Sep 13 2010
By Priya Ramesh (@newpr)
I can’t believe 2010 has whisked by and CRT/tanaka clients are busy finalizing their 2011 budgets. A good part of 2009 and early 2010 was spent strategizing for my clients to take the right approach to social media. I am so glad to see CRT/tanaka clients Charles Schwab, Air New Zealand, Network Solutions, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Del Monte Fresh Produce and one of my favorites, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) who launched their social media programs in 2009 re-invest in social media marketing in 2011. While metrics are a key contributor to their decision to invest in social media, I have identified three common themes among companies re-investing in social media in Year-2.
1. Moving from Social to Advocacy, Increase Customer Loyalty: We are seeing a noticeable shift in how companies in their Year-2 engagement are viewing social media as a platform to build loyal customers who act as brand ambassadors. As the Obama campaign described it, social media engagement evolves through three different levels: Personal, Social and Advocacy. My clients who are rethinking their 2011 budgets and have experienced a good start to building their social presence, are now focused on how to leverage their Twitter followers and Facebook “Likes” to become more vocal on social networks thereby attempting to build brand ambassadors. So part of their 2011 strategy includes “Incentives, Incentives, Incentives” be it via sweepstakes, iPad giveaways or awesome content.
2. How do I look on social networks? Increase Social Search Rankings: Facebook and Twitter have become the default search engines for millions of active users who want to see how a brand has been talked about on two of these major social networks. Just to give you a sense of how many searches are made on Twitter: the service racks up around 800 million searches a day, or 24 billion per month. That’s a lot more than Yahoo’s 9.4 billion and Bing’s 4.1 billion. It’s nowhere near Google’s 88 billion, of course, but still, rather impressive. As far as Facebook is concerned, it is now the #1 searched for brand in the U.S. surpassing Google. What that means is that how people find and process information about a brand has fundamentally shifted to social networks becoming the point of search versus Google. Think about it, more and more people are searching for your brand on Twitter and Facebook versus Google so it makes absolute sense to spend your dollars to strengthen your engagement on these two networks in order to increase your social search rankings.
3. Tell me what you want, Crowd Sourcing Ideas: I think Pepsi Refresh definitely made a mark on how companies should and shouldn’t go about crowd sourcing in 2010. Yes several of my clients have repeatedly asked, “Can we do a Pepsi Refresh like campaign to get honest feedback on our products or an overall brand?” We have tried to replicate what worked great with Pepsi in terms of getting your community to have an active voice in your decision making process. I kind of chuckle when clients want to take their social media efforts to a whole new level with crowd sourcing because that to me is a great validation that they see a value in listening to their community!
Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay and that’s where your audience is now going to search for information. I am thrilled to see CRT/tanaka clients take their first steps to social media this year, getting it right and now planning ahead to further nurture the community they have built for their brands.
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