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March 30, 2012

Q&A: Meltwater Buzz talks social media, brands and ROI

Margaret Donnelly, marketing director at Meltwater Buzz met with CBR to discuss the ins and outs of managing brands on social media channels.

By Vinod

meltwater

How can you build branded trust using social media?
The people engaging with your brand already have some sort of affinity; for them to be coming to you, to follow you, and to like you on Facebook already showcases a level of trust that they have with the brand, because they are exposing themselves as someone that is a brand fan.

Social media is about building that trusted relationship. Speaking to customers and clients in a manner that is acceptable to them, so not spam them with offers unless they ask for them and asking for permission to use their information are ways to showcase that the brand isn’t just a name, it’s a face behind that who really cares about the client and the customer and about building that relationship. It’s about connecting with people and that point to point connection is tremendously important.

Some research has shown that customers are more willing to follow and engage with a brand if offered incentives and that many brands believe that that is the least reason a customer would engage with a brand. What are your thoughts on research that contradicts the common brand belief that consumers do not want to be offered incentives for social media interaction?
I think there has to be a healthy balance to understand if that’s not what a customer wants to see. I think that’s definitely something that needs to be on an opt-in basis.

On a stream of content that a brand might push through Twitter, some of it is great content, some of it is entertaining, and some if it is valuable offers. I think people will respond positively to that, it just can’t be the only thing unless that is the sole purpose of the [social media] account. Dell Outlet is a really good example, the sole purpose of that account is to sell product or to give you a really great deal, so it really depends on the purpose of that account, how people perceive it and what their expectations are.

How can a brand measure the success of a social media campaign? Engagement or followers?
Success metrics are really tough, right now everyone is talking about social media ROI and how they can achieve that. ROI is dependent upon what stage of social business you’re in and what the goals are for that specific stage.

When I’m starting up my goal is to get followers and for people to know that I’m out there so the metrics of success is growing that follower base. When I’m beginning to engaging with people the goal is then to draw people closer to me and maybe have them opt in for email offers or newsletters and the metrics then shift to action base. Then people talk about how ROI means they have to make revenue. You can tie revenue to social media utilising the same types of marketing campaigns but pushing them out through social. There are different ways to do that but we have to all be careful that we don’t focus only on the commerce portion of that in order to be successful in social media.

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What are the most important factors when building social media towards your brand?
It’s making sure that the brand image that you have is congruent with the social image. When you’re trying to build your brand on social media you need to define what that social voice is and how your brand message is going to be portrayed through social media. So it’s really making sure that the brand message and the social voice are aligned.

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