on 8 Apr 2016
Brands are increasingly using Twitter as a customer service tool but not all are getting it right, according to a new study, which shows that retailers are the worst performers while the financial sector is leading by example.
In today’s social media age, Twitter-based customer service is expected to be speedy. But according to mystery shopper research by BDRC Continental, many brands struggle to keep pace.
Established retailers are among the worst brands for answering customer queries on Twitter, while high street banks and credit card brands are the top performers.
Fashion retailer French Connection, which saw sales in 2015 fall 8% to £164.2m, comes bottom of the pile in the research, taking an average of 39 hours and 22 minutes to respondto customers on Twitter.
“The longer a brand waits, the bigger the risk that a customer will decide to go and shop somewhere else,” says Tim Barber, director at BDRC Continental. “It is 2016 and people expect a rapid response. If they don’t get it, you could lose them forever. French Connection could be unintentionally sending that waiting customer to Topshop.”
With an overall score of 10% across several metrics including customer satisfaction and speed, French Connection is the worst-performing UK brand according to the study, but it was not the only guilty high street retailer. The brand is joined by high street giants including Starbucks, Waterstones, Vodafone and McDonald’s, which are among the 10 worst performers.
As part of the research, more than 9,000 tweets were sent to 395 high street brands in 32 market sectors. Each of the brands’ responses was ranked by the quality of their answer, whether additional information was offered, the friendliness of tone and if a reasonable effort was put into the response. All brands were sent the same 25 queries by 25 different users to allow for benchmarking of the responses.
Barber says the research produced its fair share of horror stories. “The worst thing a brand can do is respond even when they haven’t properly read a question or use automation to just cut and paste answers.”
He reveals: “One of our shoppers asked a payments brand if there was a charge to pay by American Express, and it bizarrely responded: ‘We take MasterCard, Visa and American Express’.
“Another shopper asked a popular high street restaurant if they could bring their own wine to a meal or if there was a charge. The response was an aggressive: ’No, absolutely not. If you do, you will be instantly removed from the premises’.”
High street retailers could learn a thing or two from the financial sector, however. According to the report, Nationwide has the best customer service on Twitter with an overall score of 88%. In fact, seven of the top 10 best performers are either credit card or banking brands.
The financial industry has had its fair share of PR disasters since the 2008 banking crisis andBarber says this works in its favour. “The banks, credit cards and rail companies are all used to being attacked regularly in the media. As a result, they have huge teams in place to manage their social media and PR. If they can make a customer happy on Twitter, it’s an easy PR win.”
At four minutes and 25 seconds, Virgin Trains has the quickest average response time. However, Barber says speed is not everything and that there is still a trend of “quick answers that don’t really answer a consumer’s question”.
The rise of online forums also means that the public can find answers to most queries through the simplicity of a Google search, suggesting brands that cannot do a good job of customer service on Twitter should not do it at all.
“Apple doesn’t answer any tweets, so it isn’t necessarily imperative that you go down the route of using Twitter as a customer service tool,” says Barber. “But if you are on the platform, you should invest in doing the job properly as it will pay for itself in the end. If you’re on Twitter and responding to customers poorly, it will do more damage than good.”
Ultimately, Barber says brands must be consistent if they are to achieve success through social media customer service. He suggest brands such as Holland & Barrett and Waitrose, which achieve scores of 77% and 75% respectively, do well to balance both helpfulness and personality.
Barber advises: “You need to be consistent with every single tweet and treat everybody like an individual. You have to have the infrastructure in place to respond to every single tweet – that’s important.
“You don’t pick and choose who you speak to when someone walks into a store – you aim to speak to everyone, so why do the opposite on Twitter? Treat every Twitter user like a shopper inside your flagship store. Remain consistently helpful and you’ll inevitably improve the sentiment towards your brand.”
New forms of social platforms present a new set of challenges for brands – and they can’t afford to duck them
For the best part of a decade, our online social lives have been defined by a handful of giant networks: Facebook, Twitter and (for professional and high-net-worth audiences) LinkedIn. Marketing strategies have therefore focused on capturing attention and driving engagement through these channels. With their mass reach and openness to advertising, they had appeared to make the task of engaging audiences on social media relatively straightforward. But things are changing – and changing fast. As far as marketers are concerned, our social lives are becoming a lot more complicated.
