PushON at SAScon 2013 – Day 1: Maximising Brand Reputation Online

PushON | June 5th 2013

SAScon Live

Maximising Brand reputation Online – Kristal Ireland, Enjoy Digital, Nils Mork-Ulnes, beyond And robin wilson, mccann Manchester


Reputations need to be managed in real time now. News is organising around people, rather than through the traditional means.

From 2009 things changed. The Hudson river crash was known about in seconds. Soon after a brand fell foul of this change by underestimating how quickly news can spread in real time now. The lesson is that if you don’t manage it right, it can go very wrong.

43% of news is now obtained from other people, through social media in real time. You need to be able to improvise. If you’re managing brand reputation you need to monitor it every second, and be able to release things within moments of something happening.

Ford take the best advantage of real time news. Ford legal issued a cease and desist letter to a massive fanboy, who then published it and got all his followers to retweet and support him. He made Ford look awful. However Ford were alerted within 2 hours, and apologised to him, but then started to tell Ford’s story. The guy was actually selling counterfeit products that could harm Ford users. He used hashtags to keep his story all in one place, and used monitoring tools to track what was being said. Within 22 hours everything was sorted and Ford came off looking great as they were doing it for the Fans.

Tescos also did well against Jedi nation, who protested at having to wear a hood in store. Tesco pointed out all Jedi were seen with their hoods down, apart from the Emperor who had turned to the dark side.

The Bad: Kitkat were attacked by greenpeace, an ad was run by them showing a cut off orang-utan finger in a kitkat due to the amount of deforestation Nestle had been happening. Nestle then got angry and ranty, then blamed it on the intern. They handled it badly, meaning the true story (they have a good policy on palm oil to stop deforestation) never got heard.

Haliborange contacted lots of mummy bloggers and had them as brand ambassadors. However one went on mumsnet and posted about how great they were. She got ripped to pieces. Haliborange then got targeted by mumsnet with them writing a post about how haliborange kill otters. This was a lie, but for 6 hours it appeared in their top 3 results. Showed a lack of understanding of the community!

The UglyMountain dew released a campaign called “Dub the Dew”. They got stupid results, due to their target audience wanting to take the piss. You should know your audience!

Chick-Fil-A shared his political opinions about his opposition to gay marriage. They got slammed about this as they refused to employ gays, so they created fake facebook profiles to say they were right. The muppets then dropped them as sponsors and they castigated the muppets, which was another mistake. However, they then did the correct thing and spoke to their detractors, and due to their customers being mainly from the deep south of America, they did not lost many customers.

Remember, what you say sticks. Abercombie and Fitch is a prime example of this. No fat chicks! This was all due to an interview in 2009 which came back to bite them on the ass.

Everything you put out there can impact your reputation. If you do SEO for a big company, you need to think about how what you’re doing could affect them as journalists will find it.

Co-ordinate PR, SEO, Social and advertising.

How can you maximise something you don’t have control over?

The average number of information sources used by shoppers doubled to 10.4 from 2010 to 2011.

You now have little control of the customer journey. It’s hard to manage the information that they are viewing. You can’t tell what type of “mode” they are in, browsing or transactional.

Word of mouth can effect your brand, but is hard to measure. Only 6% of them happen online, but they have a much bigger footprint as many more people see them compared to offline. 63% of people say word of mouth to be hugely credible compared to advertising. There is a relationship between positive noise and sales.

Recently people tend to share positive experiences over negative, yet many companies don’t monitor this.

Tips for making sense of your online reputation

“When we say it’s positive, the machine about 21% of the time says it’s negative.” It doesn’t tell you the sentiment around this though, so you need to be careful when using monitoring software.

However it is good for spotting and fixing problems.

There is a methodology to do this.

  1. Clean the data. Test and retest queries in the software until you get a good set of data.
  2. Sample. Get a random yet significant set of data to test on.
  3. Tag. By humans using custom taxonomy

Going beyond the basics

Troubleshoot through segmentations. Look at user demographics and different stages of the customer journey. Any slicing and dicing will help troubleshoot in the right way. Segmentation gives clarity.

Go beyond your brand. Most of the conversations on line don’t talk about your brand, it will mostly be about themselves. They will share when things involve or reflect on them. So to understand how to connect to them listen to them.

Stay relevant by looking at Brand proposition, cultural tensions and how your brand can meet their needs where these intersect.

Discover the conversations that fit with your brand, are large or will be, appeals to your audience and is interesting.

Key points:

  • There is more to social data than just measuring brand health
  • Diagnose problems or find opportunities by segmenting data.
  • Look beyond mentions of your brand and look for new opportunities to connect.