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BestBuy CSR Wisdom = Social Media

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I am so glad I was made aware of this video today!

What BestBuy has achieved is what majority of brands are struggling to understand and probably not brave enough to embrace. It’s what I call openness:

  • give a chance to everyone in your company to speak up,
  • make everyone within your company a stakeholder,
  • everyone should be involved,
  • let your employees feel they have a high level of impact into your business development

I have posted a link to the video below this paragraph for all of you to go and watch. It’s 30 minutes long, but if you have a bit of time it’s an incredible insight into how brands should adapt their business models to open up to their employees, with the ultimate objective to retain them for as long as possible, make the business a better place for  your customers to come back to, and last but not least, for your own company to constantly develop thanks to the people who make it such a good place…. It’s not rocket science, BUT STILL, I have no idea why only merely few companies have got it right so far!

Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson in conversation with Peter Hirshberg at Google Zeitgeist from peter hirshberg on Vimeo.

I am not anywhere close to being a business consultant, however I humbly reckon it’s part of an overall ‘Corporate Social Responsability’ vision which has a strong potential to let your business stand out from the others.

The only reason why I am giving the spotlight to BestBuy is because what they are doing is exactly what brands should also be doing with their customers!

BestBuy has launched an internal social network for their over 3000 employees across the US by the name of BlueShirtNation, an internal WIKI, a TradeTrending tool and a Product Development Forum. Within these spaces, employees are constantly coming up with new ideas, talking directly to the managers, getting funded by the company to take interesting concepts one step further, connect with each other from different stores etc… allowing a fully personal experience where they can feel meaningful to the company

That is exactly what customers want!

  • They want to feel listened
  • They want to get involved
  • They want to be meaningful to the eyes of your brand

I would be extremely surprised if BestBuy doesnt open such tools to their customers. People could add even more ideas to what BestBuy employees have, it could actually generate even more conversations between employees and consumers to drive better service and more product development.

Also, at the moment they are talking about a mobile device which would allow customers to review their products right there at the moment of consideration/purchase. A custom software would allow reading a product barcode and let you retrieve all the reviews from the BestBuy online community website straight onto your mobile screen.

The ultimate point is : how would your customer feel through such an awesome shopping experience?

I could only say – satisfied? clear about his choice? glad about listening to what other people like him have to say about the product? More willing to buy?

As a brand, if you start engaging with your existing and potential users online, through building and maintaining open and meaningful conversations you might get the same results! Am I right?

Answers on a postcard please!?

E

PS

The slideshare below explains in more details their strategy

 

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Bluenity

Bluenity is apparently ‘the first social network for travelers launched by an airline’ and the company behind this is KLM/AirFrance

Well… Where to start?
This could potentially be the biggest failure in the history of branded social networks!

Two are the main reasons for this…

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First of all, you are trying to reach a complicated audience such as the traveling community, and of course you are trying to copy sites like Dopplr, however if you want to do it right try and stick to some of the best practices when launching a networking community like this

To try and connect people traveling to same destinations or, in a terribly spooky way, the ones boarding on a same flight, why closing this only to KLM/AirFrance flyers? You are probably loosing 90% of new potential users who may even be interested in your brand…They lost me immediately!

Also, why would I want to meet these random people boarding on the same plane as me? I am not sure there’s been any thought behind this at all…

Building a branded cost-effective platform like a social network is one of the many good strategies to reach both a non-existing and a loyal customer and start creating a conversation with them. Around Bluenity there is no trace of this…

BA Metrotwin got it right because of so many different elements…

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First of all, I don’t have to be a BA frequent flyer to take advantage of any services offered by the site, and doing so you are increasing the chance for people loving the site to retain a higher affinity to the brand.

Secondly, they were smart enough to tap into one of the most frequent route BA has, London-New York, and creating a website users will find extremely useful when looking for hot-spots – even if I don’t fly BA or don’t fly at all!

Why should I be on Bluenity? What are the benefits for me to join such community?

Metrotwin is a great space for sharing information, gaining advice and connect with likeminded individuals… even during your trip! Bluenity looks to me like a tedious space where I could start being stalked by random people just because we share a same flight, probably twice a year … zero content, no brand affinity and a complete dull approach!

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2008 in Social Media

 

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British Council – Projectorhead

picture-121It’s all over YouTube today and thought about giving it some credit as I think it’s a great achievement for a government body to get into social media and getting it right…

This week, British Council launched a YouTube competition for existing international students to promote and create a positive buzz around “the life as a student in the UK”.

The competition is very simple and evolves around uploading a short video about your own experience as a person living and studying abroad in the UK, for the chance to win cash and/or an iPod Touch

I have to say, at first I was a bit confused as I couldn’t understand why I should think about existing international students in the UK as my first target audience for such campaign, when they are probably the last people i should convince to come and study over here….

After thinking about it for a second, the whole thing became clear… they simply need advocates; and being social media probably the best and first way for these students to be in touch with their friends back home, it becomes both the most relevant and important space for them to share this experience with their peers.

There is a simple strategy here which sits on a loyalty ladder: from non-existing consumers all the way up to advocates… (Thanks Lydia to remind me about this!)

The British Council are not communicating straight to the ones who could potentially become international students in the UK (non-existing audience/prospect) but they are simply creating a two-way-conversation between the brand and their existing ‘consumers’ to facilitate a stronger relationship and turn the latter into loyal advocates.

These are the ones who are going to upload their experiences as students abroad in the UK, sharing their videos throughout their social media spaces, allowing their experience to be shared and talked about… They are the ones who are going to create a nice positive feedback about the whole experience, which is going to be appealing enough to the ones who haven’t experienced this yet!

Easy Peasy eh?

The moral here is: “To reach your marketing objective, always think very carefully about the ones you want to engage in the conversation. The people you may want to reach in this case are not necessarily the ones to talk to…”

This is definitely something loads of brands tend to forget… what do you think?

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2008 in Social Media

 

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