NetBase’s recent webinar, Social Lessons Learned from the iPhone Launch, focused on ways to maximize the value of social media for marketers and customer care folks. Here are three topics we discussed in detail:

  • Campaign performance tracking
  • Crisis management for #BendGate
  • Customer social care for phone carriers

Real-Time Campaign Performance Made Easy

The iPhone 6 announcement was one of the biggest events on social media. NetBase was tracking the live launch event with Apple CEO Tim Cook with our LIVE Pulse™. This dashboard gives a real-time visualization of the social reach of the iPhone event plus its reception.

iPhone6 live pulse

One fast way to leverage real-time social media analytics is to track Emerging Topics in the LIVE Pulse dashboard. The view updates about every 30 seconds to show new topics that people are starting to talk about and that weren’t there before.

For the iPhone launch, during the presentation people started talking about the size of the phone and that it was big. Also, words like “Galaxy” and “same” began appearing. A marketer could go deeper on these topics to see what was happening and whether the appearance of ‘big’ and ‘Galaxy’ in the iPhone conversation was a positive thing. This way, marketers could build out messaging to either reinforce or disprove a point. For example, iPhone 6 is bigger because it gives unprecedented capabilities.

The emerging topics in LIVE Pulse change rapidly, so by the end of an event or any time during a launch a marketer could have discovered a pretty comprehensive list of content for future campaigns. And these are sure to resonate with the audience.

4 Ways to Manage Social Media during a Crisis

As always, it’s rare that a product is released and everything proceeds smoothly without any issues. This was also the case for Apple.

#BendGate was the first issue that emerged after the new iPhones became available for sale. #BendGate refers to an idea that the shell of iPhone 6 Plus may bend under pressure. Bendgate Twitter GraphOnly 9 people reported having a possible problem according to Apple. But 9 people is all it took to blow this issue out of proportion and make it the dominant topic of conversation for the next three days. As you can see on the chart below, #BendGate received 84 thousand unique mentions just a day after the first bending problem was reported. The issue did not only affect consideration and sales for iPhone 6 Plus, but also the Apple brand more generally. This example shows how a seemingly small problem could take over the internet and affect, practically overnight, the reputation of the whole company and the perception of quality of its products.

iphone6 bendgate

One great business leader, Richard Branson, the Founder of Virgin Group, said: “Your brand name is only as good as your reputation.” And we at NetBase agree with him.
What could Apple do on social to monitor and protect its brand reputation?

1. First, real-time social media monitoring, such as a NetBase LIVE Pulse, would show Apple that #BendGate began trending as a new term not seen in previous iPhone conversations and that the Net Sentiment of posts associated with it was negative, indicating that there was an issue that people were complaining about. In addition, they could set up social alerts to be informed when there was unusual activity for their brands.

2. Second, social media data could help determine who were the influencers, so Apple could neutralize their conversation. In the case of #BendGate, you could see who were the most important individuals and publications influencing the conversation on #BendGate. This way, marketers could always be on top of what the influencers were posting.

3. Third, Apple could see the most shared content such as posts, pictures and links, for any brand or topic. So the company always knows what’s grabbing people’s attention.

4. Forth, Apple could decide to engage either by posting to the whole audience, a segment, or just a select individual. A social engagement and publishing solution, like NetBase Engage & Publish, makes it easy to set up a governance system, assign posts, and monitor replies.

Want to learn more about how Apple handled the #BendGate controversy and learn how leading companies use social care to delight and retain their customers? Then watch the webinar replay here.