All posts by Joyce

Which lessons to learn from a bad buzz?

Believe or not, I found out about this disgusting video only two days ago. (No, I didn’t live in a cave for the past 3 years).

Domino’s could have never recover from this bad buzz, but they did and I think this is admirable, and above all this recovery is the result of an excellent strategy.

This strategy is mainly to learn a lesson from this bad buzz, and try to turn this lesson into an advantage.

Of course each case is specific, but after reading about few bad buzz stories I noticed that some basic points need to be taken into account no matter what:

  • Do not bury your head in the sand and pretend the problem does not exist: it will just get bigger and bigger
  • Be honest: do not create fake blogs or fake testimonials
  • Be aware of everything that is being said / recorded / wrote about you and your brand: a video made years ago can be very prejudicial today
  • Quickly answer customers’ complains
  • Even when using personal accounts, be careful about what you tweet or comment
  • Do not censure people’s reaction, you’re not a dictator
  • Take your social media campaign seriously and do not let one intern doing all the job
  • Apologizes won’t solve everything, but they might certainly help

Of course, and unfortunately, sometimes it’s also a matter of chance. Let’s take Nokia’s  example: maybe this vibrating tattoo will be considered as an excellent idea in 5 years, maybe Nokia is just an avant-garde artist whose work is not understood.

Social media addiction

Have you ever been on a date with someone who can’t help checking Twitter and updating friends on Facebook? Is there something more annoying on Earth?
Brace yourself and try to be nice, this person could suffer from social media addiction.
The Chicago’s Booth School of Business conducted a research involving 205 persons in Germany in order to analyze the addictive properties of social networks. Seven times a day, the volunteers were polled via Blackberry and asked when they felt the desire to use social networks in the past 30 minutes and gauge this desire on a scale from mild to irresistible.
During this week-long experience participants reported 7,827 desires, more than 1,100 a day!
The International Center for Media and the Public Agenda conducted another experience named “24 hours: unplugged”. During 24 hours, college students had to live without any media connection to the world: adieu Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin… After the experience, their describe their feelings during this short period of deprivation and used terms like “addiction”, “isolation”, “failure”, “confusion” etc.
Maybe you already read my previous article about Facebook depression, to me it is related: spending a day without social media can be felt to be a desertion, an isolation.
The urge of checking Facebook and Twitter seems more difficult to resist than the urge of smoking a cigarette or the urge of having a drink.
Of course, the consequences are not as serious, but I think that the waste of time generated by this addiction has to be taken into account anyway.
Do you feel addicted to social media? To be sure, complete this quiz from
Have you ever…:
  • Checked Facebook first thing in the morning, before you shower or have your morning coffee?
  • Turned your computer monitor around so co-workers can’t see how much time you spend checking your personal Facebook, Digg and Twitter accounts at work?
  • Woke up in the middle of the night and checked Twitter to see if you’ve been mentioned?
  • Felt like something is missing when you go on vacation and can’t check social media accounts?
  • Spent more time interacting with people on social sites than in person?
  • Called in sick to follow a Twitter chat?
  • Filled up your friends’ Facebook walls with  your own posts?

Social media and the end of gender marketing

For the spring break, I went to see my family in France. And, of course, my very first concern was to buy cheese.


Arrived in the grocery store, I came face to face with this special product:



I know the effectiveness of gender marketing, but I am really wondering if a manly cheese was necessary. Did Bel increase the sales of Apericube after this marketing campaign? I am definitely curious.


But, despite this sexist cheese I believe that gender marketing will soon break and reach its ending point. And social media will cause this great revolution.


Yes, gender marketing used to be a great tool to target customers and increase the chances of selling products. But isn’t it a little old-fashioned nowadays? Today, thanks to (or because of, depends on your point of view) social media and online analytics, marketers are able to know everything about you: your date of birth, your hometown, your interests and your favorite food. Hence, knowing if you are a man or a woman looks absolutely pointless.


Moreover, targeting women used to be very efficient because they were the decision makers to purchase goods, especially food, clothes, toys etc. According to Mediametric Survey, 51% of Internet users are men, and 40% of them buy online:  we are far from the cliché of men hating shopping.


To put it in a nutshell, gender marketing won’t obviously disappear tomorrow and we will have to deal with girly toothpaste for a while, but I guess that smart marketers will be more likely to use information they collect online for a more efficient and targeted advertising.


I’m pretty sure you already know Riley, but just in case: here is the video of this little girl asking relevant questions about gender marketing.

Let me also recommend Seth Godin’s fantastic book about the non-future of mass marketing: We are all weird.


What Kony 2012 teaches me about marketing

Let’s start with the video, in case some of you didn’t see it yet:

Kony 2012 by Invisible Children

How do you feel after watching it? At first, I felt revolted, animated by the passion of justice and ready to cover San Francisco with Kony 2012 posters, but I am a marketing student, and my background overtook my emotions and I wanted to understand how this video became viral so fast.

