Why Social Media Is Important to Brands

Why Social Media Is Important to Brands

Review of Haymarket’s Social Brands conference, with a focus on how social and digital media is changing business and communications.

Storified by Julio Romo· Tue, Feb 12 2013 04:37:13

Haymarket’s #SocialBrands conference brought together leaders from the PR, marketing and digital and social worlds to discuss the implications of social media on business and the changing communications landscape.

Social and digital channels are empowering stakeholders. They want to participate with brands and not just consume corporate messaging. People today have the ability to very publicly share their online, let these be positive or negative. These shares are so public that they are changing in real time the perception that audiences have of their brands. Companies can no longer fully control how they are perceived. What they can do though is adapt how they communicate.


Customers who actively participate in a social community often stay longer with a brand. One example from @VincentBoon on ROI #socialbrandsShaun Hewitt
Companies today need to have communications that are agile and flexible. Something that came through at the conference.
Great keynote at #socialbrands from #larssilberbauer Lego social team is agile and works in "near time"Christian Dankl

What is important though is to make the brands and the content relevant.

Data is essential in helping brands get closer to their audiences.
Make your output relevant and make your customers feel like you are connected with what is going on in the world #SocialBrandsLouise Wallis
I have argued for a long time that the data is only as good as the questions that are asked. Nokia for example have hired analysts to crunch data to gain extra knowledge from people that are talking about them.
Interestingly Nokia have hired analysts into inhouse social team to crunch data #socialbrandsNixonMcInnes
Data and analytics are essential new disciplines for PR and marketing. Disciplines that should be at the heart of how we communicate.
Social is about metrics, linking these with business objectives, says @willmcinnes. #SocialBrands <— Couldn’t agree more!Julio Romo
Agree with @CraidHepburn ‘s assessment: Tools and stat reports aren’t enough to measure social – you need qualitative analysis #socialbrandsDarryl Sparey
Equally, when you look at metrics it is essential to not try and focus solely on Return On Investment (ROI), namely because social and digital indirectly adds value. Focus should be on Return On Engagement (ROE) – the engagement and how it leads to brand loyalty and turnover. Social after all is a communications channel.
Social has a value to your business. Stop looking for a ROI in social as a single channel. #socialbrands @breventsShaun Hewitt
Twitter is not a social network. It’s an information network says @brucedaisley #socialbrandsAndrew Bruce Smith

Understand that Twitter is an information channel helps define Tom Foremski’s view that ‘Every Company is a Media Company’, a view that I shared at the #SocialBrands conference.

We have to remember that, as Bill Gates said in 1996, ‘Content is King.’ Content though needs to be created from the perspective of understanding the audience that we want to engage with. Communication after all is a two-way process.
Data and Analytics empower brands to understand their audience and shape their messaging accordingly. Data needs to be embedded in communications. Geek is the new gold.
Siloed communications, where marketing, public relations, advertising, events are planned and activated separately fail to maximise outreach and engagement. Teams should be integrated, bringing together expertise that can be called upon in real-time.
An example of how integrated communications generated results, is that of Oreo at the 2013 Super Bowl.
With a team of 15 headed up by agency 360i, they were able to #newsjack the Super Bowl black out and pushing a tweet graphic that generated more engagement that their $3.5 million tv ad during the game.
The recurring theme of #SocialBrands is Oreo cookies’ Superbowl blackout social media advert. Mentioned in four different talks nowPeer Lawther
Brands have the tools at their disposal to communicate stories that are relevant in real-time. Flexibility is the key.
Cultures need to change. Some are going down this road. Others are being held back while watching what their audiences are saying about them. It’s like watching a car crash that can be avoided.



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