It’s not that the social giants are in decline. Their numbers of active users continue to increase, with 30% of global internet users heading onto Facebook every day. But they no longer define our digital social lives in the way that they once did. The average 16-24-year-old now uses at least five different social platforms each week. And many of the interactions that matter most to them take place on new types of platform, with less obvious roles for brands. This represents a challenge for marketers, but it’s also an important, and very timely, opportunity.
The daily use of mainstream social media is rising at 6% a year – but use of Instant Messaging (IM) platforms is increasing at double that rate. More than half of global internet users are using messaging apps on a daily basis – and this is pushing platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Snapchat and LINE towards the centre of social experiences. Messaging use may lag behind in the US and UK (35% and 39% respectively), but it dominates in emerging and fast-growth markets from Brazil (73%) to Malaysia (77%) and China (69%). And it’s not just IM that is expanding the social media universe. From Instagram to Vine, people are engaging on a far broader range of platforms that reflect their different needs and interests through very different social experiences.
It’s significant that Facebook itself has moved swiftly into these new social spaces: WhatsApp (owned by Facebook since late 2014) and Facebook Messenger are currently the two largest messaging platforms on earth. Facebook owns Instagram as well. The world’s largest social media player recognises that people are no longer satisfied with expressing themselves in just one way, on one type of network.
Look closely at the IM phenomenon and you’ll find a broad range of user experiences from stripped down to content-rich, but all have the same fundamental appeal at their core. IM enables real-time interaction within small, specific groups that can form, break up and re-form endlessly. Conversations are free to fade over time (the importance of which explains the intense debate about just how long Snapchat conversations are stored for). IM is more intimate, more responsive and less permanent. And it reflects more intuitively the way people have traditionally interacted with one another.
The return of nuanced private lives
To marketers, the sudden fragmentation of the social media landscape can seem disruptive and surprising. But in the context of human relationships, the shift isn’t really that surprising at all. If anything, it’s the last 10 years that have been abnormal.
In the offline world, there are certain, very specific situations in which being included in a large crowd is an important part of the experience: shopping in a marketplace, watching a football match, engaging in a pilgrimage or, on a smaller scale, enjoying a large dinner with extended family. But these situations are relatively rare. The vast majority of our lives aren’t spent shouting personal messages over the heads of very large crowds of people; they are lived more privately, built on interactions with far smaller groups that we shuffle between according to circumstance and need.
Living out more of our life online – but on different terms
The shift towards IM suggests that people want to move more of these offline experiences onto digital platforms; they are just not comfortable moving them onto the likes of Facebook. Messaging apps provide them with opportunities to reflect a more nuanced social reality in the online space. And as those messaging platforms build richer functionality around core messaging, there are more compelling reasons to do so. Users of LINE, which first launched as an emergency response to the Japanese earthquake of 2011, can now play games together, generate and share content, stream music and watch TV – all of which can be plugged seamlessly into their interactions.
More consumers carrying out more of their social lives online ought to represent a significant opportunity for marketers. However, there’s a challenge. The way that brands interact with consumers on Facebook, for example, is partly why large-scale open networks are deemed inappropriate for the more private and personal aspects of people’s lives. Facebook feels like the virtual equivalent of the marketplace, an environment in which we must be happy to be distracted by a host of different voices and different propositions calling for our attention; messaging platforms do not.
Time for a holistic social media strategy
There is still an important role for the marketplace in people’s lives – a space where we seek out new forms of stimulation and can quickly gain a wider sense of what’s going on in the world. Within our newly complicated social lives, the giant, open networks that provide this experience are the natural home for scalable, awareness-building, amplification and engagement campaigns. However, when connected consumers move onto IM platforms, they no longer welcome distractions in the same way. WhatsApp’s ‘no ads’ policy is a significant part of its appeal – and brands must proceed with caution even on platforms that are more open to marketing. People resent unsolicited brand messaging popping into the same space that they use to chat confidentially to close friends and family. When they do invite brands to engage with them, they expect them to behave in a manner that reflects this context. This means that marketers must play by a new set of rules if they want to thrive. We’ve been accustomed to seeing social media as one element within an integrated marketing strategy. Now we need to take a more granular view of the social media space itself – and start adopting integrated social media strategies that reflect the roles that different platforms play.
