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Posts Tagged ‘Coca Cola’

Who scored, who fumbled online in the advertising Super Bowl?

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Go DaddyFor the first time, Web-monitoring firm Keynote measured Super Bowl advertisers’ websites before, during and after the Super Bowl to see how they fared in speed and reliability once the traffic started hitting.

The good news: most retailers and automakers exhibited strong performance, delivering within industry best practices across the three screens. Maybe all those Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays have put them through their paces?

The winners in each category were: GoDaddy (desktop); Axe (tablet); and BestBuy (Smartphone).

Coke choked

The bad news: some of the major consumer packaged-goods names, notably Coca-Cola with its heavily promoted “Coke Chase” campaign, showed unacceptably slow response times on mobile devices and even desktops. From 5:00pm to 9:00pm PST, the Coca-Cola site crashed repeatedly for consumers trying to access it on mobile devices and laptops.

During that time period Keynote measurements showed that the Coca-Cola smartphone site was completely unavailable, and more than 70% of visitors to the desktop site were turned away. For those that did reach the site, it took almost 15 seconds to respond, making it the worst performer in that category.

Century 21 placed last in the smartphone category with a staggering 54 seconds response time. Doritos took the bottom spot in the tablet category with a response time of just over 17 seconds.

Prior testing needed

Overall there were some unimpressive mobile numbers – 11 advertisers came in with over 15 second response times (Century 21, Doritos, Hyundai and Kia, Mio from Kraft Foods, Pepsi, RIM/Blackberry, Samsung (an astounding 36 seconds from the smartphone maker), Sodastream, Walt Disney Pictures for Oz (40 seconds) and Wonderful Pistachios.

“Given the money spent and the high-profile brands promoted, we were surprised to see how poor some of these numbers are,” comments Nick Halsey, chief marketing officer at Keynote.

“Clearly the next challenge for these multi-channel campaigns is to better prepare for the three-screen delivery model; testing, monitoring and load testing end user experience prior to special events and to assure day-to-day performance are mission-critical. It’s not enough to simply hope the desktop site will run on a mobile device, particularly when some of the content is rich video and animation.”

Which brands have the most Facebook fans? Who’s gaining?

Friday, January 11th, 2013

FacebookCan you guess which retailers have the most Facebook fans? Socialbakers, a social media analytics firm, today released Facebook data that changes the rankings of the top US pages according to number of fans.

Who’s on top?

Walmart and Target were the number one and two brands with the highest number of U.S. Facebook fans.

Starbucks, Amazon and Coca Cola all saw gains in their rankings of total U.S. Facebook fans, with 15,615,785, 14,328,145, and 11,357,588 U.S.-based fans for each respective brand, making them fourth, fifth, and eighth on the list.

Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Reese’s all dropped out of the top ten.

“Brands that previously found themselves on top of the rankings in terms of fans in the U.S. have dropped,” SocialBakers says.

Go to the Socialbakers site to look at the fan distribution of any Facebook pages in every country. Simply click on any page in the ranking to show the distribution of fans.


Who’s on top of the business social media landscape? (infographic)

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

coca cola adIf you measured business success by social media fans and followers, who would be on top?

That one place where Facebook rules with 77 million.

It’s followed by Coca Cola, which has been social media savvy from the get-go, then, MTV, Disney, Starbucks, Converse, Red Bull, McDonalds, Snaptu, and Walmart in the top ten.

The tech firms leading the pack would be iTunes with 26 million, followed by Playstation, Xbox, Windows Live Messenger, Google, Samsung Mobile, Twitter, Pixar, Intel and Blackberry. created this infographic showing the top social business leaders in various industries.

Business: Social Media Landscape
Source: Top Business Degrees

Controversy lands Chick-fil-A among top ten fastest growing social brands

Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Chick-fil-A sandwich

Chick-fil-A actually gained fans and increased their engagement with its brand following controversy over remarks by executives about gay marriage.

All the controversy over anti-gay marriage comments from Chick-fil-A executives actually gained it more than half a million fans and vastly increased their engagement with the brand, landing it among the top ten fastest growing social brands in July.

Familiar names fill out the top ten – Walmart, Target, Starbucks, Skittles, Victoria’s Secret, Disneyland, MTV, Coca-Cola, and Kohl’s.

