June 28, 2017 By FTI Consulting
Uber’s travails over the past several months (if not years) have offered a number of communications lessons, not least of which is the potential in the digital era for “private” communications to become public. From former CEO Travis Kalanick’s tirade against a driver, filmed on a dash cam and viewed widely online, to internal emails beseeching employees not to flee the firm, these “leaks” reinforce that how a company communicates internally has a great impact on the public’s willingness to forgive. Coverage quoting a board member making a sexist joke towards Arianna Huffington as recently as two weeks ago didn’t do much to convince the public that Uber had accepted its cultural faults and taken on the burden of changing them.
Effective internal communications, coupled with the realization that very little is guaranteed to stay internal, is essential to navigating a corporate crisis. And, sometimes, you can use a leaked email for a quick humble brag to differentiate yourself from a tarnished competitor as well.
Facebook has hit over two billion users. Let that sink in for a moment. This is a tremendous number, whether you look at it as a customer-base, audience or set of data points. Facebook worked for this growth in ways companies looking to build their audiences can learn from. Not only was the company constantly checking trends to keep up with their audience – i.e. pushing hard on mobile devices as everyone’s eyeballs slipped from desktop screens to their phones, tablets and phablets – but the company was constantly checking its data. A spokesperson is quoted as saying “data gives you empathy.” It might be argued that serial killers get pretty in-depth on their victims’ habits without a whole lot of empathy, too, but the sentiment behind this statement is true: data teaches us about our audience.
This is one of the reasons we work so closely with our clients to provide accurate and actionable measurement. Tracking how your content works (or doesn’t) on social media can speak volumes about what your audience wants and how to grow that audience – maybe not to two billion, but hey, sometimes it pays to be ambitious.
If there’s any platform that tried to buck the trend of visual content earning higher engagement online it was Reddit. The desktop homepage (self-described as the front page of the internet) is still a 2005-esque assemblage of blue hyperlinks. Tellingly, the only images you will immediately see on the site itself are ads. It’s telling because Reddit is finally pushing harder with its advertising offering. The site – with is scrupulous mods and fiercely self-regulatory user base – has often been a challenge to engage with organically. To have your post taken seriously in a subreddit (topic forum), your account has to show that you’re a real Redditor, someone who has contributed worthwhile content over time across a variety of topics.
But now, Reddit is making it easier for brands to engage on the platform by rolling out video ads in addition to existing sponsored posts, mobile “cards” and banner ads. This could be a big opportunity for brands. Reddit offers sharp segmentation of audiences around specific topics, and these audiences are very actively engaged. So, for brands looking to target specific groups, this could be a serious boon. Whether Reddit’s nativist user base appreciates the increased advertising incursions is another question altogether.
This is a quick public service announcement for the Snapchat users out there. Last week Snap launched Snap Maps, a cool way for users to check out Live Stories in any city, not just where they are. The catch? Since most users allow the app to use their location, their friends can see exactly where they are when opening up the map (and potentially what they are doing). Our gift to you this week, by way of BuzzFeed, is a quick guide to turning on “Ghost Mode” to make sure your exes aren’t stalking you on the Snap Map.
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