Coping with social media's unpredictability

Social media influencers are unpredictable, but customer management guru Don Peppers offers a range of strategies for brands to better cope

Organisations cannot control social media influencers, but they can improve their ability to cope with the channel’s unpredictability, a customer consultant claims.

Speaking at a recent American Chamber of Commerce event in Sydney, co-founder of Peppers and Rogers Group and leading customer management consultant, Don Peppers, highlighted six strategies brands can adopt to prepare for the unpredictability of e-social communication. These are: Prepare for multiple outcomes; use analytics that don’t require a high level of accuracy; evaluate inputs, not just outputs; remain agile and respond quickly; identify and rely on the predictable trends; and trust-proof your brands in advance.

Peppers also outlined two overarching social media management principles which he claimed are distinct from corporate principles in play across many organisations today: Sharing information; and “decontrol”.

“As organisations, we need to deal with the fact that we can’t control social media influence,” he said. “You can’t manufacture authenticity – it’s spontaneous, and resistance is futile.

“Influence also cascades in the e-social world; it’s like an avalanche or brush fire, and it doesn’t matter which tree caught fire first… That means you have to be careful with word of mouth marketing.”

As an example, Peppers described Nestle’s former battle with Greenpeace over the use of palm oil in its Kit Kat products, which erupted on its Facebook page and quickly became a massive corporate issue. Instead of trying to take down YouTube videos, or deleting criticisms, the brand should have worked with its customers and the community on a better and more proactive response, he said.

Why you need to create frictionless experiences: Don Peppers
IAB releases social media comment guidelines for brands
Aussie consumers will drop brands that upset them

In addition, Peppers pointed out the norms of a ‘sharing economy’ are different from the ‘money economy’, and are driven by empathy, transparency and recognition rather than financial gain. In response, he advised brands not to offer money or free products to harness influence, but instead focus on ways of rewarding advocates through things like status awards, kudos, access to additional content, or direct contact with key brand ‘insiders’.

Another point worth noting about brand advocacy is that it’s not always the customers spending the most money who will bring your brand the most rewards, or who will have the most influence on social conversation, Pepper said.

“Design your value proposition for the most knowledgeable customers. They are the ones who will send you more customers in the future,” he said.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

looking for the best quality of SMM Panel ( Social Media Marketing Panel ) is a website where People Buy Social Media Services Such as Fa...

Kavin kyzal

How to manage social media during Covid-19

Read more

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Definitely bookmarked for future reading! Check this website https://a2designlab.com/ with lots of ...

Pierce Fabreverg

Study: Gen Z are huge opportunity for brands

Read more

Thanks for sharing. You might want to check this website https://lagimcardgame.com/. An up and coming strategic card game wherein the cha...

Pierce Fabreverg

Board games distributor partners with Deliveroo in business strategy pivot

Read more

Such an important campaign, dyslexia certainly need more awareness. Amazing to see the work Code Read is doing. On the same note we are a...

Hugo

New campaign aims to build understanding around scope and impact of dyslexia

Read more

Great Job on this article! It demonstrates how much creativity, strategy and effort actually goes to produce such unique logo and brandin...

Pierce Fabreverg

Does your brand need a personality review? - Brand vision - CMO Australia

Read more

Blog Posts

Ensuring post-crisis success

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed brands’ CX shortcomings and a lack of customer understanding. Given ongoing disruption, customer needs, wants and expectations are continually changing, also causing customers to behave in different ways. Just look at hoarding toilet paper, staple and canned food, medicinal and cleaning products.

Riccardo Pasto

senior analyst, Forrester

A few behavioural economics lesson to get your brand on top of the travel list

Understanding the core principles of Behavioural Economics will give players in the travel industry a major competitive advantage when restrictions lift and travellers begin to book again. And there are a few insights in here for the rest of the marketing community, too.

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Predicting the Future: Marketing science or marketing myth?

Unicorns, the Sunken City of Atlantis, Zeus: They are very famous. So famous in fact, that we often think twice about whether they are real or not. Sometimes if we talk about something widely enough, and for long enough, even the strangest fiction can seem like fact. But ultimately it is still fiction - stories we make up and tell ourselves over and over until we believe.

Kathy Benson

Chief client officer, Ipsos

Sign in