Hi all,

Hope everyone is well?

Plenty of activity across the social web this week…

Hasbro use social media to threaten blogger


Hasbro LogoCorporate social media is supported to allow companies to engage with their customers, but it seems Hasbro have been less than supportive of one of their bloggers Martyn Yang. Yang blogs about Hasbro’s Nerf, and when he was contacted to offer some free Nerf products on his blog he jumped at the chance.

However, the offer was false and only designed to get Yang’s address. Hasbro wanted to threaten Yang with legal action, as Hasbro believed he was the source of images of an unreleased Nerf product.

Hasbro of course deny this, but their actions have created a negative buzz across the social networks, with the events even spawning a Facebook page to boycott the company and its products.

It’s common for promotional units of a new product to be sent to reviewers that often post images on their websites. It seems that Hasbro over reacted and didn’t check their facts before acting. With commercial power shifting to consumers, brand advocates should be nurtured and not threatened with legal action – something that Hasbro clearly failed to appreciate.

Universal social media


Social Media ROI InfographicVisualising how diverse the current social media networks are is difficult for corporations, but what’s even more taxing is understanding their ROI in the context of social media. A new infographic from BzzAgent gives a great overview of the financial components of today’s social media.

The infographic is a superb way to visualise all of the elements that could be used in your company’s ROI equations. From the value of coupons to appreciating the commercial imperative that +1’s and likes now have, this infographic could open the eyes of many CFO’s struggling to fit social media into their ROI models.

Social utility is the secret of social commerce


One of the core components of good social media interaction is helping your brand advocates solve the problems they have. Dubbed social utility, corporations that understand how this element of social media works, will be able to make closer connections with their existing and potential customers. A new presentation from Social Commerce Today, offers a quick introduction to the concepts within social utility that all businesses can learn from.


Dove ad replacement not what it seems


Regular readers of Useful Social Media will have seen our news item last week about a new Facebook App that Australian users of the Dove brand could use. The app appeared to replace the ads about improving body image with more positive sentiment. More information about how the app actually works has begun to appear, and as we thought, the app doesn’t really do what it seems to promise.

Reports from actual Facebook users that have installed the app are stating that no commercial ads are actually replaced by the Dove app. The app does allow a user to create their own ads with positive self-image messages that other Facebook users can see, but the user can’t choose the recipient of these messages.

What the app does do is simply enter into the normal Facebook ad bidding process. If the ad created is successful it will appear, but it doesn’t take priority over any other commercial ads such as the body fat ads it purports to replace. In fact, a Unilever spokesperson told the Business Insider website: “The app does not hide or cover other ads.” The video that Unilever are using is somewhat misleading in this area. As the app is only available in Australia, it remains to be seen whether it will appear in the US or UK in its present form.

In Brief…


Gamification is all about status

Speaking at the recent TNW 2012 conference, Gamification CEO Gabe Zichermann has restated that successful gamification is all about engagement with consumers. Simply placing a free game on a website or social media portal isn’t enough these days. Zichermann told the Econsultancy: “Marketers always think we want free stuff, we’re told that’s what drives people. That’s how we reward customers and employees, we give them cash or free products, but it’s wrong.”

Demystifying social media

If your corporation is still having difficulty understanding how social media should be harnessed the latest post from the McKinsey Quarterly will be a vital read. Including information about how the modern decision-making process is influenced by social media when consumers buy goods and services. The piece is insightful and timely.

Understanding social media in China

Marketing in China is very different from anything your company will have experienced in the past. With no universal and free access to the main social networking sites, the paper from the McKinsey Quarterly sheds light on how corporations can still use these channels as part of their marketing and customer interactions.

Until next time….

The Useful Social Media team.