Optimal, a social media advertising and audience data platform company, tracks top performing social brands for its monthly Optimal Index. It determines the relative value of a brand’s current audience on Facebook by combining fan counts, engagement statistics and global fan valuation.

“We use data to help companies figure out — and then engage, using state of the art optimization software — not just more fans, but the right existing customers and brand advocates,” said Rob Leathern, CEO of Optimal. “The Optimal Index is a free tool for over 5,500 brands comprising over 3.2 billion Likes to benchmark their progress in social, and to determine the interests and affinities of the consumers engaging with their competition.”

Figure 1: Top 25 Growth in Optimal Index (June 30 – July 31st)

Rank Brand Index
1 Walmart 3,110
2 Target 2,194
3 Starbucks 2,155
4 Skittles 2,079
5 Victoria’s Secret 1,879
6 Disneyland 1,785
7 MTV 1,771
8 Coca-Cola 1,590
9 Chick-fil-A 1,517
10 Kohl’s 1,324
11 iTunes 1,299
12 Subway 1,256
13 Taco Bell 1,255
14 Burberry 1,244
15 Disney Pixar 1,234
16 NBA 1,133
17 Red Bull 1,117
18 H&M 1,115
19 Samsung Mobile USA 1,056
20 Intel 1,014
21 Facebook 994
22 Gerber 940
23 Walt Disney World 932
24 Dior 930
25 908

Amid recent controversial comments made by members of its executive team, Chick-fil-A added 524,238 new fans in July, but even more striking was the growth in their engagement rate of over 1572% to over 550,000 discussing, liking or commenting on their Page in the past week.

One component of the Optimal Index is the raw growth in number of Likes for a given brand. And here, several other well-known brands stand out for July, like Visa and Lancome.


Figure 2: Top 10 Growth in Facebook Fan Counts (June 30 – July 31st)

Rank Brand Likes
1 Coca-Cola 2,634,256
2 Samsung Mobile USA 2,225,298
3 2,006,919
4 Target 1,959,014
5 Lancome 1,597,271
6 Facebook 1,358,285
7 YouTube 1,354,486
8 Walmart 1,203,464
9 Visa 943,473
10 Kohl’s 839,072

Top brands thrive by leveraging technology: Apple, IBM lead

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

AppleThe world’s biggest brands have continued to grow in value during the current economic uncertainty, often by leveraging technology, according to WPP company Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study.

One surprising finding: Samsung is nipping at Apple’s heels in certain markets.

The No. 1 brand for the second year, Apple, rose 19% in value and is now worth $182.9 billion.

IBM grew 15% in value to $115.9 billion and overtook Google, which dropped to third place in the ranking and is now worth $107.8 billion.

In advance of its IPO, eight year old Facebook rose 74% in value, making it the fastest brand value riser in the ranking. Worth $33.2 billion the social network moved up to No.19 from No.35.

The study, commissioned by WPP and conducted by Millward Brown Optimor and now in its seventh year, identifies and ranks the world’s most valuable brands by their dollar value, an analysis based on financial data, market intelligence and consumer measures of brand equity.

The 2012 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking demonstrates the power of strong brands as both a driver of new business growth and a critical support in hard times.

Between 2006 and 2012, the total value of the BrandZ Top 100 rose 66% and is now worth $2.4 trillion.

“Brands are an insurance policy for businesses,” said Eileen Campbell, Global CEO of brand research company Millward Brown.

“Despite a prolonged period of economic stress, political uncertainty and natural disasters that buffeted brands across many categories, the value of the world’s leading brands keeps rising across many categories, sustaining and nurturing businesses.”

The Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2012

        Rank   Rank  Rank                                               Value
        2011 change  2012           Category              Brand       2012 ($M)
           1      0     1     Tech                   Apple             182,951
           3      1     2     Tech                   IBM               115,985
           2     -1     3     Tech                   Google            107,857
           4      0     4     Fast Food              McDonald's         95,188
           5      0     5     Tech                   Microsoft          76,651
           6      0     6     Soft drinks            Coca-Cola          74,286
           8      1     7     Tobacco                Marlboro           73,612
           7     -1     8     Communication Provider AT&T               68,870
          13      4     9     Communication Provider Verizon            49,151
           9     -1    10     Communication Provider China Mobile       47,041

David Roth for WPP said “This year, those businesses that leveraged technology, focused on the customer experience or boosted control of their brands thrived”.

