This Week in Digital 3.16.12

From lessons in crisis PR from Kony to studies highlighting what men and women want through social media, this edition of This Week in Digital shows the importance of optimizing a message for the audience. We hope you enjoy this round-up of digital news and how it relates to communications between brand and consumer.

Five Crisis PR Lessons from the ‘Kony 2012′ Initiative

Invisible Children’s ‘Kony 2012′ social media campaign focused on spreading the word about Joseph Kony, who is responsible for kidnapping children for his growing army in Uganda for the past 30 years. While successfully going viral on social media platforms, the campaign opened itself up for criticism regarding its core messaging and spending. As social media has empowered users to speak their minds on brands and initiatives, it also creates a platform for messaging to spiral out of control in a matter of seconds. The main lesson to take away from the Kony 2012 crisis challenge is to communicate through social media quickly and openly, addressing specific concerns and encouraging advocates to voice their support as soon as possible. Using social media effectively can help avoid unwanted crisis situations.

Shoppers Prefer Using Mobile Web Over Apps

Over the 2011 holiday season, 60% of smartphone-using shoppers made purchases through mobile websites instead of branded applications. TheNielsen study reports that men are slightly more likely to try retail apps, but overall, the preference forboth men and womenremains with mobile websites.It is important tonote that shoppers who diduseretail apps spent more time on them than those using the mobile web. While this research doesn’t necessarily suggestavoiding the implementation ofretail apps, it is important to take users’ preferences into consideration to ensure an effective andsuccessful mobile campaign.

What Men and Women Really Want (via Social Media)

What do men and women really want? Brands can listenthroughsocial media to find out. Social media monitoring brand NetBase compiled 27 billion online conversations,and separated their findings into top 10 lists for each gender.The number one ask by womenin social media was for ice cream,

while men specifically discussedthe look, smell, and soundsystem ofcars. While the findings are entertaining, the studyreally exemplifies social media’s role not just as a way tocommunicatea brand’s message, but as a listening tool to betterunderstand a brand’sconsumers and what’s important to them.

Want to get This Week in Digital in your inbox every Friday?Click here to subscribe.