Getting in touch with humanity
The new rules are defined by the nature of messaging platforms themselves. These platforms deal in human experiences that are intimate, intuitive and relevant to the moment. Success for brands will similarly depend on a more human approach: facilitating dialogue and connection, replying to comments in a way that is worthy of that dialogue, caring about the moments that matter to the audience, and delivering content that is genuinely relevant to those moments. The most successful brands know that such relevance can come through providing tangible value that enhances or simplifies life – but also through the emotional connection that is formed when they align themselves with the right format and tone of voice for a platform.
Taco Bell’s use of Snapchat excels in establishing such a human connection. It embraces risk, experiments with different approaches – and earns respect from consumers for avoiding a bland, corporate tone of voice. Its choice of influencers to enlist for the brand has been appropriate as well: focusing on YouTube and other social media celebrities who have credibility on the platform, rather than conventional star power. The six-second DIY videos posted on Vine by the US home improvement store Lowe’s similarly mixed tangible value with emotional engagement by working within the format of the platform. The result? Lowe’s ninety Vine videos delivered over 33 million views.
Sharing counts more when it’s personal
As social platforms become more personal, the credibility added when content is shared becomes all the more valuable. WeChat Moments, which builds a broader social media experience onto WeChat’s IM platform, provides a powerful amplification opportunity for brands, with any content that a user engages with hugely more likely to appear in the feeds of their friends. The power of personalisation can also be seen in the influence of Instagram, which has grown in value as an earned media opportunity for brands. Instagram provides another environment where sharing amongst a more select network delivers powerful benefits. It was recently claimed (in research commissioned by an Instagram influencer app, Takumi) that 68% of 18-24-year-olds were more likely to purchase an item if someone they followed on Instagram shared it.
Why a more complex social world has more opportunity
Finding the right strategy for more intimate social platforms will become increasingly important as those platforms take on a broader range of roles in consumer lives. Users of WeChat can already browse and buy products (with 10 million WeChat stores opening in the last year alone), order taxis, apply for loans and keep track of their fitness. Facebook Messenger’s AI-powered virtual assistant, launched in September, prompts users with suggestions for where to eat, where to visit and what to buy. As social media becomes more varied, more versatile and more personalised, consumers are far more likely to trust the right social channel to guide their choices. As these new social channels become more sophisticated and seamless, people could increasingly make the journey from awareness through to purchase without ever leaving the platform they are on. Making themselves a part of this environment will require brands to invest in customised approaches, explore more partnerships, be more human and less guarded in their approach, and take more risks. But all the indications are that such effort will be worth it. Our online social lives may be becoming more complex – but adapting to that complexity will be increasingly rewarding.
Anjali Puriis Global Head of TNS Qualitative. Anjali is responsible for developing TNS’s qualitative offer, providing clients with cross-cultural insights, and leading new thinking, particularly in the areas of consumer choices, behaviour change and social media.
Zoë Lawrenceis Marketing & Communications Director, TNS Asia Pacific. A member of the APAC digital board, Zoe has been involved in shaping TNS’s thought leadership around the connected consumer since 2010.
BNP Paribas s’allie simultanément et au niveau international, à Facebook, Google, LinkedIn et Twitter. Avec l’implication de quatre membres du Comité Exécutif de l’entreprise, BNP Paribas se dote d’un pilotage stratégique de sa présence sur ces media digitaux et s’ouvre de nouvelles opportunités de collaboration et d’innovation en matière de communication, de marketing et de relation client.
« Avec plus de 500 millions de contacts digitaux par an avec ses clients, BNP Paribas est d’ores-et-déjà un grand acteur du digital. Les partenariats globaux conclus avec chacun des quatre leaders mondiaux du numérique que sont Facebook, Google, LinkedIn et Twitter nous permettront de renforcer encore la relation avec nos clients et nos prospects sur ces plateformes et de stimuler notre capacité d’innovation pour proposer des services toujours plus adaptés », explique Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Administrateur Directeur Général de BNP Paribas.
