A successful use of Return on Investment and Social Media

Written on Tuesday, 1 October 2013 by Chris Vo

Alas, closure to the blogging saga with this final blog post. This week's post is measuring the ROI of social media for Cadbury.

Image source by Cadbury Chocolate

Return on Investment (ROI) is a topic that any business should be very familiar with. There are two ways of calculating ROI. The standard calculation involves a measure of a corporation's profitability, equal to a fiscal year's income divided by common stock and preferred stock equity plus long-term debt.

The other methods involves non-financial returns. How I believe ROI is calculated is when investment on a product or a service is measured against the benefits or values expected to be received whether it is profit or something intangible like increased productivity.

Image source by RMS 

This is crucial for businesses intending to venture on social media platforms as this can indicate whether using social technologies would be worth doing. Let's use Cadbury as an example to calculate how they managed to receive a ROI by using social media.

Cadbury Wispa Bar

Long before I was born in 1981, Cadbury introduced on the shelves the scrumptious milk chocolate, Wispa that everyone loved before disappearing off the shelves completely in 2003.

Image source by CargoCollective
Consequently, the entire population of UK initiated a petition to demand their beloved Wispa bar back on Cadbury's Facebook and Twitter page. Cadbury responded by sending out 40 million bars to the market! After 18 weeks to responding to the petition, all 40 million bars were sold. This added an additional 30% to Cadbury's annual profits.

How did this happen?

I wasn't able to find the exact number of followers they had on their Twitter and Facebook page at the time but we can assume it was more than enough to force Cadbury to review their decision for taking good old Wispa off the shelves. UK must really like their chocolate. Their social media presence has enabled Cadbury to listen to what their customers wanted most and as a result they obliged.

By demonstrating  how Cadbury was able to calculate their ROI with social media, other businesses can evaluate the ROI of the use of Social media themselves and become one of many successful businesses to use social media.

Here's another random fact..

After winning a high court battle, Cadbury owns Pantone 2685C purple by trademark rules which prevents other companies from using that colour.

Thank you for reading, it has been a pleasure.

You can read more on Social media ROI importance here.

[Extra post] Why use Social monitoring tools?

Written on Sunday, 29 September 2013 by Chris Vo

I thought I should do an extra blog post as requested by a user on my LinkedIn account about why we should use social monitoring tools. Here it is :)

So these are 7 reasons why  you should consider social monitoring tools from a corporate perspective.

• Tailor your approach - It enables us to be aware of our next strategy or simply what we should post next on social media
• Measuring market effectiveness - We can see what the trends or conversations that our favourite brands or products are producing.
• Manage crisis pro-actively - We are able to identify negative criticism and attend to them promptly
• Public relations – ships! - This encourages connections with the community
• Benchmark your competition – Customers can compare products and services and recommend to friends through WoM (word of mouth) advertising. Monitoring competitors is crucial to know where you stand.
• Identify new market opportunities – Identifies new audiences, messages, ambassadors and more
• Insights in the most cost effective manner – Less time and less cost than traditional market surveys. Also in real time.

Hope this has helped you.

Read more:

Monitoring the works with social monitoring tools for GoPro

Written on Saturday, 21 September 2013 by Chris Vo

I have covered in earlier blogs the benefits of implementing social media technologies from a wide range of organizations. This week we gauge on GoPro's social media performance using the social monitoring tool, RowFeeder.


You might have heard of the extensive and highly versatile camera manufacturing company, GoPro. GoPro is a brand of high-definition personal cameras, often used in extreme action video photography. They are known for being lightweight, rugged, wearable (head-mounted) or mountable in unusual places such as outside planes, cars, or boats.

I've chosen GoPro as my rat for this social monitoring tool experiment. GoPro has a high involvement in social media and popular range of products, I thought it would be the perfect company to monitor socially. So let's see how well they performed according to RowFeeder.

Row Feeder

RowFeeder works well with tracking posts and tweets on Facebook and Twitter. What makes
RowFeeder different from their competitors is that it provides users with the raw data you need in flexible, familiar excel reports. Simply input your term that you would like to track and  raw data is delivered in a spreadsheet. The service will then use the Google search database to track down all trends, tags, conversations and mentions of the term on Twitter and Facebook for up to about 20,000 hits. This process can take a long time depending search term.

There were some  pro's and cons' that I found while I was socially stalking GoPro. These apply to both the free and paid versions of RowFeeder  (I have tested each account type).


There are a wide range of report types you could generate. I was able to save a report into excel format from one of 7 report types below:
  1. Volume and Time Analysis -- See when people are talking and measure the size and velocity of the conversation.
  2. Conversation Driver Analysis -- See what people are talking about. Search the underlying themes within the conversation.
  3. Location Analysis -- See where the conversation is happening by country, state, and city relative to population.
  4. People Analysis -- See who is driving the conversation. Draw out the most influential and active users.
  5. Multiple Terms/Share of Voice -- Compare the relative volume and velocity of multiple topics, brands, or competitors.
  6. Influencer Analysis -- Analyze the impact of influencers on the conversation based on followers and Klout score.
  7. Contest Winner Selection -- Quickly export your contest participants and draw a random winner.
There were also no complex diagrams and data was easily interpreted.


