tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/community-management Latest Community Management content from Econsultancy 2017-01-13T10:36:22+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68694 2017-01-13T10:36:22+00:00 2017-01-13T10:36:22+00:00 Four crucial elements you need to build a valuable online community Katie Kelly <p>With 41.8m people <a href="https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/householdcharacteristics/homeinternetandsocialmediausage/bulletins/internetaccesshouseholdsandindividuals/2016">online in the UK</a> who spend on average <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/04/more-than-a-third-of-uk-internet-users-have-tried-digital-detox-ofcom">25 hours a week connected</a>, being online forms a large part of our lives. But we crave social relationships and thus individuals turn to online communities to fulfil a basic human need for interaction with others.</p> <p>Building a community is not rocket science but is does require <em>a lot</em> of time, effort and authenticity.</p> <p>There are numerous commercial benefits for businesses who pursue this time intensive strategy; some of the main ones being that consumers who are part of an online community associated with a brand show more loyalty, as well as being a source of valuable market research. </p> <p>Just as you would build a community in the real world, online communities act and react in similar ways. The main difference and difficulty arises when we try to build communities acting on behalf of brands.</p> <p>So, step away from setting up that Facebook group and consider these four things first. And to learn more on this topic, book yourself onto <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-community-management/">Econsultancy’s community management training course</a>.</p> <h3>Four crucial elements for building an online community</h3> <p>No matter where online, whether it’s via email chains or a full-blown purpose-built forum, the following tips should be applied if you want to build a highly-engaged community.</p> <h4>1. The right place at the right time</h4> <p>The term ‘social network fatigue’ was coined a few years back, the idea being that we become fatigued by repetitively signing in, finding and linking with friends and creating profiles. The lack of consistency between networks also means there’s a learning curve for each new network you join.</p> <p>When you’re thinking about starting a new community find out where your future community members already hang out and consider building a community within an existing network – this will help eliminate fatigue and speed up building the community. </p> <p>There’s also the benefit of being a ‘first mover’. Communities are only useful when they’ve grown to a critical mass which means there are enough people visiting, commenting etc. to sustain ongoing interactions.</p> <p>So if there are already a lot of existing communities around the same subject it may be hard to gain traction. </p> <p>Metcalfe’s law of networks states ‘the utility of the network increases by the square of the people connected’. This <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2005.tb00264.x/full">concept of critical mass</a>; ‘the number of people needed to make a communication system or a community useful’ isn’t necessarily just about the number of people as these definitions suggest.</p> <p>Different types of people or amounts of interaction can also be needed to obtain critical mass. For example, a Facebook group with six of your closest friends might be the critical mass required to maintain an ongoing conversation for a few years.</p> <p>Whereas a forum about motherhood may need thousands of members who are all at different stages of parenthood, so there are enough people to discuss a range of topics to make the community useful and engaging. </p> <p><strong>Tip one:</strong> Don’t be afraid to centre the community around a niche interest or attitude, ideally something which isn’t already catered for by established online communities. </p> <p><strong>Tip two:</strong> Recruit your most highly engaged brand advocates and reward them with first entry to your community. Allow them to use it to a point where the community begins to build – then open it up to others so that newbies aren’t coming to an empty group/forum. </p> <h4>2. Moderation </h4> <p>Getting moderation right is so important. Ignore this at your peril.</p> <p>Get it wrong and you’re likely to end up with flame wars, a useless community full of spam and little real engagement. This is a massive topic so I’ll highlight some of the key areas you should consider when starting out.</p> <ul> <li>Setting out from the start with what is and isn’t allowed within the community is a good policy and gives everyone fair warning. Keep it in the same tone of voice and style that you want from your community and make it easily accessible.</li> <li>It’s also good to set out at the beginning how you will deal with people who break this policy. </li> <li>Hire the right people to moderate. Moderation on behalf of a brand is a very tricky and important role and getting the right person can be hard.</li> </ul> <p>People tend to view moderation as policing but this is very far from the whole gig. You’re the person at the party who introduces everyone and connects them with others in the room who have similar interests, keeps the conversation going, brings out the party games if there is a lull, and steps in to calm down situations when everyone’s had a bit too much to drink. </p> <p>Ideally, you’ll need to find someone who is passionate and somewhat knowledgeable about the topic/subculture and your brand, with a good understanding of social media and general internet culture.</p> <p>The nature and disposition of the moderator must be one of openness. Someone who is happy to serve others (you’re not the superstar) and can get on with anyone. Crucially you need someone who won’t post in haste. </p> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> A key tip I learnt when moderating is to show you are human as well as acting on behalf of a brand. Admit mistakes (step away from the delete tweet button…), and be careful in the language you choose to use.</p> <p>Asking questions can also be a great way to respond and defuses conflict. Each moderator will have their own style – it a good idea to ask them to provide examples of how they’ve moderated other forums in a range of different situations. </p> <h4>3. Getting engagement </h4> <p>People engage in online communities because they crave social interaction but also for personal reward. Creating mechanisms to recognise and encourage more participation can do wonders.</p> <p>There are many ways in which you can do this. Some of the common ways which you’re likely to see are the use of gamification, e.g. giving points for completing actions and progressing up levels.</p> <p>This can also be the answer to your moderation quandaries with the assistance of a self-moderating community or rewarding those with the role of moderation (this should be carefully considered before you go ahead with this).</p> <p>Rituals and traditions are where communities really come to life. Remember when everyone on Facebook use to comment “first” on a post? Or #FollowFriday on Twitter, the recent ‘post a picture of your desk on your first day’ on LinkedIn, and the old Reddit switcheroo?</p> <p>Each community will develop its own rituals and traditions and it’s these which really bind people together. Often arising out of random situations that occur in the community or driven by popular culture. </p> <p>We all love to be in on the joke and rituals can help build the culture of your community.  </p> <p><strong>Tip:</strong> Create consistency: have a plan as you would for a blog with ideas for discussions so that you can keep a consistent flow of new conversations.  </p> <h4>4. Don’t forget offline</h4> <p>Online communities can exist entirely online but offline shouldn’t be forgotten.