Dove’ social-media activities are clearly targeted to women only; there is no community on the Dove men website. What seems at first glace as an incomplete online approach, but can also be seen as a very strategic move. According to a study conducted by the University of Southern Carolina (Associated Press, 2010) men are showing signs of “networking fatigue”, whereas women are more prevalent in online interaction. That is, 67% of women (only 38% of men) under 4- feel as strongly about their online communities as they do their offline communities- in 2007 the numbers were reverse.
Dove and the Social Media
When Dove entered the real of social media using their “Campaign for Real Beauty” (CFRB- http://www.campaignforrealbeauty.com) launched by Unilever (2003), this may have been what created the turnaround for the brand, increasing its popularity and positive social reputation (Simmons, 2006). The first stage of the campaign began with a series of interactive billboard advertisements. This initiative was a success, generating media exposure which Unilever has estimated to be worth more than 30 times the paid-for media space. The digital PR of listening and brand monitoring strategy is aiming at reviving the campaign objective with a different twist to garnish the social media power to produce the favorable results the company had intended for the campaign.
In their way of extending their campaign further, Unilever has created viral videos to be placed on the CFRB website. After learning how to use the Internet, and particularly social media networks “Unilever positions itself as a company that has fully integrated digital into its thinking, so much so it’s merging its digital division into its communications planning team.” (NMA 2008, P. 21). As a result women have begun connecting with the Dove brand and feel as a participant to its aim of making consumers feel better about themselves.
Dove is committed to help all women realise their personal beauty potential by creating products that deliver genuine improvement to the condition of your skin and hair. Dove believes that beauty should be for everyone, because when you look and feel your best, you feel better about yourself.
Channels of New Media used by Dove
The Dove.com website is clearly a commercial organization website used to promote their products and events, but more than this it is used as a strategy to compete with other cosmetics, Dove differentiates itself by engaging women on “an emotional level”. On the website the visitors can also find tips, topics&tools, the company’s social mission and specific offers. Its aim to get connected with people is giving the possibility to “become a dove insider”. Dove’s website compiles the necessary playfulness (call for imagination, originality, inventiveness, creativity) and positive affect (pleasing, satisfying and contenting).
From the website you can also go to the company’s Facebook page.
Dove created a Facebook app that aims to replace all those ads you’ve seen that make women feel self conscious about their physical appearance with more positive ads. Dove is using all the opportunities offered by Facebook telling to each visitor its history: the beginning in 1957, but the actual activity starts in 2004 with the launch of the “Campaign for Real Beauty” and continues with “Launch of Dove Self Esteem Fund” in 2006. Since 2009 it started to post articles and to share opinions that has beauty, body care and the image of ordinary women as a subject, exactly what the brand promotes. And what it is also mentioned in its history, as a major moment, is the year 2012 when The Dove Women Community was 5 million Strong. The page informations can be seen on the Dove’s ‘wall’, disscutions boards, or throughout video and photo comments.
Facebook is structured through a variety of means and may be considered too cluttered. However the benefit of the way it is currently organized is being able to separate content and information into various sections through the page itself. There are multiple boxes on the top header bar, as well as provided Dove website links on the left sidebar. This platform provides viewing space for videos, photos, standard messaging, audio pdcasts and webcasts and Dove is taking advantage of this using them. It has integrated YouTube on the Facebook page to share some of their videos. Seems to be a successful channel, Dove having until now 7,744,670 likes and aprox. 205,737 people talking about this. These numbers are a clear proof of how popular, active and engaging its page is. Dove is posting regularly with engaging content and that gets more people talk about its business with their friends. As a result, it end up reaching more people overall.
Another tool that the brand is using is an application feature in which consumers may add a ‘Dove badge’ on their personal profiles that signifies their efforts in supporting the Self-Esteem Fund. Its page follows the same navigation patterns as all Facebook pages, but it has a wide variety of information available through external links. It is not overwhelming and is organized appropriately by topic and product. Dove’s interaction with the consumers is once again through a two-way conversation with their consumers in using a goal-oriented and experiential motivation. Facebook page is to share information with their consumer about new products, offers, new campaigns and to help direct people where to go to find more informations. This channel, as well as Twitter are oriented to create relationships and to offer customer service, more than promoting products.
When visiting the Dove Twitter page, it is obvious when a new ‘tweet’ is written, as it just appears at the top of the screen; however, for every visit made to this page, previous ‘tweets’ are visible and can be seen as far back in the beginning as the conception of the page. The way this tool is designed presents an easy flow with limited customizable features. Something specific in this case is that Dove provides links within their background that are not clickable and are difficult to read. The true links posted within the page are nearly all common and standard for any Twitter page (following, followers, lists, tweets, favorites, message, block, etc), except for the main website featured on the company’s profile box. The format of the page is standardized and follows the pattern of all Twitter pages. Dove itself is running their page with a ‘personal touch’, as demonstrated by having what could be considered ‘few followers’ and having entered Twitter two years ago (11 January 2010).
For the moment the following/followers ratios is 8,426/42,980 persons, this shows a high interest of the people for this brand and for its activity.
Dove takes a very proactive approach in their personal connections with their followers. However, given the fact that it has already a big network something changed. In the beginning of using Twitter when someone was following Dove, it was not but 10-15 minutes later that Dove retuned the favor, nowdays the brand it’s taking the right to choose who is important as a person to follow and who is not. As in using the Facebook platform, Dove is able to use a goal-oriented and experiential motivation as to have a two-way conversation with their customers. This promotes product awareness to the consumers, but also allows consumers to provide feedback on their products. Then, the opportunity is once again switched over to Dove so as to respond and determine the ‘why’ of the provided feedback. (Dove on Twitter, 2010).
The following exemple is a good one to show how Dove is connecting with its customers.
In big lines, using tools to analyse the brand activity it has been shown that Dove Twitter page is a successful one.
Tweet Reach Report shows that Dove’s page reached 35,405 accounts and exchanged 42,702 impressions. On average, each account ‘tweeted’ at least once.
Dove is an inactive participant in this network. Dove advertising can be found when entering correct key words. This cannot be seen as a strategic approach.
On this platform Dove has not its own page, but you can always find its employees. On this platform, Dove is more related with Unilever, and with other brands of the company depending on the type of the job. This channel is used just to create business relationships and recruitment through its employees, and less to connect with the direct or potential customers or to provide any kind of customer service.
The Social Media data as well as the analysis of Dove both lead to the conclusion that Dove’s image has highly benefited from Dove’s users and stakeholders. Dove was a well-known brand before Social Media appeared. It has the ability to use, listen to and to learn from this new tool.
A recommendations to improve their communication with people would be to create a Dove YouTube Channel to attract and relate to younger target audiences and to keep on paying attention to each person through replying to their messages and interacting with them, because each one of them is a potential customer.