Social media is getting faster by the minute. Today, it is getting so competitive that brands and businesses are continuously thinking outside the box on how they can produce content that matches the pace of their audience.
These days, social media waits for no one. If you’re LATE for the party, you’ll probably be covered by all the noise and you might not be able to get your voice across. It could only mean that if you want to be heard by the crowd, you have to be fast; and on social media, that means you have to be REALLY fast.
Speed wins if you want to be the one people talk about on social media.
Jay Baer previously covered a topic about this in one of his blog posts titled ‘Permission is the Enemy of Speed‘. Here is a short quote:
“Ultimately, speed wins. The companies that engage customers on Twitter and Facebook within minutes are making a none-too-subtle statement about their embrace of the social telephone and the primacy of the customer. In comparison, slow response or no response produces a decided “meh” vibe.”
I couldn’t agree more with him. Speed WINS. We’ve seen it happened during the Superbowl where Oreo was able to take advantage of the blackout situation. They were quick enough to respond and they got talked about the most.
Recently a similar situation happened where Philips took advantage of Colgate’s PR backlash. Here is a short summary of what happened.
Colgate decided to offer people a chance to swap their old electric toothbrush for the new ProClinical A1500 worth £169.99, however they failed to estimate the demand and had to shut down their kiosk.
Many who traveled to the location were disappointed as they weren’t able to swap theirs for one. We’ve all seen what comes next: when people get frustrated, they hit social media channels. Many were there to share their frustrations with their fans.
Philips then heard about it and decided to take advantage of the Colgate situation to ran an advert.
To make things better, they also gave away 50 of the Sonic Care electronic toothbrushes by taking advantage of Colgate’s hashtag and pull disappointed fans to join their contest which they only need to take a photo of the toothbrush to enter,
PEOPLE LOVED it. Those who were frustrated were now happy. Many praised Philips for their well executed and speedy campaign which was able to take advantage of Colgate’s backlash.
While they understood that they couldn’t give away too many, Philips still offered 60% discount to the people out there who did not want to join the contest.
Due to the quick thinking and speedy implementation, Philips was able take advantage of our unique channel of real-time media and turn Colgate’s bad publicity into positive word-of-mouth for their brand. We all know the early bird catches the bird, on social media the early bird catches peoples attention.
Do note that there is a fine line between taking advantage of hashtags and simply misusing them. We’ve seen the bad taste of Kenneth Cole during Cairo and GAP and Urban Outfitters during the Hurricane Sandy? Which of course explains how GAP and Urban Outfitter ended up in my top 2012 social media failure awards for taking advantage of hashtags.
Have you heard of other examples of businesses taking advantage of bad publicity and turning into positive word of mouth? Share it with us below.