How to avoid a billion-dollar tweet
Courting consumers via social channels may be becoming a must for any consumer-facing company. But, unless your strategy is focused on augmenting customer experience and optimizing customer relations, it could severely cost you, as Snapchat recently discovered.
If anyone was still uncertain about the power that social media influencers wield over a brand, the reaction to a single Kylie Jenner tweet should leave no doubts that the channel is quickly becoming king.
After tweeting: “sooo does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore? Or is it just me…ugh this is so sad” to her 24.5 million followers, Snapchat’s owner, Snap Inc, saw $1.3 billion wiped off its stock market value.
The message was in reference to the app’s UI re-design, which has upset many of the social network’s users since its launch at the end of 2017. Despite protests and a petition signed by 1.2 million app users, Snapchat refused to listen – but Kylie Jenner’s tweet got their attention. In fact, it was so disruptive that it wasn’t until Kylie Jenner issued a subsequent tweet saying she still loved Snapchat that the company’s share price stabilized. Unsurprisingly, Snap Inc has now announced a partial re-design of the re-designed user interface is in development.
Under the influence
As well as highlighting the immediacy of social media’s impact, the incident underlines the power of peer group and influencer opinion, especially on generations Y and Z. Generation Z in particular values what other members of its generation do and the recommendations they share on social networks regarding products and services, more than the products themselves.
A few carefully chosen tweets or Facebook posts from a member of this generation following a negative customer or user experience can do serious brand damage. But on the flipside, “Because of this huge social media influence, when this community of consumers is truly animated and gets behind a brand, they become its advocates and ambassadors,” explains Arnaud de Lacoste, Chief Marketing Officer, Partnerships & Innovation, and co-founder of Sitel Group.
A platform for promotion
So how can brands harness these positives and protect themselves from the negative? Sitel Group’s digital CX agency, TSC, has developed the “Promoter” solution that helps brands engage with customers and convert them into proactive supporters through gamification (including rewards for carrying out “missions”), two-way communication and constant sharing of experiences.
“Thanks to this conversation management platform, we are able to generate more feedback which results in a higher and more positive share of voice,” explains Geoffrey Boulakia, General Manager EMEA, TSC.
The platform can also help ward off a billion-dollar tweet. It can’t stop negative content appearing or being shared on social channels, but it will help a brand identify and mobilize its strongest ambassadors in order to reduce the strength of any bad buzz that builds up.
But, even without access to something like Promoter, there are a number of steps any consumer-facing brands can take when they start trending on social channels for less than ideal reasons.
For any brand, the best use of social media should be for engaging with customers or fans. This means a two-way conversation, responding to messages and posts as well as just using sites like Facebook for self-promotion and sharing your own content. This approach gives your brand more authenticity and therefore a greater respect on social networks.
2) Monitor, monitor, monitor
Constantly search for online mentions of your company, good and bad. This is the only way to get a sense of the conversations in progress and therefore the type of response that may soon need to be written.
3) Be quick
Social media users expect an instantaneous response. That’s not always possible, but don’t procrastinate. Marketing automation tools and even chatbots can help in this respect.
4) Public, then private
Even if it’s an individual complaint, it’s one that’s been made in public, so respond similarly and respond kindly. Then take the matter further via private one-on-one communication if necessary.