Social media offers companies a chance to engage with consumers like never before. Not only by listening to their audience but also by responding to those whom they are engaging with. When implementing social media marketing it can go one of two ways, good or bad. Southwest Airlines and Ragu are two examples that show what happens when a social media plan works and when they don’t. Now both of these companies have a Facebook page and a Twitter account however only one of them knew what they were doing when putting together a good social media campaign. Let’s take a look at Ragu and Southwest Airlines.
Dads Rage Against Ragu
In 2011 Ragu decided to start a new campaign called, “what’s dinner time like when dad cook”. Even though the title of this campaign seems harmless, and if they had done it correctly it may have been a success. Here is how it went down, they started this campaign with a simple YouTube video that they made, in which they interviewed some moms and asked the simple question, “ What is dinner like when dad cooks? “ The plan for this campaign was to use their Twitter feed to spam dads with the @ symbol and to attach this video to the tweet:
When the dads received this message on their twitter feed and viewed the video, they were instantly upset and that Ragu would spam them with a video insulting them about cooking. The video they saw, showed moms being asked the question, “What is dinner like when dad cooks?” Many of the comments made by the women were condescending, for example: my husband cooks breakfast for dinner (sausages and waffles), while another one stated that her husband only grills, and one says that their kids love when dad cooks, because they can whatever they want. For Ragu to spam dads using Twitter was obviously not the right move. A company should never send out spam in the first place, but to send out spam messages to dads, with a video complaining about how they cook is insulting. What happened after this fiasco? For starts the dads they received the spam message on Twitter were not happy and some of them fought back through the use of social media. One dad, CC Chapman who happens to not only be in marketing but is also a dad blogger, blogged about this and his fans were just as outraged as he was.
The question now is how could Ragu avoided this mess in the first place. One way in which they could have avoided this is by better defining who their target audience was, instead of just spamming them with an insulting video. There are many different approaches they could have taken if they wanted to target dad, for example instead of asking moms what dinner is like when dad cooks, they could have asked dads what they like to cook for their kids. This could have been done on Facebook as well, Ragu is a perfect example of how a company should NOT use social media, but that doesn’t mean a company can’t use social media to make consumers aware of their brand along with reminding consumers about them.
Are you “nuts” about Southwest Airlines? Well then you are among the millions of other people out there who are a fan of this airline. Southwest Airlines currently has over 2 million people following them on Facebook and over 1 million followers on Twitter. Now how is it that Southwest has such a high amount of people following them on these two social media sites. The answer is through their marketing campaign, “Nuts About Southwest”, this is not only their slogan but the name of their popular blog. This particular airline has a one of a kind blog, this particular blog is written by the employees of Southwest Airlines and about their job, the places they have gone, and the people they have meet. Most blogs only have two or three contributors, however they have around 40 different employees blogging for them. Southwest has always been known as a company that has excellent customer service, in that they always listen to their customers and strive to meet the needs every person who chooses to fly with them. In an article in PR Daily they talked to Laurel Moffat about their social media policy, she mentioned that, “We’re all communicators and that all members of the Southwest team embrace being spokespeople for the company”. This is the key phrase, “spokespeople for the company”. When dealing with social media it is important that when allowing for employees of any company to look at themselves in this way, if one member does not feel this way then there could possible be an issue. She also mentioned that, “…good intentions alone won’t manage a massive social media following”. This is important to understand because if a company is to start a social media campaign then it is important to manage those who follow your company so that you can pin point problems and fix them before they get out of hand. She also mentions that when dealing with social media, it is important to sound like a real person, people don’t want to follow a company that sounds like they are just Tweeting to tweet but rather to think that they are talking to you and engaging with the consumer.
Ragu VS Southwest
So how is it that one company could go so wrong while another while another company did so well? The answer is simple; one had done their homework while the other didn’t. Knowing your target market and knowing how to go about reaching them are the two main key points to any successful social media campaign. While Ragu choose to spam their target market with an insulting video, Southwest decided to listen to their customers and to be seen as a company that truly cared about their customers.
Category: ROI, SEO, Social Media Marketing 201, Social Media Marketing Integration