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 CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes 2017: The Machines Are Here

It’s day 4 in Cannes and among the ever-growing divergent panels, presentations and workshops spanning from one end of the Croisette to the other, there has been a very real emergence of how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning needs to fit into the marketing ecosystem of today and tomorrow.

Aden Hepburn

Executive creative director and managing director, VML Australia

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

It is interesting. Rebrand is very good. Perhaps they should change the logo to something more modern. For example as it is - https://www...

David Hill

Grace Group undergoes first rebrand in 30 years to unify and contemporise

Read more

Hey Guys, just one small typo that changes a part of the story :“That was a really big step forward for our company because we didn’t hav...

Damian Young

Chobani tastes success with data analytics platform

Read more

This is amazing! Congratulations to Cochlear for continuing to lead innovation in every way!

Chris

How this marketing ops leader is lifting the automation ante at Cochlear

Read more

Interesting case! It seems like universities can also benefit from marketing automation. I've started using getresponse some time ago and...

Aaren

How marketing automation is helping drive CX change at Adelaide University

Read more

Always great to see and read these success stories and the growth of gamification. This story is very warming and can act as an inspirati...

James Doyle

5 tips to boost engagement with gamification from Donut King

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in