Defending and Enhancing
your Brand on Social Media
FEATURING
TODD WILMS
HEAD OF SOCIAL
BUSINESS STRATEGY
AT SAP

BRYAN KRA...
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Introduction
	

TODD WILMS,
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF
SOCI...
CHAPTER 1

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Introduction
The New Rules of Engagement
Todd Wilms, Head o...
CHAPTER 1

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Brand Management and Social Media: Pitfalls and Potential

...
CHAPTER 1

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Pre-Social vs Post-Social: The Customer Speaks…Loudly
Pre-s...
CHAPTER 1

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Pre-Social vs Post-Social
Post-social brand influence
With ...
CHAPTER 1

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Who owns the brand
today, the company
or the customer?

Who...
CHAPTER 2

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Do companies need
to train or put in
place brand crisis
man...
CHAPTER 2

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

The Right Way to React
Companies typically show what they a...
CHAPTER 2

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Taking a Page from the Military Playbook
The military does ...
CHAPTER 2

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Putting Your Best Foot Forward to Move On
It is probably fa...
CHAPTER 3

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Proactive Brand Management
Four Ways to Make Social Media W...
CHAPTER 3

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

“ ake the megaphone
T
away from your
mouth and put it
to yo...
CHAPTER 3

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Understand Social Influence
Social influence is critical wh...
CHAPTER 3

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

CHAPTER 3

Build Communities
In the era of social media, co...
CHAPTER 3

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

CHAPTER 3

Humanize Your Brand
Contrary to popular belief, ...
CHAPTER 3

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

How do big brands
maintain one-to-one
relationship with
cus...
KEY TAKEAWAYS

Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media

Regardless of how it evolves, one thing is certain; soc...
SAP
As the market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and
industries run better. Fro...
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eBook: Defending & Enhancing Your Brand

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Until a few years ago, brands had just a few caretakers who really only had to worry about the press and media when it came to addressing positive and negative public opinion. But today, social media has given individual customers a phenomenal public platform to make themselves heard in a very powerful way. That means brands are struggling to make sense of all kinds of voices across social media and to manage the messages put out by the host of de facto brand managers who are now in a position to make a major impact on a company’s marketing.

In this eBook, Todd Wilms, Head of Social Business Strategy for SAP and Bryan Kramer, President/CEO at PureMatter present:

