Your Life Is Social, Why Isn’t Your Company?

Mark Hillary posted this on the Huffington Post. He reminds us how, when facebook was first launched business scrambled to ban it…wasnt this the same with phones and email (no personal calls). Now companies are realising that, in fact, social is the key. And not just social media….its about being a social business. Mark references a quote from Jen McClure, the director of social media at news organization Thomson Reuters:

The term “social business” will become more ubiquitous as organizations of all types and sizes start to think of social technologies more strategically as business tools, not just marketing channels. And then it will eventually become a meaningless phrase as we come to realize that all business is, at its core, social.

As he says:

This is a complete about turn. Now executives are telling us that companies need to become more social. Of course there is a precedent for this, like the telephone calls, then email access, then the company mobile phone. New technologies are always seen as damaging to the enterprise, but end up being adopted as essential.

McClure is arguing that social media is going to fundamentally change companies and how they operate. Forget about social media being just a tool for PR or marketing or community building — it is changing every part of the enterprise, root and branch.

This is taken for granted in your personal life. So your own life really is social and connected, yet most companies still languish with CRM systems that cost millions and have never really worked. Imagine if you had the same level of knowledge about your colleagues at work, and your customers, as you have about your friends online.

Companies are just collections of people, with various skills, all attempting to pull in the same direction. Companies are social, yet we often use better tools to organize our social life than to organize how we work.

Source, Huffington Post

Mad Men – most social premiere of 2012

I was actually surprised at the numbers..thought it would be higher? (source: bluefinlabs)


Powerful piece, part of the NSPCC don’t wait until your certain campaig. Great use of their research to create a compelling piece.

Negativity Bias

In a great post on {GROW} , Mark Schaefer talked about Negativity Bias. He commented on a poster for NASCAR that highlighted a hig speed crash. He felt that this was a smart move by them as it is:

a reflection of our normal tendency to focus on the negative. The negative is the news. There is ample clinical research that codifies this trait, which is called Negativity Bias.  Humans have a heightened physiological and psychological response to events they see as negative. Our attitudes are more heavily influenced by downbeat news than good news.

Our capacity to weigh negative input so heavily probably evolved for a good reason — to keep us out of harm’s way. The brain developed systems that would make it notice danger and hopefully, avoid it.

He goes on to talk about how McDonalds, who he holds in high regard:

They are a gold standard in terms of authentic social media outreach and connection. How many companies of their size have a team of tweeters available for one-on-one conversation? In terms of effectively “humanizing” their brand, I use them as a best practice case study in my college classes.

….recently got a lot of bad press/wom/buzz around an idea they had for twitter.  They launched a hashtag #McDStories and then they invited customers to tell their favorite stories of McDonald’s experiences. But it didnt exactly go according to plan, as people began to use the hashtag to talk negatively about the brand. It soon became known as the McFail campaign.

What is interesting is that out of the 79,000 tweets (give or take a few) 2,000 were negative. So while McFail became a major story, they actually had a positive sentiment analysis of 97.5 percent! Mark contends that this is all due to negatvitiy bias.

I think an Irish example of this would be the recent issues new mobile brand 48 had over last weekend. The brand launched only about 6 weeks ago, with an incredible un-mobile network like campaign (check out the ad below).

The offer was, and still is, incredibly strong too (10 euro a month for all texts and calls). All in all this was a case study of how to do a launch. Then (potential) disaster struck, when the network went down last weekend. There was a leak somewhere that knocked the network out, apparently other networks were affected too. I think the guys at 48 did a great job on Facebook communicating with their customers.

They proactively took to the site to explain that there was a problem and that they were working on it, then they updated people throughout the day. They also let the community talk amongst themselves and stepped in to give updates or try and address specific concerns people had. My favourite response was:

Kieran – to be fair, we didn’t say the outage was caused by rain. Still working to fix the remaining issues! Alan @ 48

I’m not a customer (clearly not the demographic!) and I am sure there are people who are still a little frustrated and annoyed by the whole experience, but overall I think 48 did a good job. And this week they gave their customers the choice on how they would like to be compensated (and 1,000 people voted for a weeks free membership!)

Back to Mark Schaefer now. He warns that, due to this negativity bias, we are  standing on digital quicksand.

It only takes one infinitesimal shift in customer sentiment, one outcry from a small number of passionate detractors, to dash an otherwise sterling reputation.

As we have seen many times, even an experiment that barely makes a dent in the company’s overall social footprint can overwhelm any good that is being accomplished, any sincere intentions, any attempt at innovation.

Personally or professionally, is it worth it trying anything new in the social space, even if you thought you could have a success rate of 97.5 percent?  In a world where Negatively Bias is gasoline on a viral fire, and one misstep can overwhelm years of positive work cultivating raving fans, why would anybody take a risk on the social web?

