Archive for the sociable brands Category

Why brands should base decisions on Social Media

Posted in Online PR, sociable brands, Social media with tags , , , , , on October 14, 2010 by nijay

‘Brands should not base decision on social media’… if Doron Meyassed, as cited in this MarketScan blog post, is to be believed.

Apparently, the managing director of Promise Communities said:

“decisions are too important to base on research from sources that are unverified. Indeed, this is the problem with social media interaction – it fails to define who is actually take part in the conversation.”

Of course, in reality, this isn’t the problem with social media interaction at all – it’s the problem with BAD social media interaction.

Ill-planned social media interaction fails to define who is actually taking part in the conversation. When it’s done properly, you know exactly who you are listening to and engaging with.

If brands only conduct low-cost, low-level tactical social interactions online without any strategic research, insight or planning, Meyassed is right – they are very likely to end up interacting with the ‘the same people who call to complain about Coronation Street’ rather than loyal customers.

But to extrapolate from this that ‘brands should not base decisions on social media’ is akin to saying a brand that got it’s MD’s 8 year old son or daughter to design and build an ugly, badly-functioning website for £4.50 and a packet of Smarties should therefore not ever bother having a website at all.

In reality, the brand in question should simply do the job properly.

Social tools and social web offer an unparalleled and previously unavailable opportunity to learn enormous amounts about your existing customers and target customers.

Before any brand interacts socially, a rigorous research approach should be taken to map your audience landscape and identify true influencers and detractors online and sift out those that aren’t relevant – Meyassed’s ‘Coronation Street compainers’.

Unfortunately, it seems the low-cost, low-level tactical engagement with no strategy or insight behind it that many brands have experienced from their digital and PR agencies seems to be giving the industry a bad name.

In reality, brands should definitely use the power of the social web to get an intimate knowledge of their customers and potential customers. When done professionally, they can then use that knowledge to enage with them on a real-time, ongoing basis. This feeds into better customer service, improved brand perception and allows brands to derive higher levels of customer insight.

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Good Brands Have Sociable Traits

Posted in sociable brands, Social media with tags , , , , on August 10, 2009 by qubefiona

psfk

PSFK have released a new report on Good Brands, if you want download the full report click here.    This report has been compiled by shortlisting all brands that have been mentioned the most across their trend reports and then they have asked a panel of industry experts from the Purple List to vote on which they thought were ‘good’.  Good being based on an average score for innovation, responsibility and community.

No suprises that brands like google and twitter appear up here but brands like The Good Magazine, Ikea and Amazon are not so likely winners.  (check out the Good Magazine as a particularly interesting brand)

PSFK also have pulled out what they think the most common traits are of the winning brands and it makes interesting reading for those social media believers among you as many of these traits come part and parcel with adopting a more social approach to branding and business.

Utility – Aim to enhance your usefulness for the consumer. In doing so, look not only at your product or service, but the eco-system that surrounds it.

Experimentation – Constant innovation is the essential element of growth. Continual- ly push the boundaries of your offering and create ancillary products.

Design – Premium aesthetics coupled with consistent delivery wins every time. A premium experience can be applied to any product or service, no matter where it sits on the price spectrum. Make your audience feel valued, encouraging them to include you as part of their identity.

Community and listening – Create a sense of community for your customers. Actively engage them and listen to what they have to say. They are the best source of guidance for improved service.

Change the model – Look at your consumers’ eco-system of needs and change your business model to suit them.

Beyond the 30 second ad – Of the top 100 largest advertising spenders in 2008, none of them made it onto this list. Instead of spending money on advertising, leverage the existing community that’s involved with your brand to promote your products and services.

Environmental priorities – Brands in the lower half of the list lose points prizing innovation over environmental responsibility. Build in sustainable practices wherever you can in your brand’s eco-system.

I think its a worthwhile exercise to judge your own brand – or your clients brands – against these traits and determine where you are, and where you want to be on the ‘Good Brand’ or sociable brand scale.  Then think about how social media can help you get there 🙂