</p> <p>Meeting people in real life can have an impact on how strong our bond is with one another and so arranging local meet-ups, especially if you have local businesses to promote, can strengthen your community’s own connections and create new ones, as well as strengthening their love for your brand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/2959/screenshot__74_-blog-flyer.png" alt="Wool &amp; The Gang Knit Party" width="470" height="264"></p> <h3> </h3> <h3>Wrap up</h3> <p>The above should give you a good starting point when considering building a new community.</p> <p>Don’t rush in. Do your research about what already exists, get the right people to moderate and realise it’s going to take a lot of time and effort, but the rewards for brands can be big. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-11-23T09:45:00+00:00 2016-11-23T09:45:00+00:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68548 2016-11-22T16:00:00+00:00 2016-11-22T16:00:00+00:00 Novartis launches a social network for heart failure Patricio Robles <p>It partnered with the American Heart Association and actress/singer Queen Latifah to be a part of their <em>Rise Above Heart Failure</em> initiative, which includes events, media outreach and digital content distributed on the American Heart Association's website.</p> <p>And, last month, it supported a panel discussion broadcast <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68403-pharma-company-novartis-taps-facebook-live-event-to-promote-heart-failure-drugs/">through Facebook Live</a> on World Heart Day that featured Queen Latifah and medical doctor Karol E. Watson, a professor of medicine/cardiology and the co-director of the UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology.</p> <p>Now, Novartis has launched <a href="https://www.togetherinhf.com">a dedicated online social network</a> for heart failure patients and caregivers. <em>Together in HF</em>, which debuted late last month, aims to connect those affected by heart failure, provide heart failure resources and offer content from medical experts.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1663/novartissocial.jpg" alt="" width="910" height="430"></p> <p>The social network features dedicated sections for heart failure patients to share their stories and discuss how they live with heart failure. There is also a section for caregivers to interact with each other.</p> <p>Novartis has a team of community managers who oversee the social network, and experts, such as Dr. Bob Hilkert, a cardiologist with Novartis, contribute content.</p> <h3>Facebook isn't always <em>the</em> social network</h3> <p>To launch <em>Together in HF, </em>Novartis teamed up with a number of organizations, including the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, Association of Black Cardiologists, American College of Cardiology and WomenHeart. </p> <p>While companies frequently create communities on existing social platforms, like Facebook, because they come with built-in audiences that can be tapped, Novartis and its partners decided to launch their own social network. Two of the biggest reasons: privacy and control.</p> <p>Registration on <em>Together in HF</em> is open only to individuals located in the United States, content is private and only available to other members. Healthcare practitioners are not permitted to sign up in their capacity as healthcare practitioners; they can register in the capacity of a patient or caregiver.</p> <p>Novartis has established its own set of community guidelines and allows users to delete their accounts at any time, promising that "all [account] information will be removed from the server."</p> <p>Ensuring privacy, establishing and enforcing its own set of policies and maintaining ownership and control of its data are obviously important to any pharma company operating an online community, and these would have been all but impossible to accomplish had Novartis not built its own social network.</p> <p>While the cost of that is certainly higher – <em>Together in HF</em> was two years in the making<em> </em>– Novartis' effort demonstrates that there are use cases for which dedicated, self-hosted online communities are worthwhile investments, particularly in health and medicine.</p> <p>After all, Entresto is expected to generate $200m per year in revenue for Novartis, so building out its own products to support the heart failure community clearly has the potential to deliver a return if those products are well-crafted.</p> <p><strong><em>More on healthcare:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68411-the-doctor-is-always-in-baidu-to-launch-medical-chatbot/">The doctor is always in: Baidu to launch medical chatbot</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68346-new-data-shows-why-digital-is-now-critical-to-pharma/%20">New data shows why digital is now critical to pharma</a> </li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68481 2016-11-07T14:09:00+00:00 2016-11-07T14:09:00+00:00 Seven guiding principles for implementing social customer service Kit Smith <p>Consumers are using social for customer service, even where brands are choosing not to engage.</p> <p>In fact, social media interaction has been greeted with trepidation by the majority of brands, with <a href="http://www.conversocial.com/blog/infographic-the-state-of-social-customer-service#.VQxGAWSsXuY">only 26% of staff taking social seriously</a> as a customer service tool.</p> <p>In trying to work out why this is, think about one of the last fundamental shifts in communication brought about by technology: when the telephone became ubiquitous, brands were terrified what would happen when they allowed customers to actually speak to their business. </p> <p>How would companies continue to control the messaging of their brand when thousands of conversations were happening between consumers and junior staff members every day? </p> <p>Generally, the answer came in the form of heavy moderation. Teaching call center staff rigid scripts that could guide them through a variety of common questions seemed to provide the answer. </p> <p>Except, as consumers, we know that it sucked. The experience of waiting on hold, navigating menu systems, and talking to a robot-like representative who stuck to a script was frustrating enough to make anyone give up on the idea of good customer service altogether. </p> <p>The concerns that existed when phones were introduced are being played out again with social media, only this time the stakes are higher. An audience is actively listening, from the other side of a keyboard, tablet or mobile.</p> <p>Despite the risks, social media customer service is an opportunity that should be embraced. Done well, brands can turn a threat into an opportunity. </p> <h3>Why you should embrace social customer care </h3> <h4>It’s cheaper</h4> <p>Forbes reports that social media customer service <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/mckinsey/2015/07/01/social-care-in-the-world-of-now/#41ea4fa72f25">costs around $1 per interaction</a>, up to six times cheaper than phone support. </p> <p>Good social customer care can go beyond providing the same service for less money. Opportunities can come from customers directly asking for advice or recommendations. With social intelligence tools, brands can surface conversations and questions that are not aimed directly at them. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68388-how-klm-uses-bots-and-ai-in-human-social-customer-service/">KLM, market leaders in social customer care</a>, has 150 social media customer service agents, and generates $250m annual revenue by managing new client bookings via social media. </p> <p>As KLM’s social media manager Gert-Wim ter Haar told Venturebeat: “Social is more and more becoming a profit center. It’s first about service, then brand and reputation, but also about commerce…we have to make money.” </p> <h4>It’s happening anyway</h4> <p>According to <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/may/21/customer-complaints-social-media-rise">research conducted by the Institute of Customer Service</a>, between January 2014 and May 2015 there was an eightfold increase in customer complaints made on social media. </p> <p>The report states that customer motivation for using social includes convenience, cost, and the desire to make the conversation public. Those brands not embracing the shift not only alienate their customers, but risk damaging their reputation with prospects. </p> <h4>Customers expect it</h4> <p><a href="http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-research/42-percent-of-consumers-complaining-in-social-media-expect-60-minute-response-time/">One survey</a> asked consumers who have attempted to contact a brand’s customer support channel through social media how long they expect to wait for a response.  </p> <p>32% said within 30 minutes. A further 10% expect a response within 60 minutes. The expectation doesn’t stop there: 57% of respondents expect the same service at night or on the weekend.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1036/brand_response_times.jpg" alt="" width="896" height="700"></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63867-consumers-prefer-live-chat-for-customer-service-stats/">Evidence suggests</a> that customer care over live chat drives the highest satisfaction rates, which also attests to this point.</p> <p>If live chat is not possible, well-resourced social teams that can respond quickly can still provide a satisfying encounter.</p> <h4>Not responding can be dangerous</h4> <p><a href="http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2101515">Gartner reports</a> that the dissatisfaction stemming from failure to respond can lead to a 15% churn rate for existing customers. </p> <p>The ripple effect of social media is well documented. Angering current customers can also give a negative impression to prospects who are yet to have a first-hand experience with the brand. </p> <h4>Customers become happier</h4> <p><a href="http://www.mckinseyonmarketingandsales.com/sites/default/files/pdf/Higher-satisfaction-at-lower-costs.pdf">McKinsey reports</a> that the move to social can instigate a ‘paradigm shift in customer satisfaction’, and cites a mobile operator that reduced call center volume by 20% in eight months, while lowering costs and increasing its Net Promoter Score. </p> <p>Twitter also reports that companies using the platform for customer service <a href="https://twitter.com/jack/status/705423142970327040">see a 19% lift</a> in customer satisfaction.</p> <p>It’s not hard to understand why: connecting with customers where they already are in a quick, convenient, and human way greatly improves the customer experience. </p> <h3>Implementing social customer service </h3> <p>So how should brands implement social customer service? The threat of a rogue tweet can understandably make stakeholders nervous, but by considering a few key points first, existing teams should be able to transition without too much risk. </p> <p>Early adopters and consumer surveys have highlighted seven key areas that brands should keep in mind when developing their roadmap. </p> <h4>1. Respond quickly </h4> <p>According to an <a href="https://soulofbrands.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/nm-incite-report-the-state-of-social-customer-service-2012.pdf">NM Incite survey</a>, 33% of respondents would recommend a brand that offered a quick but ineffective response.</p> <p>That was nearly double the number who would recommend a brand that offered a slow but effective solution. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1035/brand_recommend.png" alt="" width="893" height="537"></p> <p>KLM understands the importance of this. The header image on its Twitter customer care channel is updated every five minutes with the expected wait time for a representative to answer a complaint.</p> <p>This avoids having customers getting increasingly frustrated while waiting, and adds some transparency to the process. </p> <h4>2. Empower your employees</h4> <p>We may be moving away from scripted telephone conversations, but guidelines are still needed to assist staff.</p> <p>Having well trained, empowered employees that don’t have to stick to a rigid script will allow them to better serve the customer while sounding authentic and staying true to your brand. </p> <p>Brands need to invest in the knowledge of staff, ensuring employees are taught to think for themselves through the lens of the overarching customer strategy. That said, simple problem-solving frameworks should be used to assist staff. </p> <p>The correct tools need to be in place, including streamlined relationship management systems containing customer histories, and social listening and engagement tools to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. </p> <h4>3. Humanize your brand</h4> <p>The age of the customer has increased conversations with brands. The days of broadcasting on mass-media to consumers that had little way of joining the conversation are long behind us. </p> <p>It’s also important to note that through a customer service representative is often one of the few times a customer speaks directly to the brand. This interaction therefore takes on more significance for the customer, as the individual they speak to <em>is</em> the brand in their eyes. </p> <p>Great customer care should be human, personal and empathetic. Many brands are embracing this by having agents append their messages with their name or initials.</p> <p>This small touch is one aspect of a wider shift, with human responses becoming increasingly common – and necessary. </p> <h4>4. Align activity with your audience</h4> <p>Increase efficiency and customer satisfaction by aligning staff hours with customer activity - be approachable, accessible and talk to them when they want to be talked to.</p> <p>An analysis of brand and audience activity in a social intelligence platform can reveal this, both for hours of the day and days of the week. </p> <p>Not having enough staff when your audience are most active will lead to long wait times. Conversely, having too many staff during quieter periods is a waste of resources. </p> <h4>5. Go above and beyond </h4> <p>Going beyond what is expected can create brand advocates and provide some fantastic PR. A humanized brand with empowered employees is able to deliver customer service on a level unexpected by consumers. </p> <p>The examples often cited will have been seen by many: Morton’s Steakhouse delivering a porterhouse steak, Lego replacing a child’s lost toy, or Trader Joe’s delivering to an elderly man in bad weather. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1037/Mortons.jpg" alt="" width="731" height="451"></p> <p>These stories are known because they go far beyond what is expected and spread through social and traditional media, becoming huge PR wins in the process.  </p> <p>However, going beyond what is expected does not have to be as extreme as those examples. Small things matter. Listen, engage, deliver, delight. </p> <h4>6. Use the right channel </h4> <p>The right channel is whichever channel the customer chooses. Sometimes conversations will have to be taken offline or private, but this should only be done where necessary. </p> <p>For one thing, it can look to observers that you are trying to hide negative interactions, but also it is a further inconvenience to your customer, who chances are has already had a negative experience. </p> <h4>7. Be on the lookout</h4> <p>All brands with social customer care teams will be monitoring their own channels, but opportunities exist (and are missed) to engage beyond this. <a href="https://www.brandwatch.com/2015/09/marketing-dark-matter-social-media-and-the-number-96/">Brandwatch research shows</a> that dependent on the industry, up to 96% of brand conversations can happen outside brand-owned channels. </p> <p>Misspellings and untagged mentions will go unanswered without a tool to notify you about them, and while complaints will tend to be directed at the brand, someone having a moan might not. Where appropriate, brands can rectify otherwise missed opportunities.</p> <p>Brands can go beyond putting out fires and listen for opportunities too. While only <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0ahUKEwil04_U0-nPAhWHC8AKHb_LDCYQFggeMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.census.gov%2Fretail%2Fmrts%2Fwww%2Fdata%2Fpdf%2Fec_current.pdf&amp;usg=AFQjCNGKTxyvuNKsbVVqO1ZiAOhpz0lQrw&amp;sig2=ppfVsW_8mq1wku5whRdwWg">7.5% of US sales</a> come through ecommerce, <a href="http://www.pwc.com/us/en/retail-consumer/publications/us-multichannel-shopping-survey.html">research from PricewaterhouseCoopers</a> shows that around 80% of consumers research products online before purchasing in-store.