Saturday, June 13, 2009

Negative Campaigns

NEW YORK - APRIL 08:  Starbucks Corp. Chairman...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Guest Post: Social Media Analysis for the Brave New Film’s Stop Starbucks Campaign

This link will take you to an article written by Freddie Benjamin that discusses the effectiveness of the recent attempt to "twitter bomb" Starbucks regarding labor relations policies. These types of campaigns are becoming more and more common.

HR professionals would be well advised to be aware of the tactics.

And to understand the effectiveness, and the potential.

Here is an excerpt, but you should read the entire post:

The Stop Starbucks campaign has made Howard Schultz – CEO of Starbucks – its main target. The website has a letter addressed to Mr. Schultz asking him to change his stance on labor union. The blog post that initiated the twitter attack offered examples of placards that were aimed at Mr. Schultz such as “Thanks a latte for nothing, Mr. Schultz,” or “Schultz makes millions, workers make beans”. In effect, the campaign looks and sounds as if it were more of a Howard Schultz defamation crusade rather than something done to raise awareness of a social issue.

Twitter is well suited as a platform where millions could be made aware of various issues via well organized campaigns. The BNF anti-campaign shows that it is important what kind of a ‘tone’ and approach such campaigns take. A tone or approach in the range of aggressive to hostile could put off majority of twitter users especially if the targeted object is well liked among them.

Online consumer sentiment for Starbucks among microblogs, as measured by social mention, is highly positive. Starbucks’ current sentiment ratio is 5:1, meaning 5 positive mentions to each 1 negative mention. A month ago it was 4:1. It has actually risen during BNF’s twitter attack.

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