Apple continues to innovate and maintain its ‘luxury’ brand status, but faces future competition from Samsung.

Now worth more than $14.1 billion, thanks in part to the success of its Galaxy handsets, Samsung is successfully outpacing Apple in a significant number of markets by positioning as a cool, well-priced alternative to the ubiquitous iPhone.”

Key findings highlighted in this year’s research report include:

  • Technology Prevails: Technology has become ubiquitous in all areas of our lives. Seven of the top 10 brands are technology or telecoms brands. However, the power of smart, simple-to-use technology can also be seen beyond these two sectors. In other categories – cars, financial services, luxury and retail for example – we can also see that brands are gaining significant advantages by using smart technology to enhance their customer experience. For example, Burberry – up 21% to $4 billion – created a virtual world where younger brand followers can view fashion shows and more.
  • The Rise of Africa:  This year’s ranking highlights the progress of Africa’s economic development with the arrival of the first African brand in the Top 100 – South African mobile company MTN – No 88 at $9.2 billion. But it’s not just African brands that are thriving south of the Sahara. Around 40% of Guinness’s sales come from Africa, Airtel’s third quarter results showed a 16% increase in revenue in Africa. Similarly, Orange enjoyed rapid growth in Africa in 2011, while Walmart invested there with the acquisition of Massmart.
  • The Future is Mobile: The future of the internet will be predominantly mobile rather than computer based. Mobile, to some extent, has been shielded from the recession as one of the few items consumers don’t want to give up or cut back on. The most valuable telecoms brand is AT&T worth $68.8 billion. Whilst the USA’s largest mobile service provider, Verizon, increased its brand value by 15% in the last year and is now worth $49.1 billion.
  • Retail: Constructing an Omni-Channel Business: The customer experience is a new focus for many retailers as they recognise its importance in keeping customers loyal and the need to be present anywhere and everywhere on the path to purchase. Walmart knocked Amazon from the top position and its brand is now worth $34.4 billion whilst Amazon is now worth$34 billion.
  • Brands with Women on the Board Outperform: As the number of women on corporate boards continues to rise,the BrandZ Top100 study this year reveals the success that women bring to brands. 77% of the brands appearing in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands have women in the boardroom. The average value of brands with women on the boards is $27 billion, double that of those companies without female directors. Not only that, these brands also show an average five-year growth of 66% compared to an average growth of only 6% for those BrandZ Top100 brands that don’t have a woman on the board.
  • Strong Brands Provide Better Shareholder Value: An analysis of BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands as a ‘stock portfolio’ over the last seven years shows a highly favourable performance compared to a current stock market index, the S&P500. While the total return on investment (ROI) for all companies in the S&P500 index was just 2.3%, the BrandZ Portfolio provided a 36.3% ROI, proving that companies with strong brands are able to deliver better value to their shareholders.
  • A graphic is available here.

How big brands are taking Facebook marketing to the next level (infographic)

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

As Facebook heads toward what may be the most anticipated initial public offering ever, Socialbakers, a social media analytics firm, says the 900-million-plus member Facebook platform helps big brands penetrate emerging global markets.

Socialbakers’ analysis not only highlights the social network’s exploding international reach but also how the world’s biggest brands are tapping into the social economy to build international momentum.

The data examines the Engagement Rate (ER) of brands—a clear measure of brand engagement—in the top 10 countries with the largest Facebook user base.

“Facebook is clearly giving social-savvy companies unprecedented access to build dynamic relationships and grow revenue in key markets,” said Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab.

“It can be incredibly time-consuming and difficult to go to market in new regions with a localized website or microsite, even for some of the world’s biggest companies. And even then, you’ve still got a static presence that fails to truly engage your target audience. Facebook eliminates that barrier to entry by providing a well-entrenched and steadily-growing platform.”

Facebook infographic

Kraft Tops the List of Fastest Moving Brands
Three of the top five Fastest Moving Global Brands come from the Kraft family. The company’s Halls, Trident and Chiclets lines made major gains over the past year, boosted by strong audience engagement in Brazil (the second-largest Facebook audience). L’Oreal Paris Brazil and AXE Indonesia (Unilever) round out the Top Five.

Consumer Goods Win Big Around the World
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPGs) have emerged as industry leaders on the global scale, with half of the Top 10 Fastest Movers falling into this category.

