During the past year, the social landscape has seen its fair share of dramatic shifts, resulting in the need for brands to be smarter than ever when it comes to their social strategy. To be done effectively, brands need to be empowered with the right social insights to adjust and optimize their approach.
That’s where Socialbakers and Engage London 2014 come into play. Pulling together speakers from companies such as KLM and Twitter, conversations were focused not only on being insightful but also actionable for the attendees who traveled far and wide from over 41 countries. Resting on our laurels can and will bring a brand to a standstill, so how do we counteract the convenience of complacency? To do so, we need to focus on the three major components of a successful social campaign. Content, Ads and Community.
Engaging Content is More Critical than Ever
Once only thought of as a leader in connections, Facebook is now drifting towards that invisible line separating it from content networks like YouTube. From 2009 to 2013, brands increased posts per month from 7 to 40. The lesson to be learned from that 471% increase? Marketers need to get creative in order to cut through the noise – a typical Facebook user follows over 100 pages.
Yossi Erdman, Head of Brand and Social Media at AO.com, emphasizes the need to integrate fun into your Facebook channel. The concept is simple enough, but, for an appliance company, some out-of-the-box thinking is required. So to announce a “cashback promotion,” AO.com literally froze money in one of their appliances, and published the video on Facebook.
When it comes to content, it was clear from Engage keynotes that brands need to create fun & engaging content that humanizes the brand. By creating a space that customers can interact with brands in an organic and meaningful way, brands will reap the success by increasing engagement, reach, key influencers and ultimately brand awareness and affinity.
The Future of Ads is Social Context
The power of an ad increases sizably if placed in social context. When your Facebook friend shares an ad, it’s a form of validation thus increasing the likelihood that you will not only watch the ad but also engage with it. The value-of-share is becoming the new word-of-mouth.
Today, we are more connected to other people, places and things than ever, solidifying the value of social advertising. In order to harness the full potential of your campaign, we are brought back to engaging content. This is just one instance that demonstrates how each step in a campaign, no matter how big or small, needs to be carefully calculated in order to ensure it runs effectively.
The Power of Conversation
It was once novelty when a brand responded to your inquiry via a social platform. Now it’s moved past even being the norm – it’s required. Customers have shown they are not shy. On Facebook brand pages, 25% of posts are direct questions, and this is expected to increase. How are companies managing this influx in demand?
KLM sees 75% of customer care inquires originate from Facebook alone. Social Media Hub Manager Robertjan Groeneveld recognizes the demand and bases the airline’s entire social strategy around the truism. “Sales go up and down. Service Stays.” And with 130 staff members on their social care team, they are capable of holding themselves to that strategy. But what about the brands that are not armed with a team of the same capacity? Sam Wilson, Digital Editor of Woolworth, offers insight into managing online conversations.
“Remember not to try and control the conversation, even if your brand began it.” Rather, you should remain a positive facilitator to the discussion even if it strays from the original message.
By taking note of the increased volume of demand as noted by KLM, strategic brands are reaping the benefits of being social care savvy. Not only are you increasing customer loyalty and repeat business, but your brand is setting itself apart from competitors, putting in place the standards that they are forced to match up to. The opportunity to differentiate is there, it’s up brands to capitalize on it.
All three components, Content, Ads, and Community systematically work together in order to produce results. Whether these results are positive not, relies on the strategies discussed above and the extent to which they are implemented.
When it comes to social, it’s not only important to take note of the brands that are making you stop mid-scroll, but to also analyze the strategy behind each move in order to consistently stay one step ahead of the competition.
Jan Rezab is the CEO & Co-founder of Socialbakers, a company focused on social media marketing and measurement, with clientele that includes over half of the global Fortune 500. Jan’s role is to actively push Socialbakers’s global strategy and make customers heard.