</p> <p>Often consumers ask the collective brain of social media for advice and recommendations and social intelligence provides the opportunity for brands to join the conversation at the appropriate point. Forward thinking brands can jump into these conversations to not only aid customers but benefit from their efforts. </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Implementing social customer service isn’t easy, but that almost gives you more reason to do it now. The majority of brands have not got this right yet, and that increases the opportunity for brands that choose to embrace it.</p> <p>The brands that take advantage of this should embrace social customer carefully. They should do it well, and do it soon.</p> <p>Surprise and delight your customers, and you’ll have a genuine differentiator from your competitors while they play catch up.</p> <p><strong><em>If you're interested in learning more, why not sign up for Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/social-media-customer-service/">Social Media Customer Service training course</a>.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68375 2016-10-12T14:00:00+01:00 2016-10-12T14:00:00+01:00 Airbnb: How its customer experience is revolutionising the travel industry Paul Rouke <p>Despite the fact my family have booked our last seven holidays with Airbnb, I still think it is one of the internet’s best kept secrets.</p> <p>Here’s how Airbnb is shaping the future of the travel industry: </p> <h3>It's aspirational</h3> <p>Remember the saying, there is no place like home?</p> <p>The rise in popularity of boutique hotels proved that there was a growing segment of travellers who wanted a more varied choice of accommodation; an experience characterised with personalised touches and the chance to be immersed in the local culture.</p> <p>Essentially, Airbnb is a boutique hotel on steroids.</p> <p>With a homepage headline of “live there”, Airbnb offers the chance to stay in (sorry <em>live in</em>) aspirational, unique homes.</p> <p>The whole idea is that staying with Airbnb is more than just a holiday, you get to experience new places just like the locals do, which appeals to people who don't like to see themselves as normal tourists.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0215/airbnb_homepage.png" alt="" width="700" height="308"></p><p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0217/airbnb_your_home.png" alt="" width="700" height="311"></p> <p>Offering some really unique properties for rent, in some of the world’s most spectacular locations, you'd expect that when you first land on the Airbnb website your emotions will be stirred.  </p> <p>Whether it be excitement, amazement or belonging, Airbnb captures these emotions with carefully chosen imagery and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65499-20-gorgeous-examples-of-websites-with-video-backgrounds/">background videos</a>. </p> <p>Yes, there is the search facility layered on top, but first and foremost it has focused on connecting with visitors on a more personable level than any travel agency website I have been on.</p> <p>I was recently in one of my local travel agents to exchange some money.</p> <p>While scanning over the shelves of brochures, I couldn't help but wonder what the cover of an Airbnb holiday brochure would look like.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9899/brochures-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Brochures " width="470" height="352"></p> <h3>It's built on pure trust</h3> <p>The <em>only</em> part of the whole customer experience that Airbnb has full control over is the website.</p> <p>This means that the brand has to place complete trust and faith in the people from around the world who choose to rent their properties on the platform.</p> <p>It also requires the people renting out their houses to place trust in their guests (who they have never met before), not to mention the trust the holidaymaker or business traveller has to place in their host, with the hope that "what they see online, is what they get."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0218/airbnb_social_proof.png" alt="" width="700" height="326"></p> <p>As expected, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a> plays an integral role in building that trust.</p> <p>For people to spend money on their holiday, weekend getaway or business trip with no physical interaction and no “credible travel agent” behind the booking, requires great levels of transparency and confidence.</p> <p>Don’t forget, you are not getting an ATOL protected holiday through Airbnb. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9901/reviews.png" alt="" width="723" height="1076"> </p> <p>As you can see, Airbnb is definitely the best when it comes down to harnessing the power of <strong>genuine</strong> social proof. </p> <h3>It's price sensible </h3> <p>Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point.</p> <p>For all those millions of people with children who have to go on holiday in school holidays, Airbnb is perhaps the biggest secret they are waiting to discover. </p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0209/airbnb__prices.png" alt="" width="700" height="349"></p> <p>My family and I have booked our last seven family holidays through Airbnb, genuinely saving hundreds of pounds compared to what we would have paid booking through traditional channels.</p> <h3>It's personable</h3> <p>From the copy used on the website, through to contacting Airbnb, you always receive a very personable experience.</p> <p>Very often when you arrive at your property, hosts will leave a small welcome note or present to welcome you on your arrival.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9904/letter-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Note " width="470" height="352"> </p> <p>You may even get a welcome message on the chalkboard of your new home… </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9905/new-chalk-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="Chalkboard note " width="470" height="352"> </p> <p>The biggest success that Airbnb delivers in this area is that 99% of the time you never actually interact in person with another human. <strong>Now that is a special user experience</strong>. </p> <h3>It's innovative</h3> <p>Airbnb isn't standing still. </p> <p>I love how the company is now harnessing its community of hosts around the world to provide unique and memorable experiences for travellers whilst staying at their property.</p> <p>This really helps Airbnb customers to ‘live like a local’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0210/airbnb_innovation.png" alt="" width="700" height="249"> </p> <h3>It's memorable</h3> <p>Whether a flat for a night, a castle for a week or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique and inspirational travel experiences.</p> <p>With property type search filters including Tipi, Earth House and Treehouse, you know you are on to something quite unique.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9907/properties.png" alt="" width="655" height="252"> </p> <p>For all us business travellers, Airbnb also provides us with unique opportunities at competitive prices.</p> <p>In 2015, myself and two colleagues spent five days in central Vancouver staying in a luxury penthouse apartment worth over £2m.</p> <p>The cost to us? £130 per person, per night.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0212/airbnb_apartment.png" alt="" width="700" height="379"> </p> <h3>It's responsive</h3> <p>As a brand, Airbnb can provide lessons in responsiveness to many larger, and more experienced businesses.</p> <p>In my seven family holidays through Airbnb, there was only one occasion where we were let down and when it became clear that we needed Airbnb to resolve our issue with our host, they got on to fixing the issues straight away.</p> <p>Airbnb recognised the opportunity to turn a potential brand detractor into a brand advocate, by simply being responsive and respectful.</p> <p>I, for one, gained increased levels of respect for their brand following this.