporters to vote against him. However, many of his supporters were probably not surprised because Rob Ford is known for some of his deceitful behavior. Ford has been involved in physical and verbal altercations, he has publicly expressed racial slurs against “oriental people,” he has been arrested for a DUI and marijuana possession, and along with other incidences he has made incorrect and ignorant statements about AIDS stating, “(AIDS) is very preventable,” and that “if you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably, that’s bottom line.” Because of his shocking behavior in the past, his staff ghost-tweeting probably did not surprise many of his followers.
Ford was not being transparent with his followers through Twitter. His staff took on a false identity on twitter with the attempt to outsmart the opposing parties. The attempt was obviously not successful or else the account would not have been deleted before the campaign was over.
He was also not being transparent with the person he got the incriminating material from; he was not honest about what his intended actions were once he acquired the material. By ghost-tweeting he was able to get the material and use it to broadcast himself in a better light instead of it being released to “Star” later in the electoral process where it would have had a more damaging effect to his campaign (Tactical Transparency, Shel Holtz and John Havens.)
Pros and Cons of the decision
The only positive aspect of ghost-tweeting for Ford was acquiring the incriminating material from the person on twitter. Although he was dishonest in his intentions with the material his end goal was achieved by causing as little harm as possible to his campaign, releasing the tape earlier then later, and to the right publication that would portray him in the best light. If Ford’s ghost-tweeting plan would have been successful, he may have accomplished making some of the supporters of Ford’s opposing candidate change their minds and vote for him. However, the plan was exposed before it could achieve anything. Therefore, I do not believe the unethical behavior of ghost-tweeting after acquiring the incriminating evidence accomplished anything positive during his campaign.
The Cons to this are that Ford was being dishonest using a fake twitter account and misleading the person who gave him the incriminating material as well as misleading other twitter followers. Doing this will only reinforce his reputation of devious behavior. He was not being transparent with his actions. After the ghost-tweeting was exposed, his staff did not respond to his followers very kindly. They told people to just, “get over it,” instead of apologizing for their actions. Ghost-tweeting made Ford appear as a dishonest, fraudulent person, which may take a while to get over, especially on the internet.
My recommendation for Rob Ford is to be transparent with his followers. If he still won the election then he must have a large group of followers. He would probably have even greater support if he started to become transparent during his campaigns and tell his followers exactly what his goals are without being deceitful. Creating a fake twitter account only brought a negative response to his campaign. However, if he would have created a real twitter account and tweeted about his opinions and the positive changes he wanted to make in Toronto, he may have received a lot of positive feedback and followers via Twitter. After the ghost-tweeting incident, his staff did not portray him in the best light, telling his followers to “get over it.” My recommendation would have been to make a sincere apology, say that they were wrong and try to move on. Fighting back at your followers via twitter will only cause more controversy and in the end will not solve the problem.
April 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
Summary of the Campaign:
From March to May of 2008 Universal McCann launched a “connect with color” brand campaign for Kohl’s. Partnering with CafeMom, the leading social networking site for moms, Kohl’s gave away 20 gift cards for $250, to the top “member influencers.” After shopping the moms blogged about their “color driven experience” and posted photos of the clothes they purchased. The page was advertised on CafeMom, and provided a platform for other moms to participate.
Issues at stake for Kohl’s:
The main issue at stake is the CafeMom users who visit the blog finding out that the “member influencers” who were chosen were given the gift cards to Kohl’s for the sole purpose of advertising the “connect with color” campaign. The CafeMom users probably feel that the reviews of products and the opinions of other moms posted on the site have no strings attached. If the information was disclosed that the moms where given the gift cards to advertise through CafeMom, the feedback may have been more negative. Kohl’s is not being transparent about their business plan because, there was no disclosure that the bloggers where given gift cards to shop (Tactical Transparency, Shel Holtz and John Havens.)
Pros and Cons of Kohl’s decision:
The “connect with color” campaign was very successful. Some pros of the campaign are that the Kohl’s Brand Profile Page with the “member influencer” blog posts received tens of thousands of views and hundreds of thousands of views on the customer creator influencer media. They were also featured in many mom member comments during the campaign. After the campaign, a market research study was done comparing moms exposed to the campaign and a control group who had not. The results showed that the campaign had a 90% confidence level for brand awareness, brand association and purchase intent. The idea of having customers write blogs about the products they buy is a great way to get customer feedback to promote the Kohl’s brand through social media.
Although the campaign was successful, it could have been better promoted before the women posted their blogs posts, and before they even started shopping. By promoting the campaign before any shopper feedback is posted, viewers could have learned about the campaign and been in anticipation to read the shoppers blogs. Partnering with CafeMom Kohl’s was not able to connect with either men or children. Reaching the women and mom demographic is a large portion of their customer base, but youth and juniors is a large part of their market as well. Partnering with more than just CafeMom could have made the campaign more wide spread.
Revisiting the campaign my recommendation would have been to promote it more before giving out the gift cards, and even create an online competition for the gift cards, that way users know that gift cards are being distributed for feedback in blog posts(it would help them to be transparent.) It would also help to promote the campaign before any of the shopping happens, to get people excited for the shopper’s blog posts.
Extending “connect with color” into the summer would be a great time to do a youth summer campaign. Kohl’s could promote a competition to disperse gift cards to CafeMom users only targeting ones with children in certain age groups. For example, a gift card could be given out to a mom who has a child in one of these three age groups, between the ages of ten to thirteen, fourteen or fifteen and sixteen or seventeen. After collecting enough moms to have two girls and two boys in each age group, gift cards could be distributed and used for their summer line, or to extend the campaign further, back to school shopping. After the shopping, blog posts would be created by not only by the mom users on CafeMom, but also by their children adding to the mom’s CafeMom blog posts, or they could be posted to an entirely different networking site to access a younger community.