Absolute sluggish process.Waiting for Rowfeeder to find GoPro hits on Facebook and Twitter database took nearly 20 mins just to find only 49 matches. RowFeeder needs to cycle through a range of non-relevant posts each time if you’re on the free account. This was a huge let-down.

After inputting my search terms then selecting which social services I wanted to retrieve data from, I noticed how unreliable the data will be due to only analysing Facebook and Twitter social networks. In saying this, blog posts and YouTube videos aren't included within the search pool.

Another con I found was when selecting the time of relevance manually, this was missing from the service completely.


As you can see in the pie graph of Twitter’s post mix only 54% out of 94 posts found were relevant to GoPro, the other 56% weren't.


From these results shown above, you can see the mix and frequencies of the top related keywords & frequency of posts to be able to see which social media site has a stronger impact based on the term.

Overall, if GoPro became more socially active over their Twitter and Facebook networks it is possible to see higher figures in all areas of frequency and popularity of the search term.
We can expect to see improvements once GoPro releases a new camera and through mainstream social media for marketing. 

You can check out the details of GoPro’s social monitoring results I found with RowFeeder here.

Cognizant - Putting Social Media Work to Work

Written on Monday, 16 September 2013 by Chris Vo

Nowadays businesses associated with the professional services sector have switched to social technology platforms to maintain competitiveness within their selective industries. Last week, we discovered how the non-profit organization from the social sector, ONE meets their goals and objectives through social technology, receiving the benefits of using social media that followed. Today we probe into how the professionals benefit from implementing social technologies.

Cognizant, professionals in IT solutions and consulting

Image source newsmate

Founded in 1994, Cognizant is a world-class IT firm leading in today's business and technology services to help clients shift towards an advanced IT infrastructure future for; maintaining ahead of other competitors. Cognizant 2.0 (C2) is a service provided by the company to share knowledge and efficiently manage projects across the globe to delivery their clients the most cost-effective and comprehensive, end-to-end, advanced IT solutions. Through this service, Cognizant outsource specialized skills from a broad talent pool from across the globe to solve any problem through C2. Cognizant's new social media tool helps company continue growth, compete with outsourcing giants such as Accenture, IBM.  C2 can be considered a social platform but for enterprise use.

You can see their service, C2 in action below.

Cognizant on current social media technologies

Their comprehensive applications of a variety of social media technologies include Twitter, Google+, Facebook and YouTube. Let’s look at how each social technology leverages value within Cognizant’s business functions based on the Mckinsey report.

Marketing and sales

Cognizant uses twitter to market the value of the services they provide by posting quality success stories of organizations implementing Cognizant solutions. This influences potential clients into considering using Cognizant based off positive feedback from other clients and assures that clients will achieve their IT innovation goals with Cognizant. You’ll also notice their use of Facebook include Business-2-business (B2B) communications and interactions.

Customer service

Like other organizations that adopts social technology, Cognizant provides customer care through twitter as a way of addressing their clients for technical issues or complaints about their service.

Enterprise-wide levers (Collaboration and communication)

Cognizant collaborates and communicates through the use of their own unique social technology platform, C2, to improve collaboration and communication between staff within their organization or when improving their client's current processes. This allows employees at Cognizant to be able to match talents to a specific task.

These social media technologies together effectively contributes to value across the organization at Cognizant and for their clients.

A Social Sector's use of Enterprise 2.0 in ONE

Written on Saturday, 7 September 2013 by Chris Vo

 Rewinding back a couple of weeks when I briefly discussed how Commbank implements a social technology strategy to reap the benefits and values of providing a strong community and customer-based support network, today I will go through how an organization from the social sector (i.e. a not-for-profit institutions and non-governmental organization), could benefit from using social technology. Again, we’ll base how the social sectors can create values and benefits from the McKinsey report.

ONE is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to advocate and campaign to tackle the extremities of poverty and preventable diseases affecting third world countries such as Africa. They achieve their objectives by raising public awareness, as well as informing world political leaders on the need to support policies and programs to save lives and ultimately put kids back in schools for a better future. Co-founded by Bono, the lead singer of U2 in 2004, ONE is highly active with African activists and policy makers.

Execute mission

You may have of already noticed many organizations use Facebook or Twitter to help spread a message quickly but ONE shares with their supporters and readers compelling stories or facts about to encourage movement to help fight ONE’s cause. Some of them I found were informative and some quite funny. 

ONE's online-presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube has helped them reach a massive 3 million supporters! Through these social technology channels, ONE promotes public awareness and encourages movement by their supporters to help reduce the severity of poverty as well as commitment towards preventing diseases (such as #AIDS #TB & #malaria) from occurring in Africa. 