Le modèle relationnel a été révolutionné par le mobile, devenu le principal outil des clients bancaires pour communiquer avec leur conseiller ou piloter leurs comptes. L’amélioration de l’expérience bancaire digitale offerte aux clients est donc un axe de développement primordial pour BNP Paribas, qui souhaite leur assurer choix et souplesse d’utilisation en utilisant les nouvelles formes d’interactivité offertes par les réseaux sociaux, les nouveaux services autour de la mobilité, la simplification des processus…
Ces partenariats, qui renforcent la collaboration entre la banque et quatre géants du numérique, œuvrent pleinement en ce sens. Cette collaboration s’appuiera sur une gouvernance globale construite autour d’une feuille de route commune. Des rencontres régulières entre les sponsors de ces quatre acteurs et ceux de la banque permettront d’assurer la fluidité des échanges. Accélérateur de la transformation digitale de la banque, ces alliances permettront d’étudier et de piloter ensemble de nouvelles opportunités business.
L’accord de collaboration avec Google est signé par Thierry Laborde, Directeur Général Adjoint et Responsable des Marchés Domestiques de BNP Paribas et Nick Leeder, Directeur Général de Google France.
Pour BNP Paribas, la collaboration avec Google est l’occasion de renforcer l’accessibilité de ses services au plus grand nombre, ainsi que la pertinence de ses offres en fonction des attentes des clients. Celle-ci permettra aux équipes de la banque de renforcer leur compréhension des usages, ainsi que leur maitrise des techniques et des nouveaux formats de communication adaptés au mobile. Le mobile représente à ce titre déjà près de 15% des investissements du groupe chez Google.
BNP Paribas a été la première banque en France à lancer un SAV sur Google+ en 2013. Chaque année, plus de 110 millions de requêtes sont réalisées sur les marques de BNP Paribas. Les chaînes du groupe enregistrent aujourd’hui plus de 28 millions de vues sur Youtube avec, par exemple, 5 millions pour la seule chaîne Cetelem en France.
L’accord de collaboration avec Twitter est signé par Marie Claire Capobianco, Directeur des Réseaux France et membre du Comité Exécutif de BNP Paribas et Jean-Philippe Maheu, Vice-Président Brands & Agencies de Twitter.
Cette collaboration permettra de poursuivre la digitalisation de l’ensemble des métiers de BNP Paribas et d’ouvrir de nouveaux horizons, notamment dans l’usage de la data publique de Twitter.
Depuis son arrivée sur Twitter en 2009, BNP Paribas est précurseur dans l’usage de la plateforme en France. Elle a notamment été la première banque française à ouvrir un SAV sur Twitter, proposant aujourd’hui un délai de réponse moyen de 2 mn à ses interlocuteurs.
Elle a également participé avec succès à la première journée de l’emploi #VotreJob le 24 février dernier, dans la continuité de sa stratégie de recrutement de jeunes talents. Outre l’animation de communautés d’intérêt sur la plateforme (@WeAreTennisfr, @WeLoveCinemafr), BNP Paribas a développé de nouveaux services, adaptés au caractère temps réel et global de la plateforme, comme le Fil des experts Bourse (#FilDesExpertsBourse) lancé en avril 2014, sur lequel six experts des produits de bourse décryptent quotidiennement l’actualité économique et financière, ou l’opération #MaPubIci, qui offre notamment à des entrepreneurs innovants, clients de la Banque en France, une visibilité mondiale sur Twitter.
L’accord de collaboration avec Facebook est signé par Max Jadot, Directeur Général de BNP Paribas Fortis.
Il permettra au groupe de renforcer son expertise dans le domaine du digital social et mobile, et de bénéficier d’une plateforme de communication internationale forte de 1,44 milliards d’utilisateurs actifs. Grâce à ce rapprochement, le groupe BNP Paribas proposera à ses clients et prospects des solutions innovantes toujours plus en phase avec leurs usages, dans un contexte d’utilisation croissante du mobile et des réseaux sociaux. L’objectif est de prolonger l’exemple de certaines filiales, telles que TEB en Turquie, qui propose l’ouverture d’un compte sur Facebook et des services basés sur de nouvelles segmentations de clients. Facebook est également un formidable terrain pour amplifier l’engagement et la fidélité de nos publics autour des territoires de marque de la banque (en particulier le tennis, le cinéma et l’innovation).