CPGs also dominate in key growth markets. In Brazil, the most engaged brands are CPGs, and in the United Kingdom, Cadbury Creme Egg and Cadbury Wispa rank in the top two. In France, M&Ms boasts the highest engagement rate of any brand in the nation.

“CPGs have historically been early adopters of social media in well-saturated markets,” Rezab said. “So it only makes sense that they leverage this strategy to dominate in these high-growth markets as well.”

Mobile/Telecom Move the Needle in Emerging Markets
Mobile brands have also made big moves among the top 10 Countries, as well as in some smaller, yet highly engaged markets.

As the proliferation of mobile devices continues to permeate virtually every corner of the globe, carriers and device manufacturers are leveraging this momentum to engage audiences and expand their reach.

BlackBerry, which has fallen behind the pack in the U.S. mobile market, is among the top three brands in Mexico and Indonesia. Samsung and Nokia top the leaderboard in Turkey and Mexico, while regional player Vodafone has by far more fans and higher engagement than any other brand in India.

Fan Engagement Highest Among Emerging Markets
It’s no surprise that, among the top 10 brands, the overwhelming majority of Facebook fans hail from the U.S.

However, fans in emerging markets are much more actively engaged—a metric that proves to be very valuable in gaining international traction. Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines rank in the top three in Engagement Rate.

Meanwhile, four of the top five Fastest Moving Brands saw their biggest gains in the booming market of Brazil.

“Engagement is the core of the social economy—people buy what their friends buy and recommend,” Rezab said.

“Simply having a lot of fans isn’t the answer to building a strong social economy presence—they must be active. Growing that engagement and viral reach is the key to success, especially in international markets.”


Top social brands study reveals insights on effective social marketing tactics

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Starbucks Market Strategies International released its inaugural Social Media Brand Index, which provides a rigorous view of how top brands across different industries succeeded in social media in 2011.

We’re not surprised to see many of the names on the top 20 list from the index. Starbucks has been a leader in the use of social media marketing from the start, as have Amazon, Disney, Google and Nike.

The Index also shares five insights every marketer should consider when analyzing social media investments.

“Companies are swimming in web analytics, but they often have no idea where they are in relation to other swimmers,” said Theo Downes-Le Guin, a consultant to Market Strategies and its former chief research officer.

“Our Index rank orders nearly 150 leading brands across industries as well as the most social brands by industry.”

Here’s the top 20 most social brands revealed by the index:

top social brands

Market Strategies specifically built this Index to address the effect of sponsored – not just “naturally occurring” – social media content and interactions. The underlying premise is that four elements drive a successful brand presence in social media:

  1. Volume: The number of conversations that contain a consumer opinion, emotion or behavior.
  2. Net Sentiment: The ratio of positive to negative sentiments expressed about a brand.
  3. Positive Emotions: The number of content items that are identified as having positive emotions.
  4. Sponsored Presence: The number of “likes” on a company-sponsored Facebook page, the number of followers on a corporate-sponsored Twitter account(s) and the number of subscribers to sponsored YouTube channel(s).

Downes-Le Guin added, “We’re still very early in the game in terms of understanding and analyzing social media marketing efforts, and we’re years away from an agreed-upon ROI model. But, we believe social media will remain an important part of the marketing mix and our ability to validly demonstrate that importance will grow over time.”

Five key takeaways emerged from the study that may be instructive for marketers who struggle with how to support their brands using social media:

  1. Diversity of social channels and tactics is critical to success.
  2. Every industry has a different “right” level of social.
  3. Reach without positive sentiment is a short-term win.
  4. Not all sponsored channels are equal.
  5. Measuring success requires mashing up data sources.

Download Market Strategies’ 2011 Social Media Brand Index to see full rankings and learn more about the key takeaways.Read more at FreshMR.

General Catalyst names early Facebook employee a venture partner

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

General CatalystKevin Colleran, a foundational Facebook employee who developed the initial advertising programs for the social network, is joining Palo Alto, CA-based General Catalyst Partners as a venture partner.

As Facebook’s second-most tenured employee at the time of his departure behind founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Colleran offers tremendous experience for early stage and high growth companies.

In his new role at General Catalyst, Colleran will focus on mentoring young entrepreneurs in early stage investments.“Kevin’s experience monetizing social networks and deep understanding of the consumer experience make him a tremendous addition to our team”

Facebook’s seventh employee

Colleran began his career at Facebook in 2005 as its seventh employee and played a critical role establishing social media as an essential component of every brand’s marketing strategy.

