Case Study: How OYO leveraged ORM to reduce online harassment of women

OYO women

By going after those who left distasteful comments about women on their pages, OYO witnessed a 42% drop in negative sentiment towards the brand.

ORM tools are usually used by brands to monitor negative sentiments and correctly act on it. However, taking the use of these tools a step forward, OYO replied to those leaving distasteful comments about women on the brand’s social media pages. By doing so, OYO was able to see a 42% drop in negative sentiment towards the brand in about two weeks.

Category Introduction

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian tourism and hospitality industry was one of the key drivers of growth among the services sector in India. The hospitality industry is one of the worst affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak, however, with the right preparedness and planning to safely welcome guests in the post-COVID-19 world, the industry stands a chance to revive domestic or local tourism in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

Brand Introduction 

Opening its doors in 2013, OYO Hotels & Homes, a young hotel startup, today is the world’s leading chain of hotels and homes. OYO today operates in over 800 cities in 80 countries, including the U.S., Europe, U.K., India, Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Japan.

Summary

OYO launched an Online Relationship Management (ORM) initiative to address lewd comments targeted towards women on its social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Through this campaign, OYO’s ORM response mechanism tackled and schooled disrespectful users by politely customizing replies to smutty or unpleasant comments on posts, positively reinforcing them to opt for compliments instead.

Problem Statement/Objective 

To help the brand connect with its audience by taking up a purpose that is directly related to the brand. In this case, by way of creating safe spaces for our guests (specifically women), offline or online

Brief

This is OYO’s in-house Brand and Social Media initiative. The brief was:

  • Create a mechanism to tackle sexist and lewd speech or behaviour on OYO’s social media platforms.
  • Break away from the traditional approach of film spots or digital content and instead, take an active outreach approach to drive real-time change in an effort to stand up against online bullying.

Creative Idea 

Mobilize ORM, a function that usually ends up dealing with complaints and escalations, and transform it into a first responder that supports women and corrects lewd behaviour with customized comments, reinforcing positivity across OYO’s social media platforms

Challenges

Building this first responder mechanism from scratch was the biggest challenge for the team. ORM tracks negative comments towards the brand in order to help customers and respond to them. There are tools that help track the same. It required training to both track down and respond on a case to case basis to these types of harassing comments and trolls.

Execution

OYO’s ORM mechanism replied to every sexist troll or comment in an attempt to correct behaviour, by way of an example. To achieve this, OYO’s in-house Brand and Social Media teams creatively leveraged ORM to curb negative sentiment and motivate users to respect women.

Also Read: Decoding: OYO India Social Media Strategy

Results 

The initiative led to improved behaviour on the company’s social media, with a 42% drop in negative sentiment towards the brand in less than two weeks (precisely 11 days). OYO also observed some users deleting distasteful comments.

Since the initiative went live, there’s a visible reduction in online harassment of women on the brand’s social media pages.

Post-OYO’s active outreach campaign, the company’s social media platforms witnessed a higher share of positive or neutral speak at 26% and 62% respectively in comparison to only 12% comprising negative comments.

Mayur Hola, Head of Global Brand, OYO Hotels & Homes said, “As a hospitality chain, it is our responsibility to provide safe spaces for all our guests and especially women, be it offline at our hotels and indeed online on our social platforms. With this core thought, we mobilised ORM, usually, a function that deals with consumer complaints and transformed it into a first responder that supports women and corrects lewd behaviour.”

“This is brand building at its simplest yet deepest level. This campaign started out as a Women’s Day initiative and has now become a policy at OYO. We as a brand want to set an example and not stay at the surface level. This policy does both. It essentially walks the talk of our content,” he added.


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