tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/enterprise-social-networking Latest Enterprise social networking content from Econsultancy 2016-02-03T02:03:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67455 2016-02-03T02:03:00+00:00 2016-02-03T02:03:00+00:00 Is LinkedIn still useful for marketing in Asia-Pacific? Jeff Rajeck <h3>First, the criticism</h3> <p>In Q3 2015, LinkedIn reported that it has 396m members globally, up from 81m five years earlier. Impressive growth indeed, but <strong>success has not come without some issues.  </strong></p> <p>Most of the problems seem to come from the open nature of the network.</p> <p>Members can be found easily through searching on LinkedIn or Google and then contacted without too much difficulty.</p> <p>As a result, members have become overwhelmed by anonymous contacts and so a few justified critiques have emerged lately.</p> <h3>1. Users are plagued with random link requests</h3> <p>Anyone can try to connect with you on LinkedIn and so members often are overloaded with random connection requests.  </p> <p>LinkedIn members have seen the phrase "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" so often that it has taken on meme-like status.</p> <p>So much so, that The Atlantic recently <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/all/2016/01/the-greatest-universal-new-yorker-cartoon-caption/423759/">ran a piece</a> showing how the ubiquitous phrase could be used in just about any New Yorker cartoon, with comedic effect.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1149/professional-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="136"></p> <h3>2. InMails have become hopelessly compromised</h3> <p>InMails were originally just a way for LinkedIn members to contact each other.  At some point, though, the messaging capability was sold to businesses, specificially recruitment firms, as a way to message people who had not accepted a connection request.</p> <p>But <strong>InMails seem to have been oversold</strong>.</p> <p>Many members LinkedIn inboxes are now clogged with unsolicited messages and they, too, have become a well-recognized point of frustration with the platform.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1150/twitter-linkedin-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="322"></p> <h3>3. Many updates are meaningless and annoying</h3> <p>LinkedIn users are long familiar with the silly math puzzles...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1153/linkedin.jpg" alt="" width="355" height="368"></p> <p>But lately there has been a new source of annoyance - useless updates from LinkedIn itself.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1152/linkedin-update-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="456"> </p> <h3>But...</h3> <p>These are all valid points from the perspective of the end user. LinkedIn is, or has become, annoying to use.</p> <p>But though there are complaints about usability, does this compromise it as a marketing platform? That is, are brands still able to use LinkedIn to communicate with potential customers?</p> <p>I think so - and here are three<strong> very good reasons to keep using LinkedIn, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.</strong></p> <h3>1. LinkedIn's growth in Asia-Pacific has outpaced its growth in the West</h3> <p>LinkedIn has been experiencing growth globally and since <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65145-facebook-vs-linkedin-which-is-better-for-b2b-marketing/">I last wrote about the network</a>, its user base has grown even more in Asia Pacific.</p> <p>Below are numbers for the population of LinkedIn users who are in the IT industry.  </p> <p>The first column is from my last survey in July 2014 and the next is from January 2016.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1155/linkedin-it-growth-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="221"></p> <p>What it shows is that, whereas USA growth has been single-digit, most countries in Asia-Pacific have enjoyed double-digit growth.  </p> <p>Great news for those wanting to reach people on the platform. </p> <h3>2. There are now many more ways to target people on LinkedIn</h3> <p>LinkedIn has made a number of changes to the way that you can reach people on the platform.</p> <p>Whereas they used to only allow for small ads on the side, you can now promote updates directly in the feed, where people actually look, in many different formats (link, photo, text).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1156/linkedin-sponsored_update-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="286"></p> <p>And if you haven't used the ad platform lately, it has been improved in the past year and is much easier-to-use now. </p> <h3>3. LinkedIn is the only place you can effectively target professionals</h3> <p>But the single greatest benefit of using LinkedIn for marketing is that you can target professionals.</p> <p>Sure you can proxy this capability by targeting the right keywords in Google or interests in Facebook, but neither of these compare with being able to target someone's job title, company size, seniority, etc.</p> <p>That is, if you are targeting people who work in the IT industry in, say, Singapore, you simply cannot find them as effectively anywhere other than on LinkedIn.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/1157/capture-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="150"></p> <h3>So...</h3> <p>So I think the demise of LinkedIn has been greatly exaggerated, at least in Asia-Pacific.  </p> <p>It's growing in the region, the marketing options are getting better, and it is still the only place that you can reliably target professionals.</p> <p>So, for now, ignore the haters and use LinkedIn to connect with your audience and get your brand message out there.  </p> <p>(Even if it does annoy you at times!)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1158/add-professional-network-linkedin.PNG" alt="" width="509" height="689"></p> tag:www.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> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66853 2015-08-24T15:40:00+01:00 2015-08-24T15:40:00+01:00 What can brands learn from automotive website trends? Geoff Turral <p>In Britain, JD Power is well known for its annual car buyer satisfaction reports. The results matter. They’re the subject of intense scrutiny by the automotive and mainstream consumer press, with the winning brand trumpeting the achievement across mainstream media.</p> <p>The global automotive industry is equally transfixed by JD Power’s manufacturer US website study. Now in its 16th year, the study scores four core areas: information/content, appearance, speed and navigation.  </p> <p>For 2015 the results cover 34 brands, with <a href="http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2015-manufacturer-website-evaluation-study%E2%80%94summer">Porsche and BMW coming joint top</a> and Chevrolet, Subaru and Honda at the foot of the table.</p> <p>Despite being a US market study, the results are dissected in detail by the European, Japanese and Korean car brands because their website presence is broadly global.</p> <p>The key 2015 finding according to senior director of JD Power Arianne Walker is that,</p> <blockquote> <p>Manufacturers can influence shoppers by creating an emotionally connected online shopping experience through compelling, visually appealing storytelling to engage, entice, and reassure shoppers that they are making the right decision.