BNP Paribas a été la première banque en France à lancer un SAV sur Facebook, en 2009. Aujourd’hui, BNP Paribas compte 3.6 millions de fans sur Facebook. Avec We are Tennis, BNP Paribas anime la 1ère communauté autour du tennis sur Facebook avec 1,1 million de fans dans le monde.
L’accord de collaboration avec LinkedIn est signé par Yves Martrenchar, Directeur des Ressources Humaines du Groupe et Pierre Berlin, Directeur des Ventes EMEA, Talent Solutions, de LinkedIn.
Pour BNP Paribas, la collaboration avec LinkedIn permet d’aller au-delà de l’offre LinkedIn Talent Solutions pour recruter des talents et promouvoir la marque employeur, afin d’accélérer sa présence dans le B2B en intégrant les activités marketing et de vente de LinkedIn : LinkedIn Marketing Solutions et LinkedIn Sales Solutions. Au niveau du marketing, il s’agira d’atteindre et de communiquer avec des cibles BtoB et de construire un engagement fort avec les clients de la banque sur ce réseau professionnel. Et au niveau des ventes, de permettre aux commerciaux de commencer à utiliser le ‘social selling’ comme un nouveau moyen pour aller chercher des prospects et clients.
Les pages de BNP Paribas sur LinkedIn comptent plus de 430 000 followers.
Ces partenariats s’inscrivent dans l’écosystème d’open innovation de BNP Paribas dont la vision consiste à s’appuyer sur une démarche partenariale avec tous les acteurs du monde digital, qu’ils soient de grands acteurs du numérique, des développeurs de la FinTech ou des start-up. Alors que les partenariats noués aujourd’hui marquent une étape importante dans l’accélération digitale de BNP Paribas, les start up houses existent depuis 2012. La banque a par ailleurs initié en juin dernier le premier Hackathon international dans cinq pays en simultané.
La technologie est au cœur du plan de développement du Groupe et soutient une conviction forte : la transformation digitale sera structurante pour l’avenir de la banque. Cela se traduit par une accélération de l’investissement dans ce domaine et surtout des révolutions dans la relation client. Le principal défi consiste à offrir aux clients l‘expérience bancaire digitale avec tout le choix et la souplesse que cela implique, tout en assurant la sécurité de leurs opérations et de leurs données.
BNP Paribas a une présence dans 75 pays avec plus de 185 000 collaborateurs, dont près de 145 000 en Europe. Le Groupe détient des positions clés dans ses deux grands domaines d’activité : Retail Banking & Services (comprenant Domestic Markets et International Financial Services) et Corporate & Institutional Banking. En Europe, le Groupe a quatre marchés domestiques (la Belgique, la France, l’Italie et le Luxembourg) et BNP Paribas Personal Finance est numéro un du crédit aux particuliers. BNP Paribas développe également son modèle intégré de banque de détail dans les pays du bassin méditerranéen, en Turquie, en Europe de l’Est et a un réseau important dans l’Ouest des Etats-Unis. Dans ses activités Corporate & Institutional Banking et International Financial Services, BNP Paribas bénéficie d’un leadership en Europe, d’une forte présence dans les Amériques, ainsi que d’un dispositif solide et en forte croissance en Asie-Pacifique.
Malka Nusynowicz (+33) 1 42 98 36 25 email@example.com
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Loubna Sebti (+33) 1 40 14 66 28 email@example.com
Suivez nous sur Twitter : @Bnpparibas_pr
But even with a devoted fan base, Mad Men isn’t exactly a social mediaphenomenon like The Walking Dead or Pretty Little Liars. If Don Draper handled the show’s marketing campaign, it might be a different story.
Even so, Twitter TWTR -0.1% buzz about Mad Men has been escalating leading up to the April 5 season premiere. About a month ago, the show averaged around 2,000 tweets per day, and the number hit around 14,300 daily tweets on March 24th, when news broke that star Jon Hamm had checked out of rehab.