During his tenure at Facebook, Colleran led some of the company’s largest advertising partnerships with companies including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca Cola. His main focus was to help premier brands learn how to evolve their marketing strategies and adapt to the rising popularity of social media. In that role, he helped establish the very first Facebook brand pages for these global icons.

“There’s always been a high volume of talent and innovation coming out of Boston, and there’s been a significant uptick recently. The most recent IPOs of General Catalyst companies like Demandware and Brightcove are proof of that, and I’m especially excited to identify the next great ideas and help develop and nurture them into phenomenal companies,” said Colleran, who will be based in General Catalyst’s Cambridge, MA. office.

Will work with consumer sector firms

In his role as venture partner, Colleran will identify and work with early stage companies in the consumer sector, in addition to serving as a board member and board observer for high growth companies.

Having spent six years at Facebook traveling the world and meeting with brand managers, advertising agencies, and global CMOs he has helped them better understand the new marketing opportunities that social media has to offer.

“Kevin’s experience monetizing social networks and deep understanding of the consumer experience make him a tremendous addition to our team,” said Joel Cutler, managing director at General Catalyst. “We’re excited to have him on board.”

In addition to his experience at Facebook, Colleran brings a lifelong interest in entrepreneurship to his new role. While in high school and college, he won multiple national entrepreneur of the year awards and founded various marketing and Internet-based startups.

After college, Colleran worked as a consultant with BMG Music in NY where he launched a music sponsorship company that focused on artists signed to the Arista and RCA record labels. In 2005 he was recruited to Facebook by Sean Parker, the company’s founding president.

Atlanta Digital Summit: Twitter take aways from social media marketing panel

Monday, May 16th, 2011
Bert DuMars

Bert DuMars

ATLANTA – Many of the folks arriving at the Digital Summit at the Cobb Galleria today tweeted they were impressed with the attendance. By the time the event cranked up, some noted you could tell what the hot topic of the moment was as people packed the Social Media Marketing panel, which one person in the room estimated at about 400.

It featured Natalie Johnson, manager of Digital and Social Media (and “happiness ambassador”) at the Coca Cola Co., Bert DuMars, vice president of E-Business and Interactive Marketing at Newell Rubermaid, and Liza Arango, social commerce lead at AT&T. They all provided take-aways tweeted by more than one in attendance. It’s amazing, actually, how the major ideas of each speaker show up in repeated tweets. (You can follow tweets from the event (@#dsum11).

Here’s a sample:

A company doesn’t own the brand, the consumer does.

Fish where the fish are – be with your customers in their space.  Let go, give up control and let fans create the content.

You will learn more from your customers than from your company.

Consumers drive the conversation through content creation.

You learn more from the outside than you ever learn from the inside.

Starting buzz before a social campaign bst way to ensure success..

Companes create impressions, consumers create expressions.

Coca Cola doesn’t directly measure ROI in terms of sales, but in terms of impressions.

Social listening key to brand success.

Brands – if you haven’t gotten into social media yet, it’s never too late.

Bert DuMars: keep them talking.

There’s a conversation around your brand online. And it’s happening with or without you.

Word of mouth will kill you when you don’t know.

Social communications should be current, relevant, and authentic.

If people keep talking, it keeps selling. The first review is just as important as the last.

Ratings and reviews inspire consumer confidence and guide consumer behaviors. Allow consumers to have their voice heard.

Respond to negative reviews publicly.

Honest web ratings and reviews are critical to social transparency.

The more people that talk about your brand online, the higher your sales will be.

Syndicating reviews amplifies the value of your product reviews. Syndicate reviews everywhere.

Develop a process for responding to positive and negative customer reviews.

Those that read reviews are 51% more likely to convert.

Integrate reviews into marketing assets like blogs.

Brand managers can use negative reviews to fuel innovation & create better product.

Use of ratings on marketing materials like coupons resulted in increased coupon redemption.

We also saw numerous tweets from the VC and e-commerce sessions and will be reporting further as the event continues.

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Atlanta Digital Summit nears sell-out, fewer than 40 seats left

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Digital SummitATLANTA – Fewer than 40 seats remain for the Digital Summit, which is bringing more than 60 presentations fouces on the latest best practices and trends in social media, search marketing, mobile, cloud, design, e-commerce, analytics and entrepreneurship to the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta May 16-17.