</p> </blockquote> <h3><strong>The evolution of the brand website</strong></h3> <p>In context of the evolution of car brand websites, this is fascinating. As with many product sectors, the first car websites were merely digital brochures.</p> <p> Moving into this century, sites became (and many remain) aggressive offer and pricing platforms, driving potential customers into a world of pricing confusion, well before they’ve established that the brand and a specific model can meet their needs.</p> <p>With over 2m US sales in 2014, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66809-why-is-chevrolet-s-content-marketing-so-compelling">Chevrolet is a huge player</a>, second only to Ford but ita website illustrates the problem with a barrage of retail offers and very little context, reflecting the position of chevrolet.com at third from bottom in the rankings. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6476/chevy.png" alt="" width="1073" height="787"></p> <p>At the other end of the scale, the approach of BMW owned Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is interesting and instructive.  </p> <p>Inside Rolls-Royce is a global programme focusing on the iconic significance of the brand and the stories behind the beautiful, obsessive and compelling craftsmanship in every one of their cars.  </p> <p>The communication target is not the prospective Rolls-Royce buyer, but the ‘choir’. </p> <p>As transport, our car is one of a few possessions that we constantly present to people we will never know, but these strangers are increasingly likely to be not just content creator and publisher, but judge and jury.</p> <p>Rolls-Royce understand that the future sales limitation won’t be money. There’s plenty about and for their target demographic it’s increasing. The limitation has become ‘permission to own’.  </p> <p>Rolls-Royce hits the challenge head on, curating the best of the advocacy content from the non-buyer audience. The choir that sets the agenda for ‘permission to own’, driving social acceptance, and publishing in real-time on Inside Rolls-Royce.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6480/Inside_Rolls_Royce.png" alt="" width="1194" height="993"></p> <p>Among global car markets, the US has historically been the most commoditised. </p> <p>The arcane European brand snobbery that allows big margins for the premium brand versions of technically equivalent products from the same group, doesn’t cut much ice in the land of smart buying, where customer service, product reliability and value rule the roost.</p> <p>So, JD Power’s assertion that an emotionally connected story and visual storytelling are key to purchase consideration is even more compelling in the context of the US market.</p> <h3><strong>What makes Porsche’s website so compelling?</strong></h3> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6472/Screen_Shot_2015-08-24_at_10.50.59.png" alt="" width="1432" height="630"></strong></p> <p>Topping the results, Porsche has arguably the most compelling storytelling platform.  </p> <p>Through the Porsche Live platform, they ensure that every market website has an engaging live content mix that is always relevant for the user. The age-old problem of global vs local is eliminated, as the live story is always built on a global brand foundation, but is then embellished with a mix of brand, 3rd party editorial and user-generated advocacy content, at the market and retailer levels.<br> </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6473/Screen_Shot_2015-08-24_at_10.52.33.png" alt="" width="1600" height="985"></p> <p>It’s intriguing to see how Porsche Live works across 2 markets as diverse as the <a href="http://www.porsche.com/uk/%20">UK</a> and <a href="http://www.porsche.com/china/">China</a>, delivering dynamic, relevant content that drives high levels of engagement.  </p> <p>Cutting through the noise to bring a compelling but controlled <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66846-five-triumphant-content-marketing-campaigns-from-the-automotive-industry">content narrative</a> to every decision point used to be very difficult. Porsche Live shows how it can done, and the implications and potential for every brand are clear to see.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66688 2015-07-14T09:53:00+01:00 2015-07-14T09:53:00+01:00 Wimbledon and brand marketing: serving up a match made in heaven Kasia Piekut <p dir="ltr">No matter if you watch it at home, at work or on the court, brands are there to celebrate tennis’s golden moments with you through the use of content, cutting-edge technology and agile social marketing. </p> <h2 dir="ltr">Jaguar tests technology for real-time sentiment discovery </h2> <p dir="ltr">To find Wimbledon’s hotspots, Jaguar Land Rover has introduced biometric trackers designed to track, measure and record the crowd’s emotions during Wimbledon 2015. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0C4ujBBlqFM?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p dir="ltr">To understand how real-time events influence audience, Jaguar, first time official car sponsor of Wimbledon, used a mixture of the latest technology and sociometric tracking.  </p> <p dir="ltr">Each day 20 fans were given biometric wristbands which monitored the wearer’s heart rate and excitement.</p> <p dir="ltr">Noise and crowd movement, ‘sociometric’ data generated from engagement on social media, were measured by atmospheric sensors. Those were placed around the venue with an aim to detect changes in relation to events happening on the court during tournaments.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5049/jaguar-wearable-tech-wimbledon.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="467"> </p> <p dir="ltr">The information provided by users, from pulse in real-time, mood and excitement level, mixed with various activities on social media, became part of live <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66131-17-visualisation-tools-to-make-your-data-beautiful">data visualisations</a> gathered on <a href="http://jaguar.wimbledon.com/en_GB/wrapper/jlr/index.html" target="_blank">Jaguar’s microsite</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">The discovered sentiment and other insights were shared on Jaguar’s social media with the use of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FeelWimbledon?src=hash" target="_blank">#FeelWimbledon hashtag</a> which fans unable to attend the event were able to use to get involved in the Wimbledon’s spirit and join those in the stands. </p> <h2>Robinsons’s treasure hunt </h2> <p dir="ltr"> To draw attention of a wide range of younger tennis fans, Robinsons launched a multi-channel campaign '80 Years at Wimbledon'. </p> <p dir="ltr">Using the power of short video and animated GIFs the brand grew excitement to the launch of Wimbledon with '<a href="https://www.robinsonssquash.co.uk/HuntForWimbledon/default.aspx" target="_blank">The Great Robinsons Ball Hunt</a>'.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5042/great-robinsons-ball-hunt.png" alt="" width="586" height="342"></p> <p dir="ltr">Followers on Twitter were asked to discover locations of giant tennis balls hidden across the country for a chance to win prizes from tennis merchandise to VIP tickets to The Championships.