You cannot choose not to have a social presence is essential for brands

According to the study by Weber Shandwick Worldwide in collaboration with Forbes Insights, be “social” is essential for brands today and although many of them are adapting to the digital revolution, significant improvements are still needed to build a brand with its own social identity.

“Socializing Your Brand: guide for the socialization of brands” she was presented this morning in Madrid at an event involving Chris Perry, President of Digital Communication Weber Shandwick and Leslie Gaines-Ross, Strategic Manager Reputation Weber Shandwick. The event was attended by Ana Fernandez Pardo, Communications Sfera, Gosia Pajkowska, PR Manager of Vente-Privée and Guillermo Haro, Professor of Digital Strategy, Tutor Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of the Seminar on Management Communities virtual IE Business School.

The study provides managers of the areas of communication and marks a starting point for creating a truly social brand. The online study was conducted among nearly 2,000 executives from the most important companies in 50 countries in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

You cannot choose not to have a social presence is essential for brandsAccording to the study, managers believe that the “sociability” is fast becoming one of the factors contributing to brand reputation, with a current rate of 52%, estimated to reach 65% in three years . However, despite that virtually all respondents claim to have a digital strategy (87%), a large majority confirms that sociability has not yet reached the standards of the best brands worldwide.

What is necessary to belong to the elite of the best brands worldwide? The study reveals that a social brand leader must interact with your target audience and generate their own content to enrich the interactive experience; You must go beyond recording news, deals and events. The best brands hold the interest of their virtual communities and develop important linkages around shared passions or commonalities; They show a real interest in anything that tell your audience and listen carefully to the answers. Sociability needs the collaboration of the entire company to integrate the brand identity in all communication channels. Being a social brand leader means that brand managers must be prepared to accept all the risks that are associated with the benefits of entering into this new era of commitment to the consumer.

“There is a disconnect between theory and reality when it comes to creating a social brand. Too often, brand managers require the best and most advanced applications and new technologies, bypassing the need for clear business objectives, a true social orientation and programs that deliver real value to the communities of the brand. To be a completely social brand, companies need a new project, one that takes into account both the internal structure suitable as an external program that helps people to be informed and to identify with brands that engage form online “said Chris Perry, President of Digital Communication Weber Shandwick. “Companies need to close the gap, work strategically and integrate all your marketing communications. Only then a brand can engage in social dialogue successfully and smoothly.

Socializing Your Brand – The Risks vs. Rewards

Managers of leading brands consider the benefits of using social networks are considerably greater than the risks. Among the benefits of social networks, managers of leading brands indicate increased consumer loyalty, improving brand recognition, that helps in locating new consumers and prospects and improve customer service.

“Although there are risks to doing social mark, you can no longer choose not to have a social presence. Now, more than ever, managers need to take this opportunity to connect with consumers, encourage conversation and encourage your feedback. His reputation and livelihood depends on it, “said Leslie Gaines-Ross, Strategic Manager Reputation Weber Shandwick.

Nine key drivers for creating a social brand

1.  It is the middle: and is more than the message: the world ‘s leading brands tend to generate more own content than average. 45% of them create specific content for social media, compared with 28% of companies internationally. Leading brands depend on more than just the message to become “social”

2.  Put your marks up: leading companies do much more than create a list of social networking tools. The use of more social than an average company forms. For example, 44% tends to offer mobile content, 43% tend to participate in applications “check-in”, 41% do proximity marketing and 40% has an official channel on YouTube.

3.  Integrate or die: the leading international companies are much better at integrating the identity of a brand. They are two times more likely than other companies to have a strong brand identity through all channels of traditional and social media and tend to include elements relating to social media in their print and audiovisual communications.

4.  Focus on social issues: 61% of the leading brands have an expert in social networking strategies, compared with 41% of other brands.According to one of the managers who participated in the study, “the best thing you can do is develop actions of social networks across all channels to expand the key messages.”

5.  Listen more than talk: these businesses precisely tuned their messages to consumers and includes what they think their followers with regard to their brands. Almost twice as leading international brands, compared to other brands, they have changed a product or service based on the recommendations of the fans.

6.  Count what matters: meaningful participation: leading brands are more concerned than others their number of participants in measuring the effectiveness of social networks. These social participants occupy the No. 1 position on the scale of the leading companies, while the rest is in the position No. 6 as a key measure unit.

7.  Think Global: managers of leading brands to consider the influence as important as customer service, globally as one of the engines of its corporate reputation, while for the other companies is one of the least important factors . 
8.  Exit to enter: the leading international companies are twice as likely as others to resort to external support to measure the social performance of their brand.

9.  Be alert: to protect the social integrity of their brand, the world’s leading companies are always on high alert. 85% of companies are more vigilant since Wikileaks came to light and 58% are concerned more violations of the right to privacy.

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