Social Media Week: Social Media for Companies, Building Fan Engagement

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Last week, I attended a panel at Social Media Week in New York called Beyond the "Like" for Lifestyle Brands. The panel focused on how to know and understand your fan database, create fan engagement and achieve social marketing success.

The panel was introduced and the conversation led by Richard Jones, Founder and CEO of EngageSciences, which was hosting the event. He was joined by 4 speakers, all working in leading brands and agencies. Richard Jones started by introducing EngageSciences, a social marketing activation platform. I have known about social marketing, communities and engagement but I find the word "activation" still not that used so it was interesting to learn more about this concept. Basically, it means "going beyond the Like" and actually "activate" a form of engagement and discussion. He talked about the importance of knowing who are the people who "like" your brand so you can later on better target your social media posts towards those individuals.

Eve Sangetino, VP of Global Marketing at Brandwatch, followed. She talked more from the measurement and social analysis side. The goal of Brandwatch is to measure and monitor brands and companies' social media results and reposition them towards the untapped areas of the market and around what drives engagement for them and their competitors. What I will remember from her presentation: adapt your messages to your audience.

David St John Tradewell, commercial director at Econsultancy, a digital marketing and ecommerce community, gave interesting facts and statistics on social media fan engagement: 50% of the people who like a page on Facebook never visit it again, and less that 0.5% of Facebook users engage with a page they liked. As he said, it is not just about Likes, but also about PTAT (People Talking About This).

Another speaker was Robin Grant, Global Managing Director of We Are Social, a social media agency. He based his presentation of the social marketing campaign made for Jaguar. Craig Hepburn, Global Head of Digital & Social Media at Nokia, concluded with a presentation that you could summarize by "Think Differently" with examples of social media campaigns built around that concept.

Photo credit: Social Media Week.


This panel was very interesting, especially because of the mix of professionals from both agencies and brands' sides. The presentation from lifestyle brands focused more on concrete examples of social media strategies while the ones form the agencies gave facts and tips on what to focus on when you're doing social media for a company. From the few questions from the audience they got to answer at the end, I remember one that would require to think about it more: Engagement starts internally in the company, with its employees. If your employees don't believe in your brand and engage with it, people who don't even know about it in the first place less likely will.

The panel was filmed and you can watch it here.

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