</p> <p dir="ltr">Everyday, s series of clues and teasers were revealed on the company’s Twitter encouraging others to join in. The hunt was endorsed with the appearance of British number one tennis player, Tim Henman, who became the ‘face’ of the campaign and presented clues on Twitter while asking the public to find the balls and tweet a picture of them. </p> <p dir="ltr">This rather simple idea became a great way of building up anticipation for a major sporting event while the competitive angle encouraged fans to become more involved in the hunt.</p> <p dir="ltr">For some, it was also a chance to be closer to an experience they always dreamed about and swap the TV screen for the actual court. </p> <h2>Stella Artois virtual reality experience </h2> <p>This year Stella Artois brought again something rather new to Wimbledon by taking inspiration from legendary hawk Rufus, who helps keep pigeons away from Wimbledon’s grounds.</p> <p>To allow tennis fans to get a bird’s eye view of Wimbledon’s court, the brand introduced 'The Perfect Flight’' virtual reality (VR) app.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GuZ2_rsv0VI?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>With the use of Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift and 360° technology, Stella Artois created an immersive experience which gives tennis enthusiasts the chance to admire London’s Waterloo Station in a 360 degree video from above the courts.</p> <p>Using the app, available on iTunes, Google Play Store and cardboard googles, users can fly like Rufus from the comfort of their living room while admiring Wimbledon's iconic sights.  </p> <p>The VR kit which enables the app to work on smartphone was up for grabs on Stella Artois’s Twitter. In order to win it, the brand asked for retweets reaching in total 1,845.</p> <p>If you scroll over Stella Artois’s social media you will be able to discover <a href="http://tandcs.stellaartois.com/" target="_blank">other giveaways</a> from cider hampers, Cidre Le Poolwear, to Wimbledon accessory set giveaway’s. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5043/stella-artios-wimbledon-competition.png" alt="" width="580" height="473"></p> <h2>Evian’s celebrity content series aimed at raising emotions </h2> <p dir="ltr">To empower tennis enthusiasts’ to share their emotions from this year’s Wimbledon, Evian boosted these efforts with daily video series hosted by celebrities, bloggers and tennis fans which express their reactions to the events on Wimbledon’s court.</p> <p dir="ltr">Every morning a show recorded at the brand’s onsite ‘Live Young Suite’ is released on <a href="http://www.wimbledon.com/index.html" target="_blank">Wimbledon’s website</a> while mobile users can access them using Shazam’s new visual recognition feature available on Evian’s print adverts.  </p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5044/evian-wimble-watch-social-media-campaign.png" alt="" width="581" height="396"></p> <p dir="ltr">Using the power of social media, Evian is encouraging fans to show their Wimbledon reactions on Twitter and Instagram with the use of <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23wimbledonwatch&amp;src=typd" target="_blank">#wimbledonwatch hashtag</a> with a promise of making the most engaging ones into a video leading up to the finalists.</p> <p dir="ltr">By merging fan emotions with the potential of getting some of the Wimbledon limelight, the brand hopes to unite closer fans at home with those on the court while driving genuine examples of the sport’s excitement. </p> <p dir="ltr">Creating ‘Live Young Suite’ and filming celebrity comments from Wimbledon’s daily events allowed the brand to tap into the power of influencer endorsement while expanding the campaign's reach through celebrity recognition. </p> <h2>Paddy Power supports mischief at Wimbledon’s ups and downs  </h2> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/5045/paddy-power-wimbledon.png" alt="" width="585" height="542"></p> <p>In this crowded space where brands try to steal the limelight from Wimbledon’s fever, Paddy Power differentiated itself by bringing a mixture of humor and sarcasm. Starting with '<a href="http://blog.paddypower.com/2015/06/29/you-cant-be-serious-paddy-powers-creepy-wimbledon-quiz/" target="_blank">Paddy Power’s creepy Wimbledon quiz</a>', using Vine to have a laugh from from TV presenters, to posting updates on Facebook like this one:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nick Kyrgios, just like the rest of us, can't be arsed with work on a Monday morning’</p> </blockquote> <p>(This generated 268,651 views and 5,290 people likes).</p> <p>is the best proof that some brands don't need high tech solutions or fancy campaigns in order to engage its audience. What works for them is staying original to their branded personality with cheekiness and reactivity in messaging. </p> <h2>Expanding the reach of real-time campaigns  </h2> <p>Every year, to enhance Wimbledon’s spectator experience, brands work on their real-time marketing proposition to deliver campaigns which can help them own this unforgettable moment.</p> <p>But in order to make it work, they have to earn tennis enthusiasts’ attention with useful, relevant and entertaining experience. </p> <p>There’s going to be a lot of pressure to succeed at Wimbledon 2016 with real-time campaigns and solutions that can hit people with the right emotions and energy while reflecting the mood of the game.</p> <p>By getting it right, brands are able to gain some significant benefits but achieving them will be only possible by merging together technology, content and social media.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66594 2015-06-17T11:20:56+01:00 2015-06-17T11:20:56+01:00 Can sales teams afford to miss the social amplification opportunity? Maz Nadjm <p>There is no way around it: the purchasing process has fundamentally changed over the last few years. Being offline is not much of an option for brands anymore.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/HubSpot/the-social-lifecycle-consumer-insights-to-improve-your-business">studies</a> show that 95% of Millennials expect brands to be present on Facebook. But it’s not only them: 87% of 30- to 44-year-olds (the so-called Gen X’ers) and 70% of 45- to 60-year-olds agree that all brands should have at least a Facebook page.</p> <p>In this landscape, brands who enter the online conversation are presented with an incredible opportunity: an immense, unlimited sea of possibilities where they can find plenty of people, insights and relationships to fill their pipeline.</p> <p>As a strategy to amplify the reach of a company’s message, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66320-who-understands-the-why-of-your-company-a-portrait-of-an-employee-advocacy-champion/">employee advocacy</a> through social media benefits a company’s sales team in three key ways:</p> <h3>1. It boosts brand awareness</h3> <p>When employees share company’s news with all their connections, brands reach a much broader audience than what they’d otherwise do.</p> <p>Not all employees’ personal connections will be interested in the same piece of content in the same way, that’s for sure.</p> <p>However, simply by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66218-the-five-types-of-content-employees-love-to-share-on-social-media/">sharing company’s content on social media</a>, employees increase awareness about their company.