That’s a tough question and it’s one that probably won’t help anyone who is trying to convince their senior management that the social web is a place for them. Yes you can get it wrong sometimes, or even things outside of your control can cause negative sentiment. But is that a reason not to be present. Surely you are better to be there and address the situation (like 48 did). Im sure McDonalds havent decided to abandon their social agenda? Maybe they have just adapted and amended things?

Negativity bias has always been there. I remember being told years ago how a bad experience in a hotel or restaurant led to the customer telling 9 of their peers, and that had a knock on effect. That hasn’t changed, excpet now people are telling 100 of their friends – really quickly. Surely you want to be there to respond?


Don’t Be Proud

This is a great email from Drayton Bird:

When David drafted Ogilvy on Advertising he sent the manuscript to Joel and wrote “Kindly improve.”

The moral: always get someone else to look at your stuff. (I usually ask Al, who is a very good judge).

On one occasion, but only one, I edited some copy David wrote. He was very cunning – he sent it via someone else, who asked me “Could you look at some copy we’re thinking of running for the World Wildlife Fund”.

I was quite critical of one thing. Then I was astounded when the great man rang me and said “That was my copy – and you are right.”

The moral: don’t be proud.

If you’d like to know precisely what I said to David – where I quote his exact words – I tell the story in my second copywriting video.

In the first video, however, I do tell you what qualities David Ogilvy thought made a good copywriter – and who am I to disagree?

And who am I to disagree with Drayton Bird! / / / /

How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers

There was a panel at SXSW this year on this topic. Fascinating stuff. Here are the slides from Roger Doorley’s presentation, thanks to Neuroscience Marketing.

He explains:

I led off with a quick intro to describe the importance of understanding non-conscious motivations that drive buying behavior, and then provided two examples of research-based strategies to improve conversion. The first was the Doppelganger Effect, in which we develop a brand preference when we see ourselves using a product. This happens even when we fully understand that it’s a crude simulation of reality, and that the pictured event never really occurred.

The second strategy was based on research that shows when primed with an image of an attractive woman, male buyers experience behavioral changes and become more oriented toward short-term gratification and goals

<div style=”width:425px” id=”__ss_11987535″> <strong style=”display:block;margin:12px 0 4px”><a href=”; title=”How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers: SXSW 2012″ target=”_blank”>How Brain Science Turns Browsers into Buyers: SXSW 2012</a></strong> <div style=”padding:5px 0 12px”> View more <a href=”; target=”_blank”>PowerPoint</a> from <a href=”; target=”_blank”>Roger Dooley</a> </div> </div>

Date Stamped Pillows

I’m not sure when I changed my pillows last, or how I decide to. Id say that when they go a bit flat, I decide its time to buy some new ones.

Apparently its a bit of a problem for the pillow industry. Ultimately impacting pillow sales. So Tontines had an idea….tell people when they should change their pillow!

Genius. Their activity (a $5 million media spend apparently) was clearly going to provide a boost to the category as a whole. But the date stamping is clearly the differentiator for them. I think it would be hard for others to replicate the idea. The whole campaign ran for only five days initially, and it was hugely successful. Sales of Tontine date-stamp pillows rose by 345%   (Tontine was aiming for a 30% increase). And apparently this was sustained for several months after the campaign. Happy Soldiers was the agency behind the campaign.

Tontine – Dated Pillows from Happy Soldiers on Vimeo.

(thanks to Bren in brando for telling me about this)


Facebook’s New Timeline and You

If you want to know what the new timeline means for you (and your non-profit)…check out Beths post here

There are other changes that are happening on Facebook and they are worth reading about. Here is a great post by We Are Social


Trocaire QR Codes

I passed  a Trocaire box earlier  and saw a QR code on the side. I actually went back to scan the code because I thought (shame on me) this will probably bring me to the Trocaire website. I was delighted when it didn’t. It brought me to this page and after a few seconds (probably a little too quickly) the video played automatically.

Then you could fill out this form to demand a future of hope


I think QR codes have gotten a bad reputation because people have used them to push straight to their site, not to something that is mobile optimised. So well done Trocaire and your agency.

Energizer Toy Rescue

This is a nice campaign by Energizer in Australia, not a huge response to it yet though. What do you think?

Autism Speaks Interactive Ad

(via Digital Buzz)

Kinect technology is a really fashionable. This is a nice use of the technology for Autism Speaks (I never knew this was a sign of autism)

Plan UK – Interactive Billboard


Plan UK is running an interactive outdoor campaign that contains content only women can view. The bus shelter ad uses facial recognition software with an HD camera to determine whether a man or woman is standing in front of the screen (claims the technology is 90% accurate), and shows different content accordingly. Men are denied the choice to view the full 40-second ad in order to highlight the fact that women and girls across the world are denied choices and opportunities on a daily basis due to poverty and discrimination.

(content from the brilliant Goodbuzz)