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Social Brands 2012

by Ben Romberg | 09.03.2012

Tug attended “Social Brands 2012”  to hear what the big companies such as the BBC, 02 and the Red Cross had to say about using social media.

The point that everyone agreed on from the offset is that Media Organisations do social media best. They are the leaders at content production and distribution so a natural fit with social media. To find the best practise in social media campaigns, watch news organisations social channels as they are the natural leaders in the social space.

As a result, brands are now looking to replicate news distribution and build “newsrooms” in-house to develop content and distribute across multiple media channels (Press, online, social media).

Bowling vs Pinball

James Warran, Chief Creative Officer Digital at Weber Shandwick talked about how the Bowling vs Pinball analogy neatly explains the traditional marketing model vs social media marketing model.

Previously marketers would prepare a large “bowling ball” (content idea), line it up and knock down as many pins as possible, however with social media marketers are firing pinballs (small content ideas) that are quicker and in constant need of supervision to ensure they gain enough points! Equally, if a ball drops out of play it is much easier to launch another and become smarter about keeping it in play.

Content is still King

An insight from 02’s Head of Social Media– people tweet about products (specifically theirs) freely online, it is up to the brand to choose points of engagement but should remember that the brand is not the core focus, the friend is, the reason they are telling the friend about the brand is because they like the friend, not the brand! Engagement has to be this narrative, and often it struggles not to be intrusive.

An insight from the Editorial Manager at the Red Cross was that content on social media needs to be in the moment of creation. It is no good having a social media manager sat in an office tweeting about an event. They need to be out there, like a roving reporter to become reactive providing on-the-scene blog posts and insights in order to really engage the social media community they are messaging towards.

Sophie Brendal, Head of Digital Engagement at the BBC gave her top three tips for community management of a social media profile: 1. Be personal 2. Be informative 3. Be attentive. Keep these three in mind in managing and generating content within your community.

Legal Eagles

Lastly, we caught up with Phil Sherrell, a Partner at Bird & Bird to discuss legal issues relating to social media marketing. He told us that the CAP Code is still the standard applicable framework for determining what is appropriate content etc.

However, the ASA are now monitoring all brand social media output and expect advertising that is submitted via Twitter to include the hashtag #ad – user generated content relating to the brand still carries copyright issues in public forums and that contact with co-authors is imperative before distributing. Blogs that distribute paid-for content need to state as such in the copy of the text.

Broadly, regulators and governments still playing catch-up with social media marketing regulations and legal issues, it is still the wild-west and individual fair usage policies on the social networks themselves e.g. Facebook Promotional Guidelines are still the most stringent forms of enforcement because they have the power to approve/ take down Pages and Apps!

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