Stuff happens. We can’t control it, and even when everything has been planned out, things will still go wrong at times. And we can use these situations to our advantage.
People will have negative things to say from time to time, whether it be because a student got a parking ticket, or a student wanted to give feedback about programs at the university, you will hear opinions. Turn these negative comments into positive ones by helping your audience members understand things and fix situations.
A student who feels they’re not represented well on campus provides the chance to set that student up with a meeting with the president to make sure he’s heard. By helping each individual person who tweets or posts, you are changing their relationship with the university, and once you do that, they’ll feel more connected. The bigger the brand advocate, the more they’ll sing your praises.
We’re all human, and we make mistakes, so when they happen, own up to it. Apologize, and make the situation right. As the social media or community manager, a lot of times these mistakes may have nothing to do with you, but your audience member doesn’t care if it was your department or another one. They just want a solution, and to know that someone cares about making it right. So do just that. Make it your problem, find the solution and make it right, even though you didn’t have anything to do with the original issue.
Negatives Turn Into Positives
It’s amazing how the smallest things can make negatives turn into positives. Fixing situations, understanding and listening to your audience members can have just that effect.
I’ve written a short introduction on social media analytics, specifically talking about what numbers are available to you, and programs that will assist you with measuring your social media efforts, but what analytics should you keep track of to move your social media strategy?
I think it’s important to know where your competitors stand in comparison to your accounts. For me, I keep this surface level, mostly looking at number of likes, followers and the subscribers. At least this way, I can have a benchmark to see where my accounts measure up against those competitors.
The second word in the title of my blog, and my social media mantra, is engage. Good content will cause people to react, whether it’s a retweet, a like or a comment. This is one of the most important things you can measure in my opinion. Measuring engagement informs your social strategy, and without it, you won’t be able to adjust to ensure you’re accomplishing your goals.
Unlikes, unfollows, hides, you know, all the negatives. It’s important to keep track of these, because it is the exact opposite of engagement. If your audience is taking the time and effort to perform a negative engagement action, that should be a red flag if it is happening early and often! By monitoring these numbers, you can keep ahead of the outflow of people, by changing your content types or topics.
There are lots of different things to measure and keep track of, what other analytics do you pay special attention to?
So let’s evaluate. How did this tactic do for J.C. Penney?
J.C. Penney has been making a shift in brand over the last couple of years (technically a couple of different shifts), and I think has definitely been trying to move to a more hip feel, attracting a younger clientele, and making it more than “just another department store.” Unfortunately, I’m not sure faking drunk tweeting or a hacked account is the right way to accomplish this brand image. As a consumer, this doesn’t give me the confidence in the brand that I would expect to have. Especially among all the hacking going on with credit card data recently, I’d like the reassurance that the store can keep it’s Twitter account from being hack at the minimum.
On the other hand, if you read through J.C. Penney’s tweets, this type of humor does fit in with what they post. So they are not completely off the mark, but I now definitely feel a difference between their social media personality, and what I know J.C. Penney as.
I feel like these kinds of Tweets don’t fit well with who J.C. Penney is talking to. I’ll be honest, I could be wrong on this, but I think J.C. Penney’s audience is diverse across many age groups, and that this may not resonate with that audience. Even if it was a joke, I’m not sure everyone got it, and I’m just not sure it didn’t leave a bad taste in customer’s mouths.
If you look at the retweets and favorites of the three tweets above, the first misspelled tweet received 19,874 retweets and 8,724 favorites, the second had 23,188 retweets and 10,365 favorites (at time of posting). The tweet with the brand message and contained the punchline received 3,838 retweets and 2,139 favorites. There is a huge difference between these! Way more people saw that J.C. Penney made mistakes on their Twitter account than saw that it was a joke. I know that there will always be more engagement on the “mistakes” than the punchline, simply because people would much rather see a train wreck, than a social media stunt, but that is a risk you take with this kind of posting. In this case, I think the difference is huge, and I wonder how many people still don’t know that J.C. Penney was just #TweetingWithMittens.
J.C. Penney has been pushing these Go USA mittens for a little while now to support Team USA in the Sochi Olympics. But, they tweeted this joke during the Super Bowl. Both teams belong to the USA, so it didn’t quite make sense to me. They could have attempted the same joke during the Opening Ceremony or another big Olympic event, and I think the content would have resonated much better. Instead, personally I was confused. Maybe it was J.C. Penney’s way of not rooting for a specific team, but if that’s the case, they didn’t do a good job of staying impartial, since they “said” “Go Seahawks” in one of their tweets.
J.C. Penney’s #TweetingWithMittens did have a very evident positive, 8,824 new followers. They have definitely been acquiring new followers over time, with a recent large spike in addition to the Super Bowl spike. Time will tell if this spike of followers were worth it, when we can see if those followers remained, or unfollowed after the joke was up.
Winner or Loser?
Personally, I give kudos to J.C. Penney for taking a risk during a huge Twitter traffic time. Part of social media is finding out what your audience will react to, and you have some go tos that you know will accomplish what you need to, but you always have to be trying to find the next thing, and attract new audiences. The only way to do that is with a little trial and error. Unfortunately, I’m not sure this risk paid off.
What do you think? Did J.C. Penney make the right move?
After we announced media changes on WordPress.com, some of you asked when these new WordPress.com features would be available for self-hosted WordPress sites. Well, wait no more! The latest features brought to WordPress.com — such as tiled galleries and slideshows — are now available for WordPress.org users with self-hosted sites through the Jetpack 2.1 release. You can now show off your images in gorgeous photo mosaics and slideshows that integrate seamlessly with the Carousel module. [ Read More ]
As many brands have spent the past several years engaging with customers and prospects on social networking sites, marketers have a good idea of what gets web users to connect. Typically, social networkers say they make “friends” with or follow a brand’s posts to find out about special offers and deals, and current research is consistent with that reasoning. [ Read More ]
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Encyclopaedia Britannica announced today that it will cease publication of the 32-volume print edition. Going forward, the focus will be on Britannica’s digital properties. I worked for Britannica.com, the Encyclopaedia Britannica spinoff, from 1998 to 2001. This job gave me a close-up seat to witness the promise of the first dot-com gold rush (1999 and 2000), and the just as rapid crash when the bubble deflated (2001). I think that the story of Britannica, including this latest chapter to cease print publication, has some things to teach us in higher ed. [ Read More ]
Engagement is one of the most talked about metrics for ROI. Some argue that the raw number of “Likes”, comments and retweets don’t mean anything. Instead, they point to a fans’ level of investment, loyalty and engagement to determine whether social media is “paying off.” A community manager — or social media manager or brand manager, etc. — is responsible for growing this community, providing interesting content and increasing engagement, which should ultimately lead to increased revenue. [ Read More ]
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