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Social media is a part of fabric: Medicom Insider

The white paper reveals that the use of social medium delivers greater value from traditional spend also.

Neha Saraiya | Delhi | July 25, 2011

The media major, Mediacom has released its quarterly white paper-Insider. Titled as ‘Impact and Influence of social Media: Why brands need to become better at generating conversations’, this time the report analyses the power of social platform leveraged by companies. The study findings were unveiled through the Insider webcast through a panel of experts that included Carolyn Everson, Vice President, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook, Sara Devine, Manager of Digital Integration Marketing, Volkswagen Group of America, Sloan Broderick, Director of Innovation, MediaCom Interaction USA and Michael Kassan, Chairman & CEO, MediaLink LLC.

The report takes off with a contrast journey of the state of social networking sites, 10 years ago when such sites were in their nascent stages to till date, when they have grown to a record-breaking number of 750 million active users (Facebook)around the globe. Infact in some markets, like US, almost half of the population has signed up for the site. It also states that Europeans spend more time on Facebook than any other site and 60% of Facebook users also follow a brand in social media. Even Twitter displays one billion tweets a week. One such example of this is the recent women’s football World Cup final, wherein the record for traffic on the platform went up to more than 7,000 tweets per second. The Mobile use of the platform has increased 62% since April 2011.

It also bets on Google+ in a big way by posing it as a promising platform, if it is able to build up its scale. Furthermore, the study also throws a light on the intricacies of some brands that have omnipresence, but the limitations of social sites. Like facebook is blocked in China and is a market for home-grown players. While Mixi in Japan, Hyves in Netherlands, and VZ-Networks in Germany are extremely popular as compared to conventional sites. Then, there is also a vast gap between the digital life stages of each market. South Korea and Japan beckons as the world’s most connected markets while Indonesia has just 12% internet penetration. Internet cafes are the primary access point for users in these markets.

Furthermore, it infers, that mobile is the future of social media. As currently, in markets like UK, on an average, of the 250 million users signed up to Facebook’s mobile platform, an average of 50% check in every day and in some markets this rises to 80%. Besides mobile, other devices like Internet Enabled TVs, Xbox or PlayStation 3 consoles will also drive a vital growth of the social medium. High street in Germany is expected to reach out to 22.9 million households by 2015.

Going forward, it addresses the Golden rules for success in social media. For a company to gain maximum out of any social media activity, it should integrate with the platform across their whole business and not just the marketing arena. It also communicates via both paid and earned media that have varying metrics and it’s comparatively easier to track the consumer engagement on the former. A dominant example of this rule is Volkswagen, that recently launched its new Beetle globally via a promoted tweet on Twitter as part of a global campaign. The auto major had earlier had witnessed viral success with The Force campaign for its Passat model. Launched on YouTube before TV, the video received 12 million hits in four daysthrough social media marketing alone. During the Super Bowl XLV, it fetched a total of 41 million views. Besides VW, other brands that have created a huge buzz through social medium are Audi, Nikon and Flickr. The chinese food producer, COFCO created a campaign revolving around the food safety of the consumers. With MSN, the company planted a task for the audiences involving the five stages of production: planting, caring, harvesting, processing and logistics. The campaign attracted a herd of 24.5 million users.

It also mentions that there is no point on being on social networking sites for brands, till the time the brands are using it in a one-to-one conversation with the with the target audience. And companies need to choose from various roles played by the social media: be it an information channel, a sales channel, a customer service channel or a two-way channel. Brands also need to devise their social media strategy, both internally and externally. As this strategy has an important role in integrated campaigns. Brands, investing in key events and traditional channels are deploying large sums of money; like a 30-second slot in Super Bowl costs around $3.5 million.  The use of social media also enables companies to drift away from the conventional discounts and rebates. As majority of the social media reach has to be earned rather than paid-for. Also, in order to measure ROI on social platforms, the brands need to consider KPIs of stories and conversations shared through this platform. For instance, just, having a million fans on the page, does not really imparts the true picture. Companies should take into account the stories shared by the fans or the number of comments made. Brands need to consider KPIs that measure the value of stories.

Action for advertisers:-

1. Measure the impact of social media on your brand, your sales and the business reputation.

2. Develop a clear strategy for social media, even if it is not to participate in certain platforms.

3. Decide where your consumer conversation point is going to be.

4. Understand that each campaign will require an individual approach.

5. Tailor experiences to local audiences.

6. Reallocate your budget.

Neha@BestMediaInfo.com

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