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With social media marketing becoming ever more established, there are now countless brands battling for online consumer engagement. Whether it is fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter, most major brands are looking to build consistent and useful social media fan bases.
However, although a loyal following is a good start, how this following interacts and communicates is also a key factor in a brand’s social media success. With this in mind, WaveMetrix took a look at the different ways brands have built and shaped online consumer engagement.
- Premium brands are beginning to talk less about their products and more about lifestyle
- Other brands are encouraging product specific discussion to drive purchase consideration
- Campaigns that linked social media back into the real world helped drive engagement
- Tried and tested competitions and giveaways are continuing to work well
- Some brands are beginning to monetise social media
Premium brands begin to talk less about products and more about lifestyle
During Q4 2010, a number of premium brands used non-product specific social media content in order to focus consumer attention on their wider brand image, rather than their specific product offering.
For example, Burberry promoted emerging music artists under the slogan “Bands Burberry believes in”, with 28% of Burberry Facebook discussion relating to this Burberry Music project, rather than Burberry products themselves.
Only a minority Burberry Facebook fans focus on products:
Other brands encouraged product-specific discussion which drove purchase consideration
Gucci, Xbox and BMW encouraged a tighter focus on specific products by promoting product related material. This led more consumers to actively say they were considering purchasing, but also stimulated some criticism of the specific product.
For example, BMW engaged consumers with their new models successfully and this drove some potential owners to explicitly say they were “considering” a BMW. However, high levels of product discussion also led to 34% of product comments being negative, with “impractical” BMW models criticised.
Linking social media back into the real world helps drive engagement
Using social media to promote real-world events and initiatives worked well towards the end of 2010. Consumers showed interest in tangible events and showed that social media can drive footfall in store.
For example, Smirnoff invited consumers across the globe to use social media to share ideas for their ideal night out and then promptly made those ideas a reality through the Nightlife Exchange Party. This scheme drove large amounts of engagement, with 87% of buzz on Smirnoff’s Facebook page revolving around the parties.
Tried and tested competitions and giveaways continue to work well
Mainstay marketing techniques like competitions and giveaways continued to work well in Q4 2010. Corona, Netgear, Sony Ericsson and Pizza Express all used simple competitions and giveaways to drive engagement from current fans and also to capture new fans.
Some brands begin to successfully monetise social media
The end of 2010 saw a few brands take the first steps into monetising social media. Panasonic provided exclusive offers and discounts for Facebook fans and allowed them to purchase directly through an integrated Facebook store.
For further information, please download the full quarterly summary report, which includes all relevant case studies.
Andy works as a senior research executive at WaveMetrix, a social media monitoring company that doesn’t just capture buzz, but actually reads it.