Hence, here are the main lessons I learnt from Invisible Children’s viral video.

  • Be emotional
 A bad guy, a hero, manipulated children and choking pictures: all the ingredients to move the audience to passion and outrage.
  • Tell a story
The video doesn’t start straight with Kony, in fact the first 9 minutes are joyful. Jason Russell introduces his adorable son Gavin, tells use how he met his friend Jacob: friends, family, joy, love… The viewer feels part of Jason’s story and hence he is more likely to be involved in Kony 2012 project.
Jason Russell knows perfectly how to engage viewers.
  • Use several medium
Kony 2012 campaign has three Twitter accounts: @kony2012nyc, @kony2012dc and @stopkony_2012 and set three different trends on Twitter as seen in the graph:
Plus, the video encourages the viewer to share the video through Youtube, Facebook and other social media to increase its reach.
  • Be controversial
Some questions has been raised about Invisible Children: the lack of transparency of their financials, the controversial relations between Invisible Children and the Sudan’s People’s Liberation Army, accused of raping and looting…
But every kind of publicity is good publicity, especially when the point of the association is to make somebody famous.
  • Invite the reader to share a secret
Jason Russell invites the audience to be part of its secret army against Joseph Kony: isn’t it tempting to share such a big secret? Wouldn’t you feel special?

Facebook Depression

I know someone with a unique characteristic. He could be considered as an endangered specie. He is 23 years old and he doesn’t have a Facebook account.
He used to have one, and one day he took a deep breath and deactivated his Facebook account. Why did he made this drastic decision? He told me that Facebook made him sad.
Facebook increases the impression of loneliness; going through the Newsfeeds and discovering that our friends are having so much fun is depressing, inside  jokes are excluding and the whole social network makes you feel like you are constantly missing something.
Did you already have the impression that you don’t have enough friends, enough party pictures or enough check-in in well-known cool places? Sometimes I feel like my popularity on Facebook is driven by the number of pictures of me with red cups.
I remember a Facebook group called “I have 200 Facebook friends but I eat lunch alone”. This is to me the worst of Facebook: being Facebook friend with something and not knowing how to behave with this person in real life. Is being Facebook friend show the start of the relationship? You have to be seen on Facebook or you’re a ghost, but not too much or you’re a freak. What a pain in the butt!
And in addition, we are spammed by alarming articles which show how dangerous it is to be on Facebook, how Mark Zuckerberg will soon sell us as slaves and how you will never find a job because you posted a picture of you drinking a beer in 2007.
According to psychologists, being on Facebook can be a good or a bad thing. For people with high self-esteem, it’s a bless: you post funny pictures and status, you look happy and people want to grab a little bite of your popularity and they like and comment your activities.
On the other hand, people with lower confidence would see Facebook as a threat; a place where they are constantly judged and where their sad status are not taken into account.
Here is the vicious circle: deactivate your Facebook account can make you feel even more depressed and lonely, feel excluded from events or messages, without saying that you will have to come up against people’s constant question that won’t understand why you left Facebook. Even the term “deactivated” is scary, it sounds like you will end up without energy, like an empty shell.

Advertising on Facebook is ineffective

During my master degrees (Digital Marketing in SF and International Management in Paris for those who are curious) and my internships, I had to complete many marketing plans.
Of course, as a human being living in 2012 I always made of point of adding a social media strategy. The same answer always came from all sides: “Let’s create a Facebook page!”.
Of course, it’s way cheaper than ads on Google, or even free, it’s quick, easy but I always though it was an inefficient solution.
Yes, everybody is on Facebook. But yes, everybody is annoyed by ads and yes, even your fans on Facebook will be annoyed by your constant spam.
According to Facebook, there are more than 2.7 billion “Like” on the whole social network. Does that mean that all these people are ready to run to the grocery store and buy the product they just like as fast as they can? I don’t think so. The conversion rate is lower than 1%, hence liking something on Facebook almost never drive to a buying process.
So maybe we can, at least, expect that all these likes will drive to a better brand awareness. False, again, the engagement rate is lower than 0.5%… Concretely, a Facebook user will probably like the brand without reading, interacting, or posting at all.
The paid advertising is not more efficacious. Facebook got loads of bad press because of its intrusion into users’ private lives. The main goal was to create uber efficient targeted ads to got the hook into customers.
Let’s calm ourselves, paid advertising on Facebook is so ineffective that it can’t be harmful. Its dramatically low click-through-rate of 70% below average is due to the Facebook’s content and organization: there is so much going on on Facebook that the user can’t focus its attention on the ad.
The tricky thing about ads and fan pages on Facebook is; even if it’s not extremely effective, nobody dares not to be there.