Social Media Marketing

How Brands can Listen from ad:tech NY

Bottom Shape

Krista Neher

Nov 17 2009

Social media was a hot topic at ad:tech NY last week, however the discussion moved beyond some of the basics (ie. how twitter works) to a holistic discussion on social media strategy and benefits.

One of the key insights from the panel on Social Analysis (we wrote about this panel yesterday also) was about the value of listening (yup – listening vs. plastering your brand messages across social networks).

Kent Schoen, Product Marketing for Facebook shared some interesting examples.

His key points:

  • Brands should listen and respond through the appropriate channels
  • There is room for both positive and negative feedback
  • Positive brand advocates will be there to help and support you
  • Facebook can be a great tool to empower and build community among advocates.

prius fan pageHe provided an example of the Toyota Prius Community on Facebook.  The group ha a lot of discussion topics posted and features an “ask an expert” section where experts answer questions.  Perhaps one of the most interesting things about this community is that typically fans are answering each others questions – which demonstrates the true effectiveness of the community.

Is it effective?  Well, they have over 45,000 fans (although I don’t know if they acquired them via advertising), so it seems to be working.  Based on the activity level of the fan page I would say yes.

Jeff Fleischman, Chief Digital Officer, TIAA-CREF shared another interesting example.

Dave Carroll watched as United airlines workers mishandled his guitar.  The guitar was broken upon arrival and United refused to pay.  Dave was so frustrated that he wrote a song about it – which has had over 6 million views.

United then contacted him and offered to replace the guitar – his response?  Too little too late – and he wrote more songs about them.

The impact?  His song (called United Breaks Guitars) shows up at the top of video search results for United Airlines.

united breaks guitars search resultsSo, clearly a Fail Whale for United.  Hopefully they listened and learned from this experience.  Dave shouldn’t have had to write a song for them to care.  They should care to begin with.

Anyone else have examples or ideas on good or bad listening?

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