Among the features:

Over 60 presentations focused on the latest best practices and trends in social media, search marketing, mobile, cloud, design/usability, e-commerce, analytics, entrepreneurship and more!
Keynote presentation by “Social Media King” and New York Times Bestselling author, Gary Vaynerchuk
Hear from top brands such as Google, Coca-Cola, Groupon, Salesforce, CNN, YouTube, USA Today, the NBA, comScore, The Daily and more!
Network with hundreds of senior marketers, entrepreneurs and interactive strategists from companies like Apple, CBS, Dell, Discovery Channel, AT&T, Fox News, Dell, IBM, Autotrader & Turner.
Mix with top early-stage Internet startups at the Demo Showcase.

Register now and receive a free copy of Gary Vaynerchuck’s “The Thank You Economy,” which you can pick up at the event.

Participants include:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk, author, Host,
  • Natalie Johnson, Manager, Digital and Social Media, Coca-Cola
  • Tom Lowry, Head of Industry, Technology, Google Inc.
  • Matt Drinkwater, VP of Sales East Coast, Groupon
  • Mitch Free, CEO,
  • Phil Agcaoili, Chief Information Security Officer, Cox Communications
  • Marc Ferrentino, Chief Technical Architect,
  • Ainsley TeGrotenhuis, Director of Digital Marketing, CNN
  • Martin Green, Chief Operating Officer, Meebo
  • Maureen Schumacher, Sales Director, YouTube/Google
  • Taro Naruse, Senior Director of Product Management, NBA Digital
  • Emily Jerome Schroeder, Usability Analyst,
  • Dallas Lawrence, Contributor,
  • Raj Narang, Social Media Insights, Dell Computers
  • Christine Cook, SVP, Sales and Advertising Operations, The Daily
  • Pankaj Bagzai, Manager: Marketing US & Canada, Impetus
  • John Williamson, CEO & Founder, Qualvu
  • Trish Nettleship, Business Social Media & Online Community Lead, AT&T
  • James Andrews, Founder,
  • Eli R. Goodman, Search Evangelist, comScore, Inc
  • Erika Brookes, VP of Marketing, Vitrue
  • Allen Nance, President and Founder, WhatCounts
  • Francis Lavelle, Director of Analytics,
  • Stuart Roesel, Director Customer Insights, Analytics & Strategy, EarthLink
  • Tim Harrington, CEO, eRollover
  • Dana Todd, VP Performance Innovation, Performics
  • Jai Williams, Email Marketing Manager, InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Jennifer Dunphy, VP of Sales, Vayu Media
  • Laurie Hood, VP of Product Marketing, Silverpop
  • Scott Huie, Sr. Mgr. Business Advisory Services, Ernst & Young
  • Bert DuMars, Vice President E-Business, Newell Rubbermaid
  • Lindsay Wassell, Partner & Consultant, KeyphraSEOlogy
  • Allison Fabella, SEO & Social Media Mgr, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • David Jones, Partner, Southern Capitol Ventures
  • Tony Haile,eneral Manager, Chartbeat
  • Kyle Ford, Director, Mogwee at Ning, Inc, Ning
  • Matt Kaplan, CRO, My Damn Channel
  • Scott Huie, Business Advisory Services, Ernst & Young
  • Jane Reinberg, User Experience Architect, Genex
  • Sig Mosley, President, Imlay Investments
  • Gerard Bush – Chief Creative Director, The brpr Group
  • Tony Adam, Director of Online Marketing, Myspace
  • Benjamin Rudolph, President & CEO, Relevance Advisors
  • Jamie Bristow, Founder,
  • Michael Tavani, Co-Founder, Scoutmob
  • Alan Taetle, General Partner, Noro-Moseley Partners
  • Donna DeMarco, Co-Founder, Viddler
  • Debbie Curtis-Magley, Public Relations Manager, UPS
  • Elain O’Gorman, CMO, The Receivables Exchange
  • Brian Cohen, Principle, Visiture
  • Chip Hazard, General Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners
  • David Hoff, Founder & VP of Technology, CloudSherpas
  • Brian Brown, VP Biz Dev/Creative Director, RMM Online Advertising
  • Larry Pearson, Area VP, Impetus Technologies
  • Joel Lunenfeld, CEO, Moxie Interactive
  • Peter Schoenrock, SVP Product Development, Equifax
  • Zack Pousman, Dir. of Strategy & User Experience, IQ
  • Ryan Woolley, VP Client Services, Response Mine

