C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, chameleon! – Insight into Social Media used at the BBC.

Great balls of fire! – the momentum behind tablets cannot be contained.

Dear reader, I announce that sales of tablets are expected to top the combined desktop and laptop market by 2015. A little data crunching reviews that by 2015, unit sales for tablets will hit 337.8 million. The combined desktop and laptop sales will be 292.2 million. According to Roger Cheng (2014).

Those folks at Gartner even estimated that, 1.8 billion mobile phones will be sold this year (2014), with the market growing ever so slightly to 2.1 billion by 2017.

Good gracious, that’s huge! – A new era is coming. The era of mobile/tablet devices.
Q&A – Question: Briefly describe how some of McKinsey Global Institute value levers may apply (or are being applied) to your chosen organisation.

Chosen organisation:
BBC. AKA, British Broadcasting Corporation. The world’s oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world. Funded by an annual television licence fee paid by UK households. The BBC provides services including national TV channels, regional programming, national radio stations, local radio stations and an extensive website.

Blog area of focus:
– Product development at the BBC.

(McKinsey) Social levers discussed:
– co-create products
– derive customer insight

The BBC has a social media strategy, which they implement on social media sites and microblogging sites.

The strategy relies on the BBC engaging with users on the sites where they go. In the conversations they are having off BBC website(s), much as on BBC website(s). This is so those who may consume little or no BBC content, can discover for themselves and enjoy more of what is to offered by the BBC.

Further details can be found here.

Moving on…

My first point touches on co-creating products as part of product development.

The McKinsey report (page 38) highlights:

“Passively listening and analysing social interactions, companies can engage directly with customers in online forums and communities and ask members for feedback.”

Take away from this? – listening/studying social interactions = feedback.
As an organisation, you are nothing without your customer. Social media provides an powerful platform for customer interaction/feedback.

Example of this in action:
BBC launches first social media-only news service – for Thailand. Called BBC Thai. [Article found here]


BBC Article

Snippet from this article.

“The audience has been welcoming and is constantly providing feedback on our stories. We are constantly interacting with the audience, listening to feedback and following up stories.” <~ Yo, this is an example of co-creation of a product!!

Take away from article? – constantly interacting with the audience and listening to feedback = better content.

When the BBC decided to take a leap of faith and be innovative by launching a ‘social first’ news operation using social media only. They first relied on customer insight. Studies they’d done suggested that in terms of social media, the platform that was getting most of their time was Facebook. And a lot of those users where through a mobile device. [ links back to top of this blog, about a ‘new era’.]


My second point touches on deriving customer insight as part of product development.

The McKinsey report highlights:

“Analysing the interactions on social platforms can provide unprompted feedback on campaigns and help assess general brand health.”

Take away from this? – Deriving valuable customer insights by analysis. Can assist your organisation to better understand their public perception.

In less than a month, BBC Thai:

  • gathered more than 100,000 fans
  • reached more than 5 million people
  • generated more than 450,000 interactions (comments, likes or shares)

BBC Thai facebook likes

Yes, these stats reveal a rather good brand health in accordance to this new service. People had taken a liking to it rather early on.

Social media has allowed organisations such as the BBC to gather data about themselves. Having access to such information, organisation can be forever improving. Forever, innovating. Forever changing and adapting to their audience’s need.

What would you gather from this? Is this not an fail or a success?


To wrap up…

Organisations come and go. New products/services come and go. Those who survive, are the ones who are able to adapt to their environment most quickly.

A bit like an C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, chameleon! [culture club reference]. A chameleon changes its skin colour when hunting for food… Anyways :p




Cheng, R. (2013, April 5). Tablets expected to surpass desktop, laptop sales by 2015. Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/au/news/tablets-expected-to-surpass-desktop-laptop-sales-by-2015/

6 responses to “C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, chameleon! – Insight into Social Media used at the BBC.

  1. Great research on BBC! I like your writing tone which makes it really engaging and fun! It is interesting how Thailand BBC launched a social-media only news service, they’ve gave the readers complete control on contributing to the page, interesting!
    Keep up the good work!

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