Posts Tagged twitter

Twitter flies high at Gatwick

Twitter’s use as a customer service tool is nothing new. I’ve occasionally tweeted my dissatisfaction with my telco or broadband plan, only for someone from the relevant companies to tweet back and offer to help.

Social media is a great way to gauge what people are saying about your business and to engage with them in return. However, building a social media presence takes time. So what’s a quick way to encourage people to use Twitter to provide real-time feedback?

Gatwick Airport came up with an award-winning answer. London’s second-biggest airport has signs and monitors in its terminals asking patrons “Are you on Twitter? Get in touch with us @gatwick_airport and let us know about your experience at Gatwick today”.

The airport already responds to comments on Twitter, however it claims this takes it one step further by actually integrating social media into the physical space of the airport, allowing feedback to customers when they need it. It’s a brave move considering airports are conducive to anger or stress.

The scheme, which is intended to run 24/7, recently earned a gong at the Econsultancy’s Innovation Awards 2010 in the Innovation in Online Customer Service category. As the judges remarked it’s “a great way of transforming something boring into something interesting”.

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Another social media boo boo…

Time and time again we see it, people and brands making foolish mistakes with significant repercussions within the world of social media. Nestle famously botched things up for themselves by demanding a fake Kit Kat commercial (produced by Greenpeace) slamming them for their use of Palm Oil, be removed from the web. The video which up until that point was far from a viral success, suddenly went around the globe faster than Greenpeace could have dreamt it to. All thanks to Nestle ruffling feather. The public barrage aimed at Nestles poor handling of the case and sudden attention on their use of Palm Oil did not do them any favours and is now a case study that I personally feel every client should take note of.

One would think that with such a large brand going through such a public PR battle via social channels, some lessons would be learnt.

Apparently not.

Fashion designer Kenneth Cole is the latest to thoughtlessly act via a social media platform and surprise surprise, is now watching his brand fall from grace. Kenneth made the very foolish choice to hijiack a hashtag in Twitter to promote his latest collection. Now hashtag hijacking is not rare, but it’s use can not be taken lightly. To do it requires very strategic thinking or it can backfire. Like in this case. See image below:

The Cairo hashtag was being used as a news source to share events from troubled Eygpt. The most insensitive thing about this, is that a significant amount of people are losing their lives due to the unrest. This is no time at all for a brand, representing something as irrelevant as fashion, to hijack a hashtag where concerned users are sharing serious content.

Bad move.

But I will give credit to Kenneth Cole for addressing his stupidity via an apology post. Despite it seeming to be heartfelt, he has opened himself up to an onslaught of criticism. See the comments here.

Surely it’s time that we, as brands (and even individuals – no need to remind us all of Stephanie Rice’s Twitter mishap where she lost her Jaguar sponsorship), learn that as we join online conversations we are involving ourselves in a very transparent and dynamic environment. We must think logically and strategically and above anything else, we must use some common sense.

 

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Earning a crust on Twitter

My eyes lit up the other day when I saw a Crust Pizza outlet was among the stores at a new shopping centre in my neighbourhood. I’d never had a pizza from Crust before, but I am familiar with the brand courtesy of Twitter.

An end of the week certainty, apart from Follow Friday, is #crustfreepizzafriday where scores of tweeps mention the company in the hope of scoring a free meal. It’s one of those initiatives that takes a while to get going. However there’s no denying it’s been an effective, yet incredibly cost-effective, way to get the chain’s brand out there. There are several pizza shops in my immediate area and Crust Pizza is not the closest. But the consumer animal and pizza fiend in me will most certainly see me walk through their doors to satisfy my curiosity, whether or not I score a free pizza. This is what Crust Pizza CEO Costa Anastasiadis had in mind when he turned to Twitter and Facebook to promote his stores.

In an interview with Smart Company, Anastasiadis said he knew the pizza giveaway campaign was working by the sheer amount of conversation being generated.

“We saw the recruitment rate rise, in terms of people on our pages, and we found people were not only commenting on the competition but on the business in general and we have continued to converse with them. It’s gone beyond the competition,” he said.

Using social media for brand awareness is becoming an increasingly effective marketing tool for big and small businesses and has proven to lead to an increase in sales. Multinationals like Sony and Dell have attributed social media campaigns to increased sales topping the million dollar mark. Smaller companies like Canadian shoemaker John Fluevog Boots & Shoes Ltd, reported a 40 per cent increase in sales after starting its own social marketing campaign in 2009.

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