helping brands make perfect sense of social media, from IAB UK’s social media council

By Shona Ghosh, RMM

What’s the best way to supercharge a brand online?

Social media, naturally. At least, that’s what RMM and Skive had to convince a panel of digital ‘dragons’ to think at IAB’s Engage 2010 – against pitchers for in-game advertising, target marketing and performance marketing.  You can see the presentation from Tom Ollerton and Iain MacMillan in full below.

They argued word-of-mouth is key when it comes to consumers making decisions about what to buy. I bought my Canon Ixus entirely on the basis of six recommendations from friends on Facebook and it seems I’m not alone – Nielson stats show that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. Advocacy from friends is evidently a persuasive message.

But unlike clickthroughs, advocacy can be difficult for a brand to manufacture or monitor directly – or is it? Social media, at its heart, is public breeding ground for opinion. These are the platforms which encourage sharing, recommending, the exchange of information, and chatting – and that will revolve around brands and products as much as anything else.

Social media lets brands find, enter and facilitate these conversations to fuel advocacy and answer complaints. A prime example is Dell creating a community for its users, encouraging customers to turn potential complaints into ideas for improvement. Having implemented 425 of their users’ ideas, the company claims to have seen a 30% decrease in negative commentary online.

Our message was simple, but won over the dragons and IAB voters -social media supercharges your brand because, for marketers, it is the best way to drive advocacy.


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