Search is the most predictive digital metric for audiences aged 35 and up, according to Tobi Bauckhage, CEO of Moviepilot, an online platform that empowers film fans to become content creators. Five days leading up to Sunday’s premiere, Mad Men’s search metric had approximately 88,000 searches, which was more than double the volume of fellow April debut Daredevil. Then again, Daredevilis a new show, and it doesn’t have a longtime fan base that is dying to know what becomes of Peggy, Joan, Roger, Pete, Betty, and, of course, Don.
Maybe it’s a nod to Don Draper’s old-school ways (he’s a savant-like ad exec who doesn’t rely on trends to shape his campaigns), but Mad Men has focused on traditional marketing tactics like outdoor ads and media buys on TV, instead of Vine videos and Snapchat gimmicks. Does anyone who watchesMad Men actually use Snapchat? It’s pretty unlikely. It’s not as if the show’s marketing team is clueless when it comes to social media – they use Instagramand Twitter like everyone else – but the majority of the show’s audience probably isn’t staring at Instagram as they watch.
So maybe Mad Men never became a Twitter phenomenon like Pretty Little Liars, but they’re two completely different shows. There could be some audience overlap there, since being well-rounded means you watch both intellectual period dramas and light, campy teen murder mysteries. In the end,Mad Men’s popularity never relied on retweets, and it’ll still go down in history as one of the most accomplished dramas on television, with or without astronomical search numbers.
The true fans will be tweeting their hearts out throughout this final season, and I’ll be on the edge of my seat wondering what in the world is going to become of Peggy. And Joan. And Betty. And Don.
Whatever the final numbers are, there’ll probably be at least a few tweets that read: I wish it didn’t have to end.
If you’ve been reading any kind of news (or your Twitter feed), you may have been wondering why everyone’s been talking about a small, furry mammal as of late. But the Meerkat in question isn’t a fuzzy animal native to Africa; it’s a livestreaming app that launched March 10th and gained traction thanks to buzz at SXSW.
How does it work? Meerkat connects your phone camera to your Twitter feed; once you’ve installed the app, you type in a status and hit the “stream” button—and just like that, a link goes out to your Twitter followers with live video from wherever it is you’re pointing the camera.
The hope behind the app is that it (and others like it) will expand the reach of citizen journalism. At the moment, when events happen in the world, they’re tweeted and hashtagged, and people can follow along on Facebook and Twitter. By also using an streaming app like Meerkat, broadcasters can share what they’re seeing as it unfolds. Things like riots and protests could be viewed in real-time without any form of private or governmental filters.
But why the fuss over Meerkat specifically, when there are others like it? That has to do with the relationship it has with Twitter. Originally, the app pulled information about your Twitter followers from Twitter itself, so that it could immediately connect you with those people on Meerkat. But Twitter—who recently acquired a similar app called Periscope—was none too happy with Meerkat and crippled the app’s reach. (A tweet still goes out via the app, but it no longer can access the “social” part of the social network.) Naturally, that drew a ton of attention to this brand-new app.
Now if you want to find other people and their streams, you’ll have to catch all of it via the Meerkat app directly. There already some famous people who’ve wholeheartedly embraced it, like Late Night host Jimmy Fallon. (Who, with his 23 million followers, may havetemporarily broken the service.) You can also catch novel bits of journalism, like Jimmy Kimmel being interviewed by USA Today as it happens.
Will the app take off beyond this initial burst of attention? It’s unclear. When Twitter first hit the scene, no one could imagine the usefulness of a service that limited you to 140 characters. Now its seen as a crucial part of any brand’s social media presence. Let’s Plays gave way to Twitch streaming and now people make a comfortable living doing commentary while they play through Minecraft or Destiny. If used effectively (not just for boring or creepy purposes), Meerkat could fuel the growth of a new way to keep people informed, complete with its own breakout stars.
But given that people need to be following you on Twitter to see what you’re doing on Meerkat, building a fanbase for one app through another app seems like a daunting task. To be Meerkat-famous, you’ll first need to be Twitter-famous. If Meerkat can shake off its association with Twitter (which Twitter would be happy with, no doubt), it could be the “next big thing.” Or it could be another high profile app that goes nowhere.