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

Katie Streten, Imagination.

Many clients that approach with an interest in social media are highly focused on the public and high profile B2C  that have been delivered for firms such as Ford, and the big film studios. It’s understandable, these brands generate large amounts of PR and brand loyalty, not to mention product awareness, through the highly creative campaigns delivered for them by their agencies. Because these campaigns have been so successful there is a perception that social media means public, means B2C. However, there is another just as effective implementation of social media spaces that can generate as much ROI and brand loyalty – internal B2B.

Whether your company is large or small there will be ways in which social media can act as an empowerment tool for employees, a source of creativity and ideas generation and a retention mechanism. Internal social networks are employed by multinationals and public service organisations such as the BBC to share knowledge, cross pollinate creativity and create better working environments. An internal  blog from the director or CEO can be far more efficient as a comms tool than an internal newsletter or email, a bespoke social network for a specific group of scientists to discuss controversial issues in a safe environment can do wonders for your research programmes.

More importantly gaining expertise in internal social media tools is an excellent way of deciding which of the tools you might usefully take to your external B2B or B2C markets. The pitfalls may have already been approached, dealt with and understood, so that an agency can take you that step further to create a really stand out campaign or activation that might have seemed too  outrageous before.

Social media brings all sorts of business benefits whether through external reach and engagement or through internal  experimentation and creative development, but for some businesses it might be that the best way to start is the latter.

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