</p> <p>How many brands are truly responsive and respectful to customers when they have a negative user experience?</p><p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9911/inbox-blog-flyer.png" alt="Messages " width="470" height="836"></p> <h3>It's beautiful</h3> <p>From the brand logo, through to the app the Airbnb design and user experience is quite simply <em>beautiful</em>.</p> <p>I will hold my hands up and say, the Airbnb digital experience played a significant role in a current re-thinking of one of our client’s online experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9910/beautiful-blog-flyer.png" alt="Beautiful " width="470" height="836"> </p> <h3>It's relevant</h3> <p>Small things throughout your stay show you how Airbnb is all about ensuring that customers truly enjoy their experience.</p> <p>For example, when arriving at your destination Airbnb offers helpful directions to your accomodation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/9903/welcome-blog-flyer.png" alt="Welcome " width="470" height="836"> </p> <h3>It's human</h3> <p>In summary, Airbnb is human. Browse around and you see people like you and me who are a part of this unique, growing community. </p> <p>The people who are taking a different path to experience more memorable, unique and personable travel experiences than we have ever had before.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0213/airbnb_belong_anywhere.png" alt="" width="700" height="290"><br> <br><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0214/airbnb_recently_viewed.png" alt="" width="700" height="353"></p> <h3>Conclusion</h3> <p>To me, Airbnb is one of the most inspirational and progressive brands in the world, regardless of industry.</p> <p>This is mainly due to its forward thinking and absolute focus on the customer experience. </p> <p>The question is, will the Airbnb experience become the future of the travel industry?</p> <p>And what can travel agents do to start offering their current customers some of what Airbnb have made central to their overall customer experience? </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64849-could-travel-sites-like-airbnb-be-doing-more-with-their-content/"><em>Could travel sites like Airbnb be doing more with their content?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68225-10-examples-of-great-airbnb-marketing-creative/"><em>10 examples of great Airbnb marketing creative</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/"><em>Creating Superior Customer Experiences Training Course</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67953 2016-06-15T11:36:40+01:00 2016-06-15T11:36:40+01:00 How Lush Cosmetics uses word-of-mouth marketing Nikki Gilliland <p>After all, it is a retailer that does not advertise on traditional media, nor is it totally mainstream like its rival the Body Shop.</p> <p>But now with a three-storey flagship slap-bang in the middle of Oxford Street, Lush certainly appears to be making the most of its cult following.</p> <p>On the back of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67158-why-lush-is-the-undisputed-master-of-b-commerce/">last year’s website comparison</a>, and in the run up to the <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/awards/categories?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">Masters of Marketing</a> (deadline for entry this Friday, June 17th), we thought we’d take a look at how Lush has gone from a small ethical cosmetics company to a high street behemoth.</p> <p>Here are four ways Lush has executed a winning <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">content strategy</a> through non-traditional methods.</p> <h3>Brand values and identity</h3> <p>Since it first began in 1995, Lush has always prided itself on its ethical principles.</p> <p>From minimal packaging to protests against animal testing – it has become just as well-known for its charitable endeavours as its use of organic ingredients.</p> <p>Undoubtedly, these core values of honesty and positivity have enabled the brand to build a large and loyal fan base. </p> <p>As well as promoting good causes, Lush also practices what it preaches, with 100% of the earnings from its ‘charity pot’ body cream going to environmental, animal protection and human rights organisations.</p> <p>Similarly, by focusing on grassroots charities, it further emphasises its position as being a friend to the little guy.</p> <p>Ultimately, any purchase from Lush comes along with the reassurance that it’s from a brand that truly cares. And there’s no denying that this is an incredibly powerful (and persuasive) notion for consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6090/Lush_Charity_Pot.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="305"></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/it2ADEr_rEo?wmode=transparent" width="700" height="424"></iframe></p> <h3>Unique copywriting</h3> <p>Alongside its core values, Lush is famous for its unique and quirky <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">copywriting</a>. </p> <p>In recent years, the brand has ramped up its efforts in this area even more, with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62713-six-things-to-consider-when-writing-product-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> becoming a huge focus of its online shop.</p> <p>Using an unashamedly flowery and funny tone of voice, Lush’s copy combines both puns and rhymes with practical information. </p> <p>From ‘You’ve Been Mangoed’ to ‘Granny Takes a Dip’, the names of the products also range from the predictable to the rather ridiculous. Yet somehow, it still works.  </p> <p>The style is nothing if not consistent, with similarly punny headlines being found throughout the website and blog, as well as a similar style on social media. </p> <p>It is not everyone’s cup of tea of course, but it is certainly distinctive.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6091/Lush_Copy_2.PNG" alt="" width="700" height="417"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6092/Lush_Copy.PNG" alt="" width="665" height="469"></p> <h3>Influencer marketing</h3> <p>In recent years, YouTube has turned out to be one of Lush’s most effective marketing channels. </p> <p>Despite uploads on the brand’s own account being surprisingly rare, mentions from a number of influential internet personalities has meant that it has still enjoyed valuable exposure.</p> <p>With the likes of Zoella and Tanya Burr declaring their undying love for the brand in endless ‘Lush hauls’, the store has garnered millions of new customers as a result.</p> <p>There’s no denying the power of this word-of-mouth marketing. Despite the world of influential advertising becoming <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67923-influencer-marketing-is-becoming-a-joke-what-can-brands-do-about-it/">increasingly murky</a>, most of Lush's endorsements do appear to be organic (with many videos appearing during the early days of YouTube).</p> <p>With millions of subscribers, personalities like Zoella are able to influence buyer behaviour far more than most other forms of advertising - a fact that has certainly gone in Lush's favour.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lJDOtzCHXKo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>User-generated content</h3> <p>Lush doesn’t only put effort into growing its customer base. A big reason behind its success is its focus on building a relationship with its audience.</p> <p>By talking to customers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Lush maintains a continual cycle of conversation and engagement. </p> <p>Using hashtags such as the popular #lushtime, it encourages customers to share their own personal Lush experiences, in turn building the brand's community.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6094/Lush_Instagram.PNG" alt="" width="780" height="634"></p> <p>A further example of how the brand uses content to elevate the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> is the 'Lush Kitchen'.</p> <p>By creating a limited number of online-only products, it aims to offer a personalised and exclusive service.</p> <p>Far more appealing than a standard shopping experience, it automatically encourages shoppers to recommend it to their friends or post about it online.