</p> <p>As a result, the brand finds itself on the radar of new prospects that would otherwise have taken much longer to discover a specific service or investigate the company’s culture.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1166/Untitled.png" alt="" width="796" height="449"></p> <h3>2. It powers social selling</h3> <p>In a nutshell, social selling can be defined as the use of social media by sales to find a direct channel of interaction with their prospects.</p> <p>The attention is shifted from ‘pushing the sale’ to ‘building relationship’, turning occasional customers into loyal ones.</p> <p>By interacting with prospects or acquired customers on social media, a sales team can add new value to an old conversation. The prospect-salesperson relationship becomes much smoother, including helpful content and assistance on top of numeric talks and negotiations.</p> <p>The impact of active social media action on customer acquisition is not a matter of opinion anymore.</p> <p>For instance, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2013/05/19/study-78-of-salespeople-using-social-media-outsell-their-peers/" target="_blank">studies</a> show that:</p> <ul> <li>78.6% of sales people engaged in social selling outperform those who weren’t using social media.</li> <li>More than 40% of sales people close between two and five deals as a result of their effort on social media.</li> </ul> <p>Employee advocacy platforms empower business developers to take ownership of this innovative kind of customer communication.</p> <p>They receive input and insight from other members of their team as well as from colleagues working in different departments. This process enables them to quickly gather the kind of information they need to face the exciting challenge of social selling.</p> <h3>3. It helps salespeople establish themselves as thought leaders</h3> <p>When active on an employee advocacy platform like SoAmpli, sales teams gain direct access to a pool of interesting and relevant content they can easily share with all their connections.</p> <p>We are not talking only about company-generated posts or offers; even external industry-focused content has a direct positive impact on an individual’s reputation and credibility as expert and influencer.</p> <p>Through their online presence, sales people can also research information to prepare for sales conversations much more efficiently, while building a strong network of online connections.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66568 2015-06-11T10:34:12+01:00 2015-06-11T10:34:12+01:00 How cinemagraphs are helping brands break away from static content Kasia Piekut <p>In the world of marketing, where almost everything has been designed and produced, we are being pushed everyday to create better and more engaging content.</p> <p>While video can be costly and time consuming to produce, movable imagery became a way of reaching and connecting with consumers in a more intricate way. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/3909/chopard-marketing-cinemagraph-blog-flyer.png" alt="Chopard cinemagraph" width="615" height="340"></p> <p>To build intrigue and better express companies’ artistic culture, brands are favouring cinemagraphs as a part of their visual toolkits.</p> <p>So far they have proven to be more effective than a flat photo and are also perfectly suited for Instagram’s and Facebook’s autoplay which makes them move automatically. </p> <p>Here's how this new dimension is bringing a creative edge to visual storytelling while allowing marketing to become a form of surprise and delight.  </p> <h2>Cinemagraphs as form of digital art </h2> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3911/louboutin-cinemagraph-marketing.gif" alt=""></p> <p>Often mistaken for an animated GIF, cinemagraphs are a hybrid of living photography and video in which just one or two details are being brought to life with movement. </p> <p>The term cinemagraph was introduced by a New York fashion photographer <a href="http://annstreetstudio.com/about/">Jamie Beck and motion graphic designer Kevin Burg</a>, who started using this format since 2011 to animate their fashion and new photographs. </p> <p>Cinemagraphs are designed for immediacy to tell in a faster and more alluring way visual stories while mesmerising through an isolated image and moving element, making it hard to take your eyes away.  </p> <p>Their refined elegance has been clearly favoured by luxury brands like Chanel, Armani, Tiffany &amp; Co, Christian Louboutin and Balenciaga. But recently they have been showing up on the feeds of Chopard, Toyota, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Stouffer, General Electric and Honda. </p> <h2>Why have brands fallen for cinemagraphs?</h2> <ul> <li>Their bite-sized format allows easy consumption.</li> <li>They are attention grabbing without being distracting or annoying.<br> </li> <li>Cinemagraphs are easier and cheaper to produce than video.<br> </li> <li>They offer intricate content to keep viewers eyes engaged.<br> </li> <li>As they are great for sharing they encourage a higher level of engagement.<br> </li> <li>They help brands create more elaborate visual storytelling. </li> </ul> <h2>Breathing new life into social advertising with cinemagraphs   </h2> <p>Stuart Weitzman proves that social advertising doesn’t have to be boring. The fashion brand is one of the first to use cinemagraphs and some of the latest and the most advanced video advertising formats on Instagram and Facebook.</p> <p>While these ads become an appetiser of their products they also mesmerise users with their creative execution. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3924/stuart-weitzman-cinemagraph.gif" alt=""></p> <p>Cinemagraphs are part of Stuart Weitzman’s sequential messaging strategy, which intends to target customers with cinemagraphs on Instagram for a timeframe of a week, while later utilising Facebook’s new custom targeting to address consumers with a product ad who have seen it on Instagram. </p> <p>To influence its customers more effectively the brand is using the custom targeting options integrated within these two platforms to target its audience based on their interests, visits to the website and demonstrated brand affinity.</p> <p>The autoplay functions available on both channels allow cinemagraphs to stand out better within the photo-heavy social platforms while catching users’ attention.</p> <p>This format might be new, but it seems to work exceptionally well for Panasonic’s Lumix ad whose cinemagraph version <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/cmo/2015/03/23/marketers-experiment-with-cinemagraph-ads/">was clicked 60% more</a> than the static one.</p> <p>It’s not a surprise cinemagraphs have also found use in Tumblr's advertising for Saks Fifth Avenue and Lincoln Motor Co. It also might be not long until we will see them on Pinterest as they seem like the perfect fit for Pinterest’s new looping video ads, Cinematic Pins.</p> <h2>Making emails beautiful with cinemagraphs </h2> <p>To add a new spark to email marketing, retailers, especially luxury brands, are using the power of cinemagraphs to breathe visual life to the static email.</p> <p>Mr Porter delighted its subscribers with this subtle animation while drawing viewers eyes to a specific area in the email which helps tell a much broader story. </p> <p>According to a report from Experian Marketing Services <em>‘animated gifs and cinemagraphs also produce higher transaction-to-click rates: 72% of email marketers who have used animated gifs or cinemagraphs have recorded higher transaction-to-click rates, compared with bulk emails to the same customers.’