Brand owners know social media is important. One of our roles is to help them know what to do with it
In a recent survey of 302 senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies, Harris Interactive found that over half of them (52%) indicated that social media is currently a part of their company’s customer interaction operations.
However, uncertainty exists about how best to leverage social media. For example, the survey points to confusion around whose role it is to manage social media, and when and how they should be interacting with customers. Most executives (73%) are unfamiliar with how many employees at their company are currently dedicated to “listening” to customer conversations on the internet, and most executives (64%) rely solely on their marketing department for social media monitoring. Furthermore, less than half of executives (41%) in companies monitoring online conversations about its brand, product and/or services only respond to an online conversation when a customer poses a direct question. This represents a significant missed opportunity for companies to proactively engage with people and enhance their brand experiences.
Though interesting in itself, this research relates to a larger point, that strategy should always be the starting point for brand owners when it comes to thinking about social media. Here at Starcom MediaVest Group, we never start with social media. Rather, we look at what our brand clients do and what they want to achieve, and then see whether, and if so how, social media can be used to best accomplish this. For some brands, it may be around buying traditional display advertising on Facebook, whilst for others it may be the design of a Facebook page. For some of these, apps and games may best fit their strategy; for others a retail page on Facebook may best suit.
We should also not forget the importance of measurement. One, which has become very impactful for our clients, is the EIC - a proprietary statistical model we have developed that measures the relative degree of experience involvement to experience exposure. This and our other social media measurement tools show our deep appreciation of the need of brand owners to understand their return on social media experiences.
From strategy through to measurement, we at SMG demonstrate our expertise at social media.
Steve is Head of Thought Leadership at Starcom MediaVest Group, London.