When JC Penney’s brand revamp caused an uproar, the company turned to social media to regain control of its image and to address complaints from its disgruntled customers. The entire situation is unfortunate for JC Penney, but I can’t imagine a better way that the company could have handled the debacle using a social media campaign. Here are my favorite three takeaways from JC Penney’s social media efforts:
1. Social Media is a full-time job: There’s a reason why JC Penney decided to make a comeback with a social media campaign, and a reason why the company hired a full-time staff to take care of its channels. Now, you might not need a team to run your social media, but you do need to recognize that social media requires your full dedication, and a strategy. This is your company, and your social media channels are essentially your online reputation. Don’t you want to oversee what happens on your channels and have a plan of action?
2. Be Open: Social media gives your brand transparency; anyone from anywhere can log onto Facebook and write just about anything on your fan page. Of course, there are always going to be a couple of haters who will badmouth your company on social media, but that’s okay. JC Penney anticipated a slew of negative reactions to its changes, and the company welcomed all these comments and handled them with grace. JC Penney was able to take a potentially harrowing situation and diffuse it by remaining cool and collected throughout the entire campaign, and that in itself speaks volumes about the company.
3. Use Those Hashtags: JC Penney invited its customers to go online and join the conversation by adding the hashtag #jcplistens to tweets. Not only was this a great way to brand the campaign, but it also helped JC Penney organize the thousands of incoming tweets. It also allowed anyone to easily join in on the conversation by simply searching for the hashtag. If you need a great example of how to use a hashtag, this is it.
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