So with the power of ONE organization to empower over three million supporters to take action, has proven that ONE has made a valuable use of social technologies to spread  the word of  their cause.

Here's a random fact..

On September 24 of this month, an organisation which ONE associates with, The Global Fund will launch a  mass social media campaign push to end the AIDS, TB and malaria diseases for good during a World leaders meeting at the UN General Assembly (UNGA). What will take place is a message which will be released to all supporters' social media page simultaneously with the following:

We can #BeTheGeneration to defeat #AIDS #TB & #malaria. Are you in? http://thndr.it/15zAOXb

This message will be shared simultaneously on Twitter feeds, Facebook and Google+. This is another quality example of a social sector building rapporting with their followers for a good cause.
You can donate your support here.

So what are your thoughts on ONE's smiley approach to providing facts on social media?

Qantas twitterstorm mayhem in 2010

Written on Wednesday, 28 August 2013 by Chris Vo

In my previous blog I decided not to share this case scenario as I thought it may not be relevant to the activity task required so I’ll post what I would've included in a new post.

Qantas does have an endless history for social media PR disasters affecting their reputation and share holds as a result. Back in 2010, Qantas flew into a PR twitter storm when a user from the highly populated social media network, reportedly sparked a disaster with these simple words:

“Sorry have bed news 9.15 am waktu jakarta,qantas airlane from jakarta to sgpr have a accident before landing in batam...hiksss..”

The tweet generated nearly 200 million users who were made to believe that the plane had exploded. But, a relief for the Twitter followers when mainstream media pushed a tweet from a passenger on-board who confirmed the safety of those on the aircraft.

There was still one question which remained. Where was Qantas to provide reassurance of the chaos on twitter? Qantas played no role in keeping curious followers informed during or after the events that unfolded. Surely I would like to be kept up to date with a disaster as it is happening.
Image by socialskinny

So what are the lessons learned from this explosive social media outbreak?
Qantas had failed to recognize how crucial it is to keep the media updated of events to ensure that loved ones aren't left with a cliff-hanger. As a result, an inaccurate piece of information clouded the Twitter network and Qantas’ reputation received a lash for not clearing these misconceptions within a timely manner.

You can learn more about the incident here. 

Qantas’ legal risk of using Social Media

Written on Thursday, 22 August 2013 by Chris Vo

Last week we discussed how Commbank leverages the values and benefits of social media, this week I’ll identify some of the legal risks of using social media applicable to Qantas and discuss what the Aussie airline company’s Social Media Policy should address.

Image by wordpress
Here I will list the top five risks of using social media relevant to Qantas:

1. Reputation management

“social media is your greatest reputation risk because it is trusted, immediate, global and forever.” – Geoffrey Stackhouse

This quote is most relevant to Qantas as a competitive airline company. Social media has the power to quickly transform a company’s reputation on it’s head by creating negative publicity. For instance, if a customer posts an inappropriate comment on Qantas’ twitter page and a Qantas representative responds to the comment in a negative manner.

2. Security Issues

There is always the risk of having hackers, data or identify theft, spyware and bugs which could potentially ground Qantas for good. With this in mind, there’s also the risk of leaking confidential information about the company.

3. Engaging in two-way dialogue and potential criticism

While there are some happy customers there are always the risk of dissatisfied ones ready to voice their criticism onto Qantas social media platforms.

4. Trust as part of the culture

There needs to have visible level of trust for Qantas employees to be able to use social technology successfully. If there is no trust as part of the culture of the organization, then this could pose as a risk to social media for Qantas.

5. Wasting company time

It can be addictive and easy for a Qantas employee to be at risk of spending too much time, compromising their work efficiency and thus the organization’s business operations.

So I have just stated Qantas’ risks associated of using social media but how should they address these risks so they are dealt with in a timely manner? Below are the Social media policies in which Qantas should adopt:

  1. A communication approval process involving senior level management to control defamation from affecting the airline.  Don’t allow new front-line employees full control as their lack of experience could cause irreparable damage.
  2. Work with the IT department or hire a professional to ensure proper privacy and security settings are in place.  This essential policy will ensure that the protection of confidential information are in place to avoid falling into the wrong hands of a cyber-thief.
  3. Carefully monitor the social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook to quickly identify negative feedback and address it before it gains support.
  4. Create an extensive training program highlighting the do’s and don’ts when using social media platforms. This is most applicable to all staff who are representing on behalf of Qantas. They need to be aware of how to conduct themselves appropriately while connecting with their customers.
  5. Monitor what website employees visit and how much time they spend on them.  If an employee isn’t as productive or spends too much time procrastinating from work, have human resources pep talk with that employee on how to use their time on social media effectively.

For an example of a social media policy, here’s a short,concise and to the point example by ABC©.
Want to know more about proactive measures of using social media? Watch this intuitive video below (thank you human services for allowing me to share this)