Published in: Business, Technology

eBook: Defending & Enhancing Your Brand

  1. 1. Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media FEATURING TODD WILMS HEAD OF SOCIAL BUSINESS STRATEGY AT SAP BRYAN KRAMER PRESIDENT/CEO AND SOCIAL STRATEGIST AT PUREMATTER pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Introduction TODD WILMS, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING AT SAP Page 3: The New Rules of Engagement Chapter One: Brand Management and Social Media: Pitfalls and Potential @toddmwilms Page 4: A Tale of Two Tweets Page 5: Pre-Social vs Post-Social: The Customer Speaks…Loudly Page 7: Who Really Owns Your Brand? Chapter Two: Reactive PR Crisis Management Page 8: FedEx Case Study: Making it Right When You Get it Wrong Is Your Team Ready to Respond? Page 9: The Right Way to React Page 10: Taking a Page from the Military Playbook Page 11: Putting Your Best Foot Forward to Move On Chapter Three: Proactive Brand Management Page Page Page Page Page Page 12: Four Ways to Make Social Media Work for You 13: Listen More than You Talk 14: nderstand Social Influence U 15: Build Communities 16: umanize Your Brand H 17: Social Media: A Brand’s Best Friend Key Takeaways pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 2 www.purematter.com
  3. 3. CHAPTER 1 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Introduction The New Rules of Engagement Todd Wilms, Head of Social Business Strategy for SAP, recently sat down with Bryan Kramer, President/ CEO at PureMatter, to talk about the new rules for brand management through social media. Todd is featured on Forbes.com, speaks on the topic at universities and corporate forums, and has gained social attraction around the world. Bryan was recently named one of the Top 50 Social CEOs on Twitter by the Huffington Post and regularly speaks on the topic around the country. TODD WILMS, HEAD OF SOCIAL BUSINESS STRATEGY AT SAP Until a few years ago, brands had just a few caretakers who really only had to worry about the press and media when it came to addressing positive and negative public opinion. But today, social media has given individual customers a phenomenal public platform to make themselves heard in a very powerful way. That means brands are struggling to make sense of all kinds of voices across social media and to manage the messages put out by the host of de facto brand managers who are now in a position to make a major impact on a company’s marketing. @toddmwilms In this eBook, Todd and Bryan present defensive strategies to deploy through social media when things go wrong, and then show how brands can go on the offensive and actually enhance their brand and their credibility through social media. Filled with real world examples as well as tried and true tactics, you will see that you don’t need a big team or a big budget to manage your brand and make social media work for you — but you do need to know the new rules of engagement. BRYAN KRAMER, PRESIDENT/CEO AND SOCIAL STRATEGIST AT PUREMATTER @bryankramer pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 3 www.purematter.com
  4. 4. CHAPTER 1 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Brand Management and Social Media: Pitfalls and Potential @celebboutique Tale of Two Tweets “#Aurora is trending, clearly about our Kim K inspired #Aurora dress :) Social media has provided companies of all sizes with an incredible platform to make their brand known to an engaged and broad but qualified audience. Of course, that becomes a two-edged sword very quickly when the “microphone” gets in the wrong hands. Twitter gives us great examples on a regular basis of how brands can make missteps in a very public forum and things go sideways in a very big way. What’s important is how those brands choose to address the issue after the fact. Let’s take last summer’s shooting tragedy in Aurora, CO as an example. Two very different brands inadvertently tweeted shortly after the incident and wound up with very different outcomes. “We are incredibly sorry for our tweet about #Aurora. Our PR is NOT US based and had not checked the reason for the trend.” – Celeb Boutique, in response to backlash about their post-shooting tweet On one end of the spectrum you have the NRA, which owned up to the unfortunate coincidence of their automated tweet, apologized and was able to move forward with little backlash. Celeb Boutique, on the other end, offered a pretty backhanded apology for their tweet and essentially blamed it on their out of touch, out of country PR firm. People took umbrage with that and the Celeb Boutique brand, which creates celebrity-inspired couture, still has not recovered as a result. When thousands of people have the ability to tweet or promote themselves as part of a brand in some way, shape or form, even well-intentioned companies can fall flat. These two tweets point to the fact that acknowledging the circumstance quickly and in the right way is incredibly important to a brand’s vitality, and here’s why. @NRA “Who’s ready for some hunting?” “We apologize for our tweet and acknowledge that it was insensitive given the nature of the issue with Aurora.” – The NRA, in response to the automated tweet that was broadcast the day after the shooting pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 4 www.purematter.com
  5. 5. CHAPTER 1 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Pre-Social vs Post-Social: The Customer Speaks…Loudly Pre-social brand influence There’s no question that social media has completely revolutionized how much attention consumers can garner when they express their views about a brand, be they positive or negative,. Before blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the like, if customers had an issue with a brand, they were typically below the awareness threshold. That’s the areas indicated in brown on the diagram and it refers to where customers need to be on the continuum in order to get the attention of an executive or a decision-maker. Using breakfast cereal as an example, these are the options consumers typically used to voice their displeasure before social media. Angst and Irritation: “I can’t stand this brand anymore, this cereal is just awful.” The customer is really the only one feeling this way and at this level it’s just a personal issue for him. Vote with your wallet: “Well, I’m not going to buy that breakfast cereal anymore.” This is effective on a personal level because the customer is making a difference for himself. The problem is that he is really not impacting the brand in any way at all. Communal annoyance: This is all about how the customer interacts with his church, community, country club and other places where he gathers and connects with peers. He might get a small movement of a few like-minded people but executives for the brand are still not seeing or feeling any of this displeasure. The best hope for getting an executive’s attention is to rally enough people on a national or global level to boycott the product or march against it. That’s the red part at the top of the chart and, before social media, this is really where a customer had to be in order to be heard and to make a difference. Movement Protest Rally Letter/ Op-Ed Angst Irritation Communal Annoyance Vote with Wallet Awareness Threshold It used to be that a person had to create a movement in order to raise a protest, but social media now allows any angry person with a blog to protest publicly and be heard at all levels of a company. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 5
