Who is talking about my Brand & Developing Tailored Content #SMWF

Understanding the social consumer is central to building a successful social media strategy. You need to find the best ways to communicate to different groups, therefore understanding the different social behaviours out there is important for most social strategies.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from #SMWF this week, it’s that the understanding of social media among marketers has moved beyond simple ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.

CMOs are taking the time to delve into the data behind their social media, using it to inform their strategic and creative direction. But how well are they embracing and implementing analytics?

At #SMWF we caught up with Brett Petersen, Senior Strategy Consultant from Trendstream, publishers of the popular GlobalWebIndex reports into social media trends to explore some of the issues.

There are a multitude of metrics you can apply to social media, monitoring brand conversations, likes, interactions and general sentiment, for instance, but there is one question that marketers need to keep in mind. “The biggest question is, who are the people talking about my brand?” he said. “Who are these people visiting my website?”

The more you know, the more the other metrics will enable you to garner insight from your social activity.

The nature of social media has made encouraging content sharing key to driving engagement in a brand. Whether your users are passive or active in engagement, the content they share represents who they are as a person, so again, an understanding of this is crucial, as is a thorough understanding of the various platforms you’re using.

Its decent market research that helps you find out the types of user your brand is trying to engage on social networks, says Petersen. And this knowledge will enable you to target specific content that engages those specific demographics.

“Ideas that resonate well with people who are going to your Facebook may not necessarily resonate well with a TV advertisement,” says Peterson. “You need to know what type of content to develop to suit each group or type of person.

“You could users to create their own content and come up with creative ideas,” he adds. “Or if there are a lot of sharers, create content to share, driving conversation that way.”

Be careful with this type of strategy though. We all remember the trouble McDonalds had with the #McDStories hashtag; innocently trying to generate some good natured brand discussion, driving nostalgic engagement in their long-lived brand.

Responses included:

@Alice_2112 : Hospitalised for food poisoning after eating McDonalds in 1989. Never ate there again and became a Vegetarian. Should have sued. #McDStories

@Capnmarrrrk: Fingernail in my BigMac Once #McDStories, McDonald’s Twitter Hashtag Promotion, Goes Horribly Wrong huff.to/y1cIBQ via @cvbarnhart

@jfsmith23: Watching a classmate projectile vomit his food all over the restaurant during a 6th grade trip. #McDStories

“It’s important to remember how important brand properties are, in addition to social media. Shared content is a great way to lead people from the networks,” says Petersen.

“Get them back to the main brand website,” he adds. “That’s where marketers can capture the true value of the engagement.”

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2 Apr 2012, 10:57 a.m.

It is also about time that brands tap and create their own niche community using social business software platform.