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6095/Lush_Kitchen.PNG" alt="" width="730" height="461"></p> <p>Lush is a brand that promises far more than just a good bubble bath.</p> <p>With its passionate values, distinct style and positive community, it ensures customers are more than happy to spead the word.</p> <p><em><strong>Don't forget to get your <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/awards/categories?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog">entries in for the Masters of Marketing</a> awards before the deadline on 17th June. </strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67530 2016-02-17T11:44:00+00:00 2016-02-17T11:44:00+00:00 Five social media campaigns celebrating women across the globe Chloe McKenna <p>But how does the theme of women’s rights translate to campaigns globally?</p> <p>In this post I'll run through some of the most fascinating international campaigns focusing on female empowerment, and see how different cultures interpret the concept. </p> <h3>#touchthepickle</h3> <p>Whisper’s #touchthepickle campaign by P&amp;G India was created to debunk the taboos of things women supposedly shouldn’t do when they’re on their period.</p> <p>The undeniably hilarious hashtag #touchthepickle is in reference to the superstitious belief that if women touch a pickle jar when they’re on their period, the pickles inside will rot.</p> <p>The accompanying YouTube video achieved over 2m views and users were invited to share their #touchthepickle period-taboo busting moments on social media which added another dimension of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66739-how-user-generated-content-is-changing-content-marketing/">user-generated content</a> to the campaign. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5s8SD83ILJY?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <h3>#autocompletetruth</h3> <p>Memac Ogilvy and Mather’s powerful campaign for UN women in Dubai exposed some of the horrifying auto-complete phrases seen in Google when searching for terms related to women.</p> <p>From ‘women shouldn’t have rights’ to ‘women shouldn’t work’, the widespread sexism of popular searches was truly shocking.</p> <p>The campaign ignited global conversations with over 24m Twitter mentions alone for the #autocompletetruth hashtag, and the campaign was discussed on social media by women from more than 100 different countries.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2008/autocomplete.png" alt="" width="641" height="871"></p> <h3>BBC #100women</h3> <p>The annual BBC #100women campaign focuses on sharing the stories of women from around the world, which can be overlooked by mainstream media, with the aim of making news content more engaging for female audiences.</p> <p>It is truly international, with content being shared in eight languages across two international BBC social media channels (Twitter &amp; Facebook) <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BBC100women/?fref=ts">featuring women from across the globe.</a></p> <p>The 100 women representing the campaign are diverse, ranging from world leaders to local heroines coming from all walks of life. The multi-channel campaign has a hugely social focus.</p> <p>Nandita Patkar, head of paid media at Oban Digital, explains:</p> <blockquote> <p>For this year’s campaign, the BBC World Service wanted to improve online campaign traffic across Arabic, Hindi, Spanish and Afrique, Urdu and Swahili. Our expert teams researched which markets and channels would offer the most impact in terms of relevancy, reach and cost and planned accordingly.</p> <p>Our amplification of content throughout the live debates showed that there was a strong interest in the topic from Eastern Africa and India. Overall though, Spanish had the majority of reach and engagement.</p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2009/100_women.jpg" alt="" width="1024" height="513"></p> <h3>#Ladyball</h3> <p>This recent spoof campaign from Lidl Ireland caused much controversy on social media.</p> <p>It seemingly promoted a dainty pink ‘Ladyball’, suitable for sports women, boasting ‘soft-touch for a woman’s grip’ and ‘eazi-play – for a woman’s ability’.</p> <p>While many correctly suspected that the ‘sexist’ campaign was nothing more than a marketing ploy, it still managed to spark debate and gain considerable news coverage.</p> <p>The campaign was indeed a tongue-in-cheek promotion tactic; in fact designed to raise awareness of Ladies Gaelic Football which is now sponsored by Lidl Ireland.</p> <p>Reaction to the humorous approach was positive in general, although some Twitter users took objection to the contrived nature of the advertisements, and questioned whether all PR is indeed good PR when it purports to support such dated views.</p> <p>However, the campaign was successful in igniting social media mentions and gaining media placements, reaching a large audience in the process.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">There's now ads in the paper for the lady ball.. This can't be real please say it ain't so <a href="https://t.co/1htC8BmGi2">pic.twitter.com/1htC8BmGi2</a></p> — Rachel (@ityagalrach) <a href="https://twitter.com/ityagalrach/status/687965104206393344">January 15, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>#VivaLaReconstruccion</h3> <p>Latin America’s mainstream culture places a high value on traditional female beauty ideals.</p> <p>So, when popular Mexican actress and director Patricia Reyes Spíndola posed topless revealing her reconstructed breasts in a series of striking photographs shared via social media, it caused quite a stir.</p> <p>The campaign, #VivaLaReconstruction, aimed to spread awareness of breast cancer while showcasing an alternative view of female beauty focused on the strength and resilience of a woman’s body.</p> <p>The images were widely shared and were generally well-received by the Latin American audience.</p> <p>Many people tweeted that they found the campaign concept and the accompanying visuals refreshing and inspiring. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2010/vivalareconstruction.png" alt="" width="944" height="794"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>All of these campaigns were successful because they carefully considered the audiences they were targeting, and addressed issues which effect real women from those regions.</p> <p>From body image and gender norms through to female sport and women’s rights, the umbrella of female empowerment can encompass many topics.</p> <p>Undeniably, woman power has proved itself to be a forceful theme for igniting social media debate and conversation across the globe.</p> <p>But, for marketers hoping to cash-in on the theme, caution is advised as increasingly audiences are savvy to so-called ‘femvertising’.</p> <p>Campaigns channelling female power will only have legs if they manage to identify with real women and avoid alienating them by coming across as too contrived or patronising. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/1980 2016-01-21T16:30:00+00:00 2016-01-21T16:30:00+00:00 Digital Intelligence Briefings Econsultancy <h3>Download the latest Digital Intelligence Briefing (Succeeding in the Omnichannel Age) <a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: Succeeding in the Omnichannel Age" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-succeeding-in-the-omnichannel-age/">here</a>.</h3> <p>Econsultancy's <strong>Digital Intelligence Briefings </strong>look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape.</p> <p>Marketers around the world are surveyed on a regular basis to give an accurate bellwether of trends that matter to marketers. Each year kicks off with a broader view on where marketers are focusing their attention. For the rest of the year, Econsultancy’s Research Team dig into some of the key trends to add depth and insight.</p> <p>These reports will benefit senior marketers with budget and planning responsibility who wish to benchmark themselves against their industry peers. They provide many stats and data points to assist with business cases, presentations and client pitches.