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Media Intelligence : 2009 - 2010
digital Social media: a marketing solution Tony Thomas MD, The Population People have always had conversations about phones or the latest cookware for example, except now these conversations are public and permanently on a public record so that’s changed the communication landscape. I believe a lot of people underestimate it – it’s actually quite time-consuming and can get quite expensive for companies to track it all. There’s been a lot of talk around “monetising” social media – is this something that can or should be focused on? Whether Twitter will be monetised or not is not the question, what we should be looking at is how people are actually using this tool and how brands can integrate this. We’ve found that in Australia, companies such as Telstra and Bigpond are using it as a customer service arm for their organisation – they’ve been following people who talk about the company and if they’ve got a problem, trying to solve that problem. This is really a marketing solution. How does your company help with social media? Social media is where people are given the opportunity to respond or comment online. We look at strategy and how companies can best use all the communication points – what tools they need to be using, what audience, because Twitter is not right for everyone. It’s also not just about setting up a Facebook fan page, it’s looking at how the consumer fi nds your information. So it’s whether your page is coming up fi rst in Google, what are people saying about you in blogs, different media and how they work together cohesively. How has innovation in the digital space been handled by agencies? Although someone from a media agency can set up a Twitter profi le, it’s better if someone from within the company monitors it as they are more likely to be able to fi x the problem: in America, Ford has a representative who looks after all their social media so whenever a question comes through it can be passed on it to the right person. How do companies eff ectively address negative publicity on social media? If companies don’t do anything, that is where the major impact happens. A number of companies that have fronted up when there’s been bad publicity have actually reversed the whole situation; the famous US blogger Jeff Jarvis wrote a post about Dell Computers, on how bad the service was – many were having the same problem and started commenting; then (owner) Michael Dell went into the blog and answered each individuals problem. The bloggers were amazed that the company listened to their conversations and were taking note. With the increasing popularity of social media, how is your company engaging consumers/users? The web has become a social environment so we deliver a digital communication strategy that takes in engagement strategies and social media, social network marketing and online PR. Our company looks at how we can engage consumers within their natural social environments online and connect with them to build a relationship. What have been clients’ responses to social media? All clients know their consumers’ behaviour has changed and they need to look at changing the way they engage with their consumers through online so they have been really positive in further educating themselves and understanding the environment. Our company has been looking at projects where we prove the results we can deliver and then work on bigger projects with these clients once we’ve displayed the effectiveness of what we do. How do you prove the eff ectiveness? We can measure the number of conversations and how infl uential the people are online therefore we can get a sense of how many people they are talking to within their broader social circle. We can get streams of conversations which is not your typical reach number: our measures are much more around the quality of engagement rather than the number of people we reach. Whilst a lot of clients still look at reach and the number of people who’ve viewed a video clip, we like to look not just at those metrics but also how many people responded and shared something as a result, commented on a piece of content or linked to a piece of content and shared that amongst their friends. A recent project we worked on was for the fi lm “My Year Without Sex”: We ran the prescreening – a really interesting metric the client wanted to see was how many people posted a review online. We found almost 60%-70% posted a review which went out to their social group or on Facebook: this became a peer review which we know is the most trusted form of communication. 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MT Resource 2010