</em> (Source: MarketingProfs) </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3917/email-marketing-mrporter-cinemagraph.gif" alt="" width="735" height="521"></p> <h2>Making campaigns and events more memorable with cinemagraphs </h2> <p>Brands are also choosing cinemagraphs to boost interest for their events and campaigns.</p> <p>To add glamour and a cinematic feel to their new campaign, House full of Secrets, Swiss jeweller Chopard used a series of cinemagraphs for their website. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3920/Chopard_House_of_Secrets_campaign_cinemagraphs.gif" alt="" width="615" height="346"></p> <p>Six characters representing different parts of Chopard’s new collection were introduced with a series of intriguing cinemagraphs, intending to use this format to create an ‘atmosphere full of intrigue and mystery’. </p> <p>Using cinemagraphs as teasers for their A/W 2015 runway show allowed Burberry create a visually alluring narrative around their products.</p> <p>By taking a different approach the brand was able to highlight specific products' details which were likely to increase consumer interest. </p> <p>While visual storytelling is a marriage of craft and marketing strategy,<strong> we can never forget that to make it successful, some sophisticated approaches are required:    </strong></p> <ul> <li>Be consistent in the style of your cinemagraphs to make them recognizable.</li> <li>Add purpose to your cinemagraphs to incite a response.<br> </li> <li>Repurpose cinemagraphs across various channels and add them into other pieces of your content.<br> </li> <li>Partnership with influencers to increase their reach.<br> </li> <li>Experiment to see what fits to your brand and your business goals.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Use cinemagraphs to promote your:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Video.<br> </li> <li>Process or behind-the-scenes stories. </li> <li>Product launch. </li> <li>Slide-share presentation.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3921/Chopard_Cinemagraph_2.gif" alt="" width="615" height="325"></p> <p> <strong>Useful resources:</strong></p> <ul> <li>You can create your own cinemagraphs using paid tools like <a href="https://flixel.com/">Fixel</a> or <a href="http://home.cinegif.com/%20">Cinegif</a>.  </li> <li>To learn how to use Photoshop to create one, <a href="http://www.creativebloq.com/photoshop/create-awesome-cinemagraph-photoshop-1122844">read this tutorial</a>.  </li> <li>If you don’t have time to create your own cinemagraph see what <a href="http://giphy.com/search/cinemagraph">Giphy</a> has to offer.     </li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66390 2015-05-01T09:25:00+01:00 2015-05-01T09:25:00+01:00 How to use social media to build a teaser campaign Kasia Piekut <p>Due to the limitations in evaluating the return from traditional teaser campaigns, ads and print are being modernised and moved over to social.</p> <p>Here, real-time communication is allowing brands to build momentum through organic social interaction by getting others involved in the conversation and the process of sharing.   </p> <p>As you will see in the examples below, some of the campaigns of the year couldn’t have happened without social media.</p> <p>Here is how brands are teasing to please by doing <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65485-what-is-storytelling-for-brands-and-why-do-you-need-it">storytelling</a> a little bit differently...</p> <h3><strong>Gif-ing way to excitement: HBO, Gifs and Game of Thrones </strong></h3> <p>On Twitter, where space is limited, brands like HBO are merging text with different forms of media, balancing communications with branded graphics and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66303-where-to-find-and-create-your-own-brilliant-gifs">animated Gifs</a>.</p> <p>The best example is HBO’s new teaser campaign #DragonHunt, which was launched ahead of the season five premiere of Game of Thrones. </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/2684/catch-dragon-social-media-campaign-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="411"></p> <p>Fans were challenged to catch the Dragon from a 'Dragon Bait Shop', housed on Giphy (a search engine for Gifs).</p> <p>To get access to special content or prizes, they were given glimpses of a dragon in posts which they had to retweet quickly before they disappeared. They were also encouraged to create their own bait. </p> <p>HBO understands very well that for many of their fans, the premiere day has become a cultural event. By offering something unexpected and fun, HBO not only found a way to reward their audience for their devotion but also offered something creative they could become a part of.</p> <p>Sounds simple, yet managing this real-time campaign required setting up a ‘war room’ of 15 to 20 staffers from HBO, 360i, and Giphy to manage Game of Thrones’s broad audience.</p> <p>Creative campaigns like this one are the best examples of how to attract an audience. It’s not just the fame that helps Game of Thrones grow their social presence, but well executed campaigns like this one.</p> <h4><strong>Results: </strong></h4> <ul> <li>According to social analytics firm Crimson Hexagon, #GameofThrones generated 948,500 worldwide tweets on Sunday, the highest daily total in the show’s history.</li> <li>6m people saw a tweet about the show’s premiere.<a href="http://www.nielsensocial.com/nielsentwittertvratings/weekly/"><br></a> </li> <li>The campaign brought 1.9m users to Facebook and helped the show's Facebook page reach 10m fans </li> <li>Brands like Arbys and Pringles also got involved in the hunt </li> </ul> <h4> <strong>Takeaways:</strong> What helped promote this campaign?  </h4> <ul> <li>Flexibility and simplicity of the concept  </li> <li>Relevant hashtag: #DragonHunt easily explains the concept behind the campaign </li> <li>Pro tip: “The rule is, if you can't explain what the campaign is in a hashtag, it's probably the wrong campaign." HBO Digital and Social Media Director Jim Marsh </li> </ul> <h3><strong>Merging social with offline: Coldplay’s 'Ghost Stories' </strong></h3> <p>The band have decided to reveal the lyrics for each song from #GhostStories by hiding them in ghost story books in libraries in nine countries.</p> <p>Coldplay added a completely new angle to a teaser campaign by turning it into an international #lyricshunt scavenger hunt.</p> <p>To add mystery, three weeks before their 6th album release, the band hid nine handwritten lyrics by singer Chris Martin, in nine libraries located across the globe (Mexico City, Helsinki, Barcelona, Singapore, New York, Dublin, Johannesburg, Kent and Tauranga). </p> <p>'Ghost Stories' was firstly revealed on Coldplay's Twitter with the intention to set Mexico City fans in search of the lyrics. Later on, more location hints and cryptic photos followed, encouraging fans to get involved and send in their photos from the hunt.  </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/2682/coldplay-lyrics-hunt.png" alt="" width="604" height="402"></p> <p>For more clues, fans were directed to the band’s website and Twitter, which were supposed to help them get closer to the main prize: a “golden ticket” offering a trip to London to see the band perform.