</p> <p>The Digital Intelligence Briefings are sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/solutions/digital-marketing.html">Adobe</a>.</p> <p><strong>2016</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2016 Digital Trends" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2016-digital-trends/">2016 Digital Trends</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity" href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-pursuit-of-data-driven-maturity/">The Pursuit of Data-Driven Maturity</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-taking-advantage-of-the-mobile-opportunity/">Taking Advantage of the Mobile Opportunity</a></li> <li><a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: Succeeding in the Omnichannel Age" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-succeeding-in-the-omnichannel-age/">Succeeding in the Omnichannel Age</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2015</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2015-digital-trends/">2015 Digital Trends</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Quest for Mobile Excellence" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-quest-for-mobile-excellence">The Quest for Mobile Excellence</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The Multichannel Reality" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-multichannel-reality/">The Multichannel Reality</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-cx-challenge/">The CX Challenge</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2014</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2014 Digital Trends" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2014-digital-trends">Digital Trends for 2014</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-finding-the-path-to-mobile-maturity">Finding the Path to Mobile Maturity</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Delivering Digital Experiences" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-delivering-digital-experiences">Delivering Digital Experiences</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-why-marketing-should-be-personal/">Why Marketing Should Be Personal</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2013</strong></p> <ul> <li> <a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Digital Trends for 2013" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-digital-trends-for-2013">Digital Trends for 2013</a> </li> <li> <a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: From Content Management to Customer Experience Management" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-from-content-management-to-customer-experience-management">From Content Management to Customer Experience Management</a> </li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Optimising Paid Media" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-optimising-paid-media">Optimising Paid Media</a></li> <li><a title="Channels in Concert: Trends in Integrated Marketing" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-integrated-marketing">Trends in Integrated Marketing</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2012</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Digital Trends for 2012" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-digital-trends-for-2012/">Digital Trends for 2012</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Personalisation, Trust and Return on Investment" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-personalisation-trust-and-roi">Personalisation, Trust and Return on Investment</a></li> <li><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-managing-and-measuring-social">Managing and Measuring Social</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Making Sense of Marketing Attribution" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-making-sense-of-marketing-attribution">Making Sense of Marketing Attribution</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>2011</strong></p> <ul> <li><a title="Digital Trends for 2011" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-q2-2011">Digital Trends for 2011</a></li> <li><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-q3-2011">Impact of Marketing Technology on Business</a></li> <li><a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: Social Data" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-social-data">Social Data</a></li> </ul> <p><em>All reports are free to download as part of an Econsultancy subscription.</em></p> <h3><strong>More trends analysis from Econsultancy</strong></h3> <p>Enterprise subscribers also have access to <a title="Econsultancy Digital Shift" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-shift">Digital Shift</a>, a quarterly service which curates and interprets the most important developments, trends and innovation. Our aim? To make it simple for you to keep track of the key developments in digital technology and marketing. </p> <h4>Find out more about Econsultancy subscriptions</h4> <p>Email us on <a href="mailto:subscriptions@econsultancy.com">subscriptions@econsultancy.com</a>.</p> <p>Or call your local team:</p> <ul> <li>EMEA: Paul Simmons, +44 (0)20 3199 7118</li> <li>Americas: Alex Nodell, +1 212 971 0631</li> <li>APAC: Jefrey Gomez, +65 6653 1911</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67236 2015-12-03T16:13:04+00:00 2015-12-03T16:13:04+00:00 Talk like a human, for business’s sake Maz Nadjm <p>In this sense, things have changed massively since social media have joined the landscape of ‘brand to human’ interactions. Becoming a ‘human brand’ online is now somehow easier, and the way to achieve such an ambitious goal is to showcase the company’s culture with a recognisable, sincere and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/">consistent voice on social media</a>.</p> <p>When you think about it, the most successful and engaging brands on social media are often the ones that are easy to talk to and pleasant in their dialogue.</p> <p>Like a good conversationalist, a human brand is absolutely awesome when it comes to:</p> <p>1. Making people smile<br>2. Listening<br>3. Responding quickly to different inputs<br>4. Offering advice<br>5. Introducing you to people</p> <p>Although all human brands usually feature a combination of these different abilities, some companies are absolute champions in one specific field. Here’s a selection of brands acing humanising almost seamlessly:</p> <h3>1. Innocent puts a smile on your face</h3> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/9306/picture2-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="538"></p> <p>Ok, there are plenty of amazing brands out there creating funny, memorable and tasteful content for their audience to share, but when it comes to feel-good vibes Innocent Smoothies are in a league of their own.</p> <p>This could depend on the fact that staff are allowed “a healthy degree of spontaneity” when suggesting content or engaging with customers on social media, as the company’s community manager Joe McEwen explains.</p> <p>Witty jokes, cute images and well-written (and not too obvious) <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64865-what-are-the-best-social-media-marketing-campaigns-of-all-time">content promotions</a> are the three secret weapons of Innocent’s incredible success, along with great and recurring partnerships (such as the one with AgeUK every winter).</p> <p>(216,000 Twitter followers, 518,000 likes on Facebook, 48,800 followers on Instagram and 28,000 on LinkedIn).</p> <h3>2. JetBlue is a great listener</h3> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/JetBlue/status/595606946994069504"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/9308/picture3-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="286"></a></p> <p>When it comes to top-notch customer support, few companies can compete with the American airline JetBlue. They do their best not only to acknowledge people’s words of praise for them, but especially to answer as promptly as possible all questions, concerns or complaints that their customers may have (we all know how stressed out one can get when things get tough while travelling).