  6. 6. CHAPTER 1 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Pre-Social vs Post-Social Post-social brand influence With the rise of social media, the awareness threshold has now dropped almost to the bottom of the pyramid. There are so many things customers can do to really effectively engage with decision makers, raise the level of debate and awareness around an issue and really make a difference. They can start a blog. They can join an online community, and one probably already exists for that hated brand of breakfast cereal. There’s a host of social media channels customers can leverage which means that today, executives are not just seeing the major protests, they are actually seeing when individuals vote with their wallets and when those individuals are upset. They’re seeing small movements of people expand to global forums and websites dedicated to how much people dislike a particular brand. Smart companies know that, by and large, this is invaluable information because it shows them at a granular level how people are reacting to their brand and their products. Thanks to social media, now it’s very easy and very effective to go in and raise the level of debate with executives in a meaningful way that simply could not be accomplished before. Movement Protest Rally Letter/ Op-Ed Angst Irritation Communal Annoyance Vote with Wallet pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 6
  7. 7. CHAPTER 1 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Who owns the brand today, the company or the customer? Who Really Owns Your Brand? Social media has absolutely put an incredibly interesting spin on the entire customer/company dynamic. Today, what a customer tweets about a product, whether true or not, can hold more sway than what the company says about it through a multimillion dollar advertising campaign. This new reality is here to stay and keeping a few thoughts in mind can bring perspective to this paradigm shift and make the transition a bit smoother. TW Answers: It’s both the consumer and company that own it, and they share equal responsibility. It’s the responsibility of the company to understand what the consumer wants and it’s up to the consumer to voice what they want, and the two of them need to meet in the middle. There will be a certain amount of one way communication that is not likely to ever entirely go away just because social media came along. But more and more smart brands are actually going in and spending more time doing social listening and engaging with audiences and asking them what they want to hear. n ith so many brand managers, official or otherwise, missteps are going to happen and with W greater frequency. How a company reacts will be remembered long after the mistake has been forgotten. n ocial has magnified the voice of the customer, which should be viewed as a positive. Rather S than making educated guesses about brand perception, the awareness threshold has dropped considerably so companies have tangible evidence of what individuals and customer groups really think, which informs future branding efforts. n t is impossible to acknowledge every customer interaction, but each one must be valued. I Posts through social channels are the new “letter to the CEO” and present valuable opportunities for a brand to listen and, if needed, to course correct. Smart companies know that social media has put more cooks in the kitchen, if you will. They also understand that, while it may be a new way of doing business, embracing the change will create exciting opportunities to put forth their best, most authentic self and to utilize their expanded team of brand advocates to grow exponentially. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 7 www.purematter.com
  8. 8. CHAPTER 2 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Do companies need to train or put in place brand crisis management teams for social? Reactive PR Crisis Management FedEx Case Study: Making it Right When You Get it Wrong. At some point in their life cycle, virtually every company will be faced with a PR crisis of some kind. Social media has really amplified corporate mistakes and it’s not uncommon for missteps to be broadcast within hours or even minutes of their occurrence. In these situations, the only option is to be reactive and to go on the defensive in order to mitigate brand damage. Being in a reactive position is certainly not ideal but within that space there are a lot of choices to be made about what damage control looks like. Thanks to the actions of one less than stellar employee, FedEx has provided a great case study in reactive crisis management. TW Answers: It’s not a matter of putting teams in place necessarily, but there is a definite need for having protocols and procedures at the ready. Then when a crisis happens there are some smart people at the helm and leadership can say, “You’re going to be the spokesperson and we’re going to be the team that helps you provide the appropriate response. Here’s what we’re going to do from a service and support perspective, here’s what we’re going to do on the web site, etc.” Creating that war room mentality and enabling people to make smart decisions is all that is needed to successfully react in a crisis. Last Christmas, people around the world were privy to video taken from a home security camera. It’s gotten over 9 million views now and shows a FedEx deliveryman take a computer monitor and, instead of ringing the bell, just throwing it over the wall. The important thing to note is that people watching this video were likely not really looking at this individual but at what is prominently displayed in the background; the FedEx truck. From a brand management standpoint, what was upsetting was that he didn’t even ring the bell; had he done so he would have found that the package recipient was home. He didn’t do anything but pick up the TV and throw it over the wall with complete disregard for the experience he was creating for the customer, all with FedEx prominently displayed in the background. FedEx could have responded to this issue in a number of ways to try to shift the blame. For example, they could have accused UPS of playing a prank by dressing up one of their employees in a FedEx uniform as a ploy to damage the company’s reputation during its peak season. Instead, they took the high road and owned up to the problem. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 8 www.purematter.com
  9. 9. CHAPTER 2 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media The Right Way to React Companies typically show what they are really made of in times of crisis and FedEx was no different in