Dallas Lawrence:Three steps to prepare for an online reputation crisis

Friday, April 29th, 2011
Dallas Lawrence

Dallas Lawrence

By Allan Maurer

These days, a company never knows when a brand crisis fueled by Twitter or blog posts, Facebook or a YouTube video may strike.  So every company needs to take three steps toward online reputation managment, says Dallas Lawrence, managing director of Digital Public Affairs for Burson-Marsteller’s digital communications agency.

Lawrence, a frequent contributor to and Mashable, also chaired the social and digital media practice for Washington, DC based crisis communications firm Levick Strategic Communications. Previously, Dallas served as the first vice president for New Media for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). He also served as a member of the George W. Bush White House communications team for five years.

Lawrence is one of hundreds of Internet executives, interactive marketers, web entrepreneurs and other new media professionals participating in the Digital Summit scheduled for Atlanta, May 16-17.

Three steps to protect online reputation

The first thing any firm or organization needs to do to manage its online reputation is “Just be aware of your current reputation online and potential threats and supporters out there. So many companies we have worked with in crisis planning, have not begun to think about what could potentially befoul their brand through online sources.

Second, he says, there are a lot of tools out there to help organizations be prepared and have a better sense of the landscape where a brand is discussed. “So you have to become familiar with the platforms, specifically Twitter, where they will talk about you whether you are there or not.”

Third, engage and manage at least half the conversations online yourself.

Companies often see the online landscape as nearly overwhelming when they first approach it. There are 30 million blogs, 60 million tweets a day, more than 500 million users on Facebook and they think, “How can I possibly engage in this?”

“The first thing I tell clients,” says Lawrence, “is that you don’t have to do everything at once. Just get started. Pick one or two areas and get comfortable. Create a blog, Get people used to the idea of creating content and allowing users to post questions. Engage on Twitter.”

Structure required

It is also important to bring some structure to the endeavor, he adds. “You don’t want to be on Twitter just to be on Twitter. You need a strategy. What is your objective? What is it your audience wants to hear?” That means, he says, have an editorial calendar. Do a series of tweets on a topic. Add some video content. “Start thinking like that instead of an overall strategy to engage on all the channels.”

There is this “rush,” he notes, to be on Twitter and Facebook. “Social media is not like Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams. If you build it, they won’t come.”

That seems to be the phrase du jour this season regarding social media. We’ve heard it from several social media mavens headed to this year’s Digital Summit. It’s right up there with a suggestion followed by “Rinse and repeat,” the catch phrase we heard most last year.

But it makes a point. To get people to engage with your social media, it is not enough just to start a Twitter account and a Facebook page.

“You have to create content and market it every single day to be successful,” he says.

Get more than the brand marketing department involved

Lawrence says that Atlanta-based Coca Cola is “One of the smartest companies thinking about how they need to position themselves globally. They engage people in pro-active brand conversations online, but they’re also prepared for any potentially critical issues that may arise for them online. And one of the things they have learned is not to leave all their social media strategies in the hands of the brand marketing department. So they have people who know its not just clicks and weekly numbers, but longterm conversations that are important.”

Just having brand marketing departments handle social media is a fault lots of companies fall prey to, says Lawrence, pointing to Toyota’s mishandling of its problems last year. “When their single greatest crisis happened, they had no levers.”

Southwest Airlines and Marriott Hotels are other examples of firms handling their social media well, he says. “You have to have a team with access to the “C” suite, separate from brand marketing channels,” says Lawrence.

The 1440 Cycle

None of this is just frivolous speculation. “If you are doing business today,” Lawrence notes, “It is not a question of if, but of when a crisis will hit your brand. It’s just a matter of time, whether it is a coordinated attack or just a small bomb thrower without any reach. But with million of conversations about brands and companies online, your time will come when you are in the spotlight, and not in a good way. The way you react to that, in many cases right away, will determine the success of your communications strategy.”

Lawrence says he doesn’t talk about 24/7, he talks about the 1440 cycle. “That the number of minutes in a day, and every one of them can affect your brand if you are not aggressively defending it and pro-actively advancing it.”