</p> <p>They are great at monitoring all conversations about themselves, even the ones that don’t @mention them directly, bringing the whole ‘social listening’ strategy to a brand new level. </p> <p>(1.97m Twitter followers, 1.1m likes on Facebook, 101,000 followers on Instagram and 51,000 on LinkedIn)</p> <h3>3. Oreo seizes the day</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/9307/picture1-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="367"> </p> <p>There’s plenty to love about Oreo’s social media approach.</p> <p>Take their Twitter bio, for instance: “Your favorite cookie, filling your world with Wonder 140 characters at a time”. And the best thing about this description is that it is incredibly accurate. Those 140-character-Wonders are not only made of good-hearted and clever humour, but also showcase the company’s ability to jump on viral bandwagons in the most unexpected way.</p> <p>We all remember their impromptu tweet during the SuperBowl’s blackout in 2013 was a sheer stroke of genius that made social media history and kind of invented the whole concept of ‘instant' or '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66794-why-agile-marketing-must-be-about-more-than-social-media">agile marketing</a>’.</p> <p>(776,000 Twitter followers, 41m likes on Facebook, 1.1m followers on Instagram and 59,000 on Vine)</p> <h3>4. Starbucks is going to make you an offer you can’t refuse</h3> <p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/Starbucks/photos/a.10150362709023057.369892.22092443056/10152893544228057/?type=3&amp;permPage=1"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/9309/picture4-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="389"></a></p> <p>The whole ‘sharing is caring’ philosophy has gained a totally new value since the expansion of social media.</p> <p>Although the majority of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64328-eight-awesome-social-campaigns-from-starbucks">Starbuck’s posts are promotional and upselling content</a>, they managed to grow a faithful and vast community of followers on all major social media (a follower base so passionate they embark in heated debates about the colour of the company’s cups).</p> <p>The easiest explanation for this state of things is that the offers promoted by the coffee chain are usually really hard to resist, and available to followers’ friends as well. Cherry on top, all posts are complemented with stunning photos that are simply really nice to look at, whatever they are advertising.</p> <p>(10.6M Twitter followers, 36M likes on Facebook, 6.6M followers on Instagram and 634,000 on LinkedIn).</p> <h3>5. L’Oréal wants you to meet its peeps</h3> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/9310/picture5-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="302"></p> <p>In October, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage at Engage London with Alexander Onish, L'Oréal’s Digital Employer Branding Manager. During the presentation, he shared the company's strategy (along with many great examples) of leveraging <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67091-how-l-oreal-uses-social-media-to-increase-employee-engagement">social media to showcase culture</a>, attract talent and engage staff in fun and inspiring ways.</p> <p>This strategy proves extremely effective. For instance, people tend to trust employees working at a company more than they trust official communication channels of that same company. With this in mind, L’Oréal empowers employees to become the actual face of the company, offering glimpses of office life to social job-seekers (also through the dedicated hashtag #lifeatloreal – a brilliant idea that generates great response). </p> <p>(L’Oréal Careers: 12,100 Twitter followers and 246,000 likes on Facebook. 970 posts on Instragram using the #lifeatloreal hashtag).</p> <h3>Humanise the business before the brand</h3> <p>According to Michael Brito, "While many organisations are trying desperately to humanise their brand, they are failing to understand that they need to humanise their business first." And the best way to humanise a business is starting from the people that make it.</p> <p>By empowering employees at all levels to suggest ideas for content, ‘lend’ their face and images to the company, monitor conversations, and promptly ‘jump’ into them when relevant, companies can have a positive impact on the way customers perceive their brand and culture, influencing purchasing decisions as well.</p> <p>Once a company is ready to take the 'humanising' leap of faith, employee advocacy platforms prove extremely useful in sourcing, customising and amplifying all different kinds of social media content.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66918 2015-09-16T15:02:13+01:00 2015-09-16T15:02:13+01:00 How employee advocacy can strengthen your communications Maz Nadjm <p>Employees often create and share content about their company, whether it's by promoting a new campaign, expressing excitement about some company news or just talking about their days at work.</p> <p>For this reason, many companies find themselves facing a specific challenge: they are not able to acknowledge and measure their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66806-how-to-turn-your-employees-into-company-advocates">employees’ brand advocacy</a> even though it's already happening.</p> <p>There is a vast network of channels, so how would you possibly go about influencing them efficiently? Also, what are the actual benefits <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66320-who-understands-the-why-of-your-company-a-portrait-of-an-employee-advocacy-champion">advocacy</a> could bring to your brand?</p> <p>If used to its potential, social media can help spread your messages further, contacting people you would never normally reach.</p> <p>A great way of doing this is through an employee advocacy platform. Granting access to a repository of approved, relevant content to their colleagues, a communications department to influence their external messages and monitor the consequent digital image of the brand.</p> <p>Here are some ways that an employee advocacy platform can help steer communications in the right direction:</p> <h3>The informed advocate</h3> <p>Informing employees on all the latest company updates helps to keep them in the loop about the most exciting company news.</p> <p>Using an employee advocacy platform, you can easily share and promote the messages that you want your stakeholders, clients and prospects to hear.</p> <p>Also by keeping employees informed, they are more likely to want to talk about their company and reach out to the wider community.</p> <p>Your employees’ social networks expand into all sorts of various routes from a prospect to a family member, thus expanding your company message into their personal networks.</p> <h3>Competitive edge</h3> <p>Many companies are yet to venture into the field of employee advocacy. When it comes to external communications, engaging your employees in the company message can demonstrate that edge over your competitors.</p> <p>Research shows that socially engaged companies are <a href="https://soamp.li/cjK">40% more likely to be perceived as more competitive</a>. This means that employees are talking about their brand and displaying passion for their work.</p> <p>This kind of activity is a reflection of the true nature of the company, something that your prospects will hopefully be interested in connecting with.</p> <h3>Preventing and correcting miscommunication</h3> <p>Although social media can be a wonderful method of promoting company content, it can be dangerous and prone to misuse.</p> <p>Employees will use social media to talk about their personal and professional lives regardless of whether it is supported by a company or not, but often company encouragement is exactly what they need. 38% are more likely to share relevant company content with co-workers and customers when the company shares content in social media.</p> <p>Using an employee advocacy platform will enable administrators to approve the content that their colleagues suggest, allowing them to be a vital source of information while making sure the out-going message stays always accurate and on-brand.</p> <p>Providing this kind of filter, the company significantly lowers the risk of miscommunicating messages. </p>