</p> <p>14,000 tweets with the hashtag #lyricshunt were generated just in the first day, the best proof of the excellence of this campaign. </p> <p><strong>Takeaways: </strong> </p> <ul> <li>Support the campaign with a simple, relevant yet unique hashtag </li> <li>Don’t forget about meticulous planning </li> <li>Use clues and cryptic messages </li> </ul> <h3><strong>Building anticipation through one channel </strong></h3> <p>Instead of giving everything away, brands are smartly and strategically whetting their fans’ appetites with VIP content which is available only to them, exclusively on one channel. </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/2683/instagram-oscar-de-la-renta-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="270"></p> <p>Cadbury, for instance, introduced their new chocolate bar on Google+, while Dior debuted their new #IconicColors makeup line on Twitter.</p> <p>In these instances, both brands place exclusivity on one channel, but later expanded it across other networks, like Facebook and YouTube.  </p> <p>Fashion brands like Oscar de la Renta or Donna Karan prefer to create buzz around their new collections on Instagram. As a response to consumer shift, retailers are changing their tactics while mixing old promotion formats with social media.</p> <p>Even so, Instagram's links are inactive, the latest trend shows that fashion brands tend to use social media to release news, inform about future magazine highlights, or even to encourage pre-orders, while ads and magazine covers follow up second. </p> <h3><strong>Why is it important to keep followers excited? </strong></h3> <p>Social media provides unique opportunities to businesses launching new products or services, as they allow the messages to be tailored and personalised.</p> <p>Social media teasers can keep consumers engaged and interested in the brand offering before, during and after their launch. </p> <p><strong>Here are some final tips and suggestions to inspire your future teaser or countdown activities:  </strong></p> <ul> <li>For full impact merge both owned and paid media. </li> <li>Tailor your message to the social platform and its users. </li> <li>Make prizes personal and valuable to your followers.</li> <li>Don’t over complicate the campaign, keep it simple and easy to follow. </li> <li>Collaborate with influencers to help you in promotion.</li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66320 2015-04-15T10:46:00+01:00 2015-04-15T10:46:00+01:00 Who understands the why of your company? A portrait of an employee advocacy champion Maz Nadjm <blockquote> <p>Very, very few people or organisations know why they do what they do. And by “why” […] I mean: What’s your purpose? What’s your cause? What’s your belief? Why does your organisation exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care?</p> </blockquote> <p>The question Simon poses is a hard, yet inescapable, matter.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1982/4614420053_b9f398b445_o.jpg" alt="" width="824" height="494"></p> <p>Entrepreneurs may find that only 30% of their employees would be able to answer this fundamental WHY question.</p> <p>These are the ones who share the vision of their company, who believe in what their company does and actually care about it.</p> <p>Very often, these are the people who will do things for the company before anyone asks them to. Think about the words of praise they are spending for their company when talking to family, friends and acquaintances or their sharing on social media of company’s news and campaigns.</p> <p>Sure, there is no way to measure the impact of ‘traditional’ word-of-mouth, but that isn’t true when it comes to social media conversations.</p> <p>For instance, what if entrepreneurs could see which employees are driving traffic to the company’s website through their personal profiles? And what if they could estimate how much money would be saved in online paid campaigns if more people took on the same social sharing habits?</p> <p>Think about this: if 1,000 employees of a company, all of which have an average number of connections on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, start sharing between 5 and 15 posts per month through their personal social media channels, the company could save up to £54,000 in PPC over a 12 month period.</p> <p>Dedicated employees will do what they do because they believe in their company and want it to succeed, but some recognition can only be beneficial. By putting an employee advocacy program in place, companies can acknowledge and reward employees’ spontaneous efforts.</p> <p>Additionally, employees can get access to fresh, valuable content and industry insight they can share immediately, establishing themselves as experts in their field.</p> <p>The individuals who really understand the WHY of a company also have a fundamental role in getting more people on board with employee advocacy. By appointing one – or some – of the most dedicated employees as ‘employee advocacy champion(s)’, companies can better ensure the success of their employee advocacy program.</p> <p>Someone who will take ownership of the project and work hard to show its benefits to all co-workers, that’s your employee advocacy champion.</p> <p>How to find one? Start from that vision-sharing 30%, and look for someone who is…</p> <h3><strong>1. Passionate</strong></h3> <p>It goes without saying. An employee advocacy champion (who we may call EAC from now on, just for brevity’s sake) is someone passionate about what they do and the company they do it for.</p> <p>Having a deep understanding of the company’s ethos and sharing those same values is also very important.</p> <h3><strong>2. Socially charismatic</strong></h3> <p>Your EAC should be an undeniably awesome team leader. We could even use the world ‘trend setter’, if it didn’t bring to mind catwalks and iPhones.</p> <p>Anyway, it should be someone who knows how to inspire change and innovation in others.</p> <h3><strong>3. Sold on employee advocacy</strong></h3> <p>To inspire action, your EAC should be the first one to believe employee advocacy can benefit both co-workers and companies at large, basing his confidence on stats and case studies.</p> <h3><strong>4. Trusted by peers</strong></h3> <p>All colleagues, at every level of the hierarchical ladder, already hold your EAC in high regards. And it’s not only for professional merits, but also because of their personal relationship (chances are, this is the kind of person most colleagues like to hang out with).</p> <p>When that’s the case, half the job of the on boarding process is done.</p> <h3><strong>5. Social media savvy</strong></h3> <p>Your EAC doesn’t need to be a Facebook god or a Twitter wizard, but a good grab of how the Social Media sphere works is important.</p> <p>If your EAC also has a strong personal brand and a good following online, well, that’s all for the better.</p> <h3><strong>6. Attentive</strong></h3> <p>Which posts are working? Which aren’t? What time of day people are most likely to engage with content? Are videos worth the while or should we stick to images?</p> <p>As a social media savvy individual, your EAC already has online posting strategies, ready to be shared with the rest of the team.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66218 2015-03-19T09:49:00+00:00 2015-03-19T09:49:00+00:00 The five types of content employees love to share on social media Maz Nadjm <p>A sturdy foundation of dedicated employees is essential to the flourishing of any successful business.  </p> <p>When employees are passionate about their work, it shows in numerous ways. As they may proudly talk about their company to friends and family when they meet in person, they are eager to do the same online. </p> <p>But not all company-generated content is created equal, and not every company-generated post will tickle employees’ sharing instincts in the same way. </p> <p>To make the most of your employees' sharing habits,<strong> it is important to learn which type of content they love best, and what your company should do about it.</strong></p> <h2>1. Notable experiences</h2> <p>In a way, that’s the whole reason why social media were invented; people want the world to know about their life and their thoughts, they want to let others in with what happens to them. </p> <p>For most of us, work is such a great part of life that it only makes sense to share stories from it with our online circles. </p> <p>Whether it’s a business trip to an unusual country or some exclusive new product that just arrived at the office, employees love to share original content that will reflect their interesting and unique personalities. </p> <p>A Land Rover employee express his excitement about a business trip to Dubai:</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1166/Untitled.png" alt="" width="796" height="449"></p> <h2>2. Expertise and achievements</h2> <p>Let’s be honest – there are few things more enjoyable than looking good for something we are really great at. </p> <p>That’s why all employees – even the most bashful-looking – can’t resist to inform their connections about important achievements reached thanks to their expertise and unique skills.  </p> <p>By encouraging employees to ‘own’ their niche of know-how, companies strengthen their positive image as key-players of their specific industry.</p> <p>A PwC employee shares company-generated data to showcase his expertise:<br></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1169/pWc.png" alt="" width="585" height="449"></p> <h2>3. Fun occasions worth celebrating</h2> <p>Who doesn’t like a good party? Without night-out snapshots and wedding pics most social media platforms would be much less interesting. </p> <p>Sharing fun memories gathered on special work occasions comes only natural to employees. This state of things creates incredible opportunities of social reach for companies. </p> <p>The fun employees have and share online can even extend itself to the emotion of the customer, who will see happy employees with high morale creating engaging content.</p> <p>A Pacific Engineering employee shares a group snapshot taken at a company bbq:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1183/Pacific_Engineering.png" alt="" width="419" height="558">  </p> <h2>4. Feel-good news</h2> <p>Yes, the world can be a scary place, but most people don’t like to be reminded of it on social media. </p> <p>It’s not a case that one of the most read articles EVER on BuzzFeed is a series of photos called “<a href="mailto:http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/pictures-that-will-restore-your-faith-in-humanity%23.qe3XJ5Rqp">21 pictures that will restore your faith in humanity</a>”. </p> <p>The same principle applies to employees sharing habits. If the company receives good feedback from a customer or sponsors some charitable event, most employees will be happy to spread the good news. </p> <p>Barclays employees retweet a gender equality acknowledgement received by their company:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1171/Barclays.png" alt="" width="633" height="622"></p> <h2>5. Promotions their connections can benefit from</h2> <p>Few things can put a smile on your friends’ face faster than a freebie-grabbing occasion. That’s why employees are truly keen to share any promotion or special contest put out by their company, if they think their online contacts can truly benefit from it. </p> <p>This simple concept is something all companies should think about when drafting their marketing budgets. </p> <p>A MixMag employee invites his contacts to take advantage of a promotional sale taking place that same day:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/1173/MixMag.png" alt="" width="530" height="651"></p> <p>Knowing which kind of content employees are more eager to share is only the beginning. Making it easily accessible to everyone, that’s the second phase. </p> <p>Emails can get lost in the incessant flow of inbound messages, while internal communication tools are not as effective as one should hope. A more effective strategy could be to implement an employee advocacy program within the company. </p> <p>If a plan is attentively designed and carried out, it will benefit the company in numerous ways. Having employees share consistent, original content through their personal channels is one of the most effective ways to positively impact the digital reputation of a brand, which may consequently increase sales. </p> <p>Also, inviting employees to share their own content suggestions and personal insights  about official campaigns is extremely useful for marketing strategists, relying on an internal asset at no extra cost. </p> <p>Lastly, a good <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10951-employee-advocacy-through-social-media">employee advocacy </a>program can help companies identify their most active in-house brand ambassadors, and encourage them to keep up with the good work. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66016 2015-01-28T10:34:47+00:00 2015-01-28T10:34:47+00:00 How can HSBC improve its social media engagement? Matt Owen <p>As I looked a little deeper though, I began to realise that marketing comms aren't a huge problem for the brand, which has<a title="https://econsultancy.com/reports/online-video-best-practice-guide" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/online-video-best-practice-guide"> invested heavily in video</a> (we'll look at that in a bit more depth in a moment) and clearly has a variety of skilled teams at the helm of its accounts.</p> <p><strong>The problem for HSBC is how those accounts are organised.</strong></p> <h3>Too many accounts</h3> <p>Let's start by running a quick search on each major platform.</p> <p>As you can see HSBC is busy on Twitter:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8711/hsbc_twitter-blog-flyer.png" alt="HSBC Twitter accounts" width="593" height="209"></p> <p>And Facebook:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8715/hsbc_facebook_accounts-blog-flyer.png" alt="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8715/hsbc_facebook_accounts-blog-flyer.png" width="470" height="437"></p> <p>And LinkedIn:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8713/hsbc_linkedin_accounts-blog-flyer.png" alt="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8713/hsbc_linkedin_accounts-blog-flyer.png" width="470" height="243"></p> <p>And even poor old Google+ is a heavily-laden minefield:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8714/hsbc_google_-blog-flyer.png" alt="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8714/hsbc_google_-blog-flyer.png" width="470" height="398"></p> <h3>Keep things consistent</h3> <p>There’s a lack of consistency and visibility across all these channels that is clearly confusing to the customer.