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Socialisation of Brands: How can your brand benefit from social interactions?

Marketing firm Universal McCann has just released the 5th installment of their Wave series. Wave 5 is called ‘The Socialisation of Brands’. The report looks at how people are using the internet and asks the question, “Do internet users want to interact with brands?”  The answer is a resounding Yes! 

People are more active online than ever. They are using the internet for an ever increasing range of activities; such as sharing videos and photos, organizing groups and dating.  We’re seeing a more specialized internet with people creating sub-topical blogs and sites. We’re not just seeing blogs about cooking - we’re seeing blogs about cooking only Mexican food from the northern region. 

Universal McCann interviewed 37,600 internet users in 54 countries. These people use the Internet every day, or every other day, and are active on social networks. 

The results of the survey are better than anyone would have expected. People are actively joining brand communities, and of those that have joined a brand community:

  • 72% thought more positively of the brand
  • 71% are more likely to buy the brand
  • 66% felt more loyal towards the brand
  • 63% would recommend the community to others.

This further illustrates that brands need to be online, interacting with their consumers. It’s becoming more important than ever. Before beginning, it’s important to understand the social landscape of your market. Identify where the consumers for your product reside and then identify the needs that your brand can provide.

Too often brands get involved in social media without doing the proper due diligence. Invariably, they’re met with disastrous results. 

Take the time to find a way to cooperate with the market. How can your brand provide a service that the market needs?

Find those needs and facilitate a service that will serve that need. Build a smart phone application. Create a social community for a market segment of your brand or web tool that serves a need.

Then delegate the work to your fans and customers. If you’re trying to build a community, include activities that give them the ability to be your spokespersons. If you create a smart phone application, have it do more than find the nearest location of your store. 

Finally, get out of the way. People don’t want to be constantly bombarded with advertising. If they’ve joined your community, you have them. Now find a way to keep them coming back with value added services, products or applications. 

Read the report and let us know what you think! What did you learn? 

Stefan Halley is the Digital Project Leader for The Duffy Agency. He loves to talk about social media.

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