How Brands Can Harness Social Networks


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A look at the importance of social networks in terms of size and dwell time plus a look at how brands can harness social networks, including highlights of notable successful uses of social networks.

Published in: Business, Technology

How Brands Can Harness Social Networks

  1. 1. Jamie Riddell Director [email_address] How brands can harness social networks
  2. 2. Introducing Cheeze <ul><li>UK based Digital Direct Marketing Agency </li></ul><ul><li>Part of Digital Marketing Group plc </li></ul><ul><li>Offices in London & Ipswich </li></ul><ul><li>£20m billings </li></ul><ul><li>IPA, DMA & SEMPO Accredited </li></ul><ul><li>Clients including Budget Car Rental, BUPA, Pokerstars, AXA, Canterbury of NZ, Monarch Airlines, CAF </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a Social Network? <ul><li>“ a social structure made of individuals or organizations that are connected through various familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds. In the Internet, social networking refers to a category of applications that connect friends, business partners, or other individuals together using a variety of tools. “ </li></ul><ul><li>But what does it mean for you and your brand? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why should brands be interested in social networks?
  5. 5. Social Networking is international Map courtesy of
  6. 6. They are highly consumed across Europe “ Thinking about using the Internet, which of the following have you ever done?” – “Create a profile on a new social network” Wave 3 Universal Mcann Across Europe, consumer take up of social networks is on the rise. In some countries including Hungary, nearly 80% of all online users have registered with a social network.
  7. 7. Consumers spend time here & connect with others <ul><li>Consumers are spending increasing amounts of time on social networks. </li></ul><ul><li>Over half Facebook users return daily, spending an average 20 minutes per session* The average session on a social network is 79 minutes . </li></ul><ul><li>These consumers are actively creating, consuming and sharing content. They could be interacting with your brand and content. </li></ul><ul><li>With an average friendship 75 friends per person on social networks & the potential uplift for a brand that harnesses social networks is huge </li></ul>*Facebook ** Pew
  8. 8. So how can we harness them?
  9. 9. Two initial routes <ul><li>Build your own social network </li></ul><ul><li>Use tools like to create your own branded social network </li></ul><ul><li>Manage all elements of the design, and interaction </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>Build an audience from scratch </li></ul><ul><li>Continually promote </li></ul><ul><li>Harness an existing social network </li></ul><ul><li>Take advantage of existing networks with large audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Work to integrate your brand within the confines of each network </li></ul><ul><li>BUT </li></ul><ul><li>Compete with other brands for audience </li></ul><ul><li>Develop different strategies & invest in different networks </li></ul>
  10. 10. Dedicated Social Networks
  11. 11. Create your own social network
  12. 12. US Social Network on the Ning platform
  13. 13. Work with existing social networks
  14. 14. Different Types of Online Social Networks Friends Photos Business Music Videos
  15. 15. Least Consumer Engagement Greatest Consumer Engagement Brand Monitoring Targeted Advertising Partnership Dialogue Contribution Integration
  16. 16. Brand Monitoring <ul><li>Being part of a social network will help you to understand consumer opinion in a way a basic advert will never achieve. </li></ul><ul><li>This gives brands the opportunity to fast track product testing and learn more unprompted brand information </li></ul>
  17. 17. Targeted Advertising <ul><li>Consumers are actively telling you what they like and don’t like. </li></ul><ul><li>Brands have an opportunity to understand this and harness this. </li></ul><ul><li>Myspace launches Hypertargeting – the ability to target advertising based on multiple consumer provided details including music preference. </li></ul><ul><li>We have the opportunity to target not just location but also emotionally – an important step for online advertising. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Sponsorship <ul><li>Nikon partnership with Flickr. </li></ul><ul><li>Taking the relation between cameras and photography to the next level. </li></ul><ul><li>Fully branded space allows users to share pictures and learn about the latest models. </li></ul><ul><li>This page demonstrated obvious benefits for both brand and consumer. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently 21,650 members, updating content every hour. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Dialogue <ul><li>A presence on a social network offers the opportunity for brand dialogue. This dialogue can help fast track promotion activity but combining the marketing and the dialogue in the same place. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Royal Navy <ul><li>Royal Navy Recruitment on Bebo </li></ul><ul><li>Royal Navy pilot Brendan Spoors became the face of Navy Pilots on Bebo. </li></ul><ul><li>Connected with friends and started sharing information about life as a pilot. </li></ul><ul><li>Open channel for people to ask questions and for Brendan to answer them. </li></ul><ul><li>This page has been the single biggest traffic driver to the Royal Navy recruitment site. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Contribution <ul><li>Social Networks have the opportunity to empower the consumers to work with the brand. </li></ul><ul><li>In this case, the TV programme has become interactive offering the consumer the opportunity to share their content and experience with the show. </li></ul><ul><li>This opportunity harnesses the ‘two way’ nature of web 2.0. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Integration <ul><li>Harnessing all elements of social networks </li></ul><ul><li>PDSA Facebook Fan Page has become the central channel for supporter communication </li></ul><ul><li>Additional content is now channelled through YouTube and Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>Planned rollout to other networks in 09 </li></ul>
  23. 23. Accountability <ul><li>Working with social networks can remain fully accountable. </li></ul><ul><li>External tracking from network to size will help understand traffic and business generation. </li></ul><ul><li>On site tracking will help understanding KPI’s relevant to each network. </li></ul>
  24. 24. What are the risks? <ul><li>Unleashing your brand to social networks means you become the shepherd of the brand no longer brand guardian </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers may start to discuss your brand in negative ways </li></ul><ul><li>Once you start on this path, you may not be able to stop </li></ul><ul><li>With careful planning, none of these risks are a problem </li></ul>
  25. 25. 5 Tips for Brands & Social Networks <ul><li>Pay attention to what is being said about your brand. Use Google Alerts ; Blogpulse and search on Facebook, Myspace etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Look for a reason why your business should be in social networks. What can you offer the consumer.Review what content can be used within a social network. Do you have content, can you easily create some? </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for the downside - this is important before you go live! </li></ul><ul><li>Buy some ads on Facebook - low cost, easy entry. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider building a Facebook Fan Page - a basic one is free - BUT consider this for the long term </li></ul>
  26. 26. Further Reading
  27. 27. Get the presentation, connect with me! <ul><li>An electronic copy of this presentation is available at </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with me: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  28. 28. Any Questions? [email_address]