</p> <p>It took me a while to hunt down the correct <a title="https://twitter.com/HSBC_UK" href="https://twitter.com/HSBC_UK">@HSBC_UK</a> Twitter account, before realising I would actually need to contact <a title="https://twitter.com/HSBC_UK_Help" href="https://twitter.com/HSBC_UK_Help">@HSBC_UK_HELP</a>.</p> <p>The main account seems to spend the majority of its time redirecting confused users, and this seems to be a common issue around the globe.</p> <p>It's also fairly clear from follower numbers where customers actually want to go. While the 'main account' has yet to attract 1,000 followers, <strong>the help account has racked up more than 12,000.</strong></p> <p>It isn’t unusual for larger companies to split their social media out this way, and with more than 7,500 local offices, providing a variety of localised channels makes sense from a customer service perspective.</p> <p>Unfortunately <strong>there’s a lack of process and hierarchy</strong> here that seems to be adding to the confusion, meaning resources are stretched and customers are left unsatisfied. </p> <p><a title="https://www.facebook.com/hsbcuk" href="https://www.facebook.com/hsbcuk">Over on Facebook</a>, the situation is similar. Engagement is decent, but the number of comments that actually refer to the posts are lacking.</p> <p>Almost all of the comments are from customers seeking help, but they are being redirected to email or call centres who, again, may not be equipped to deal efficiently with the variety of issues, as this conversation illustrates: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8721/hsbc_facebook_comments-blog-flyer.png" alt="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8721/hsbc_facebook_comments-blog-flyer.png" width="470" height="160"></p> <p>This harks back to an old adage about social media; the customers are the ones that decide how a channel is used. If customer service is needed, then it’s important that it’s in the right place and properly resourced. </p> <p>At least some of this could be resolved by thinking about naming conventions, and providing clearer redirect links.</p> <p>There are currently no links to social accounts on HSBC’s main web pages (which also lack a clear ‘contact us’ redirect).</p> <p>While accounts like @HSBC_UK and @HSBC_US do have redirects to their respective help accounts, I can’t help thinking that a link to a global help directory, or at the very least a list in the sidebar would be useful. </p> <h3>The two sides of social</h3> <p>Over on YouTube, things look slightly different.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8716/hsbc___youtube-blog-flyer.png" alt="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8716/hsbc___youtube-blog-flyer.png" width="470" height="443"></p> <p>HSBC has clearly invested in the platform, with a slick channel that effectively delivers a range of messaging, from the (admittedly corny) consumer facing: </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9YSH5mh9qdg?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>To business-focussed content - replete with ‘apprentice’ style opening credits - designed to showcase the group's thought leadership:</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/j2_R_8f_Xmk?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p> There are also some excellent “Investment Outlook” videos that do a good job of chopping down complex information into bite-size, easily understandable chunks:</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_xea9Qh5rSs?wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <p>Overall the marketing content is good, if a little too ‘adverty’, but again, engagement is fairly low.</p> <p>I’m tempted to believe this is because users don’t tend to see YouTube as a customer service channel, and there’s only so much you can say about ad videos beyond ‘this is a good/bad advert’. </p> <p>Seeing social media as a single-use channel is one that dogs many businesses, especially as it's often the case that social teams have grown organically out of the marketing department.</p> <p>Building a flexible team structure that can cover a variety of needs requires in-depth planning and can be difficult once accounts are already in place. </p> <p>This leaves HSBC with a complex problem. Engagement is obviously important to the company, and it is making a strong attempt to provide customer service, but it seems that there is a focus on creating positive engagement around marketing material and a fear of losing control of the message.</p> <p>Users meanwhile clearly want a streamlined customer service channel.</p> <p>HSBC may need to realise that<strong> negative engagement still counts</strong> and turning those frowns upside-down is often vastly more valuable than simply impressing people with your marketing.</p> <h3>Process-driven solutions</h3> <p>The most effective approach would probably be to restructure internal teams, or at the least utilise social media monitoring software in a way that allows more efficient tagging and response across teams and channels. </p> <p>It might also be worth HSBC’s time to conduct a channel audit and assign a consistent naming structure and publish the aforementioned address list to aid findability.</p> <p>This kind of process-driven organisation of social channels seems counter intuitive in many cases. Social is meant to be real-time. Even, dare I say it... <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65660-a-lesson-in-agile-marketing-from-airbnb-and-waterstones/">agile</a>. But <strong>consistency really does pay dividends.</strong></p> <p>Similarly, just as with other parts of the web, a focus on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/creating-superior-customer-experiences/">the customer experience</a> can work wonders.</p> <p>Here HSBC needs to stop worrying about being everywhere and think more clearly about the user journey when there is a problem.</p> <p>This may not be the difference between good and great, but it's often the difference between 'works' and 'infuriating and terrible'.</p> <h3>Meeting customer needs</h3> <p>It may seem like I'm picking on HSBC here, but there's<strong> actually a lot of good work going on.</strong></p><p>It's a tough market with complicated problems that need swift resolution, many of these issues do need to be taken to other channels to be dealt with effectively, and there’s a looming mire of regulatory controls that differ in each territory.</p> <p>The teams are doing a consistent, solid job of resolving things, but <strong>they can only do this if the problems actually reach them.</strong></p><p>While it can be a difficult process, <a title="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62855-digital-transformation-the-new-microsoft-model" href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62855-digital-transformation-the-new-microsoft-model">internal restructuring</a> can work wonders and open up a world of possibilities for social media channels, as well as increasing customer satisfaction over time. </p><p>Above all it feels as though HSBC needs to stop worrying about whether or not people really love its ads (although content is obviously incredibly important), and think in more depth about how it can reduce friction in the online customer journey. </p> <p><em><strong>If you need help with a Digital Transformation project, please <a href="http://bit.ly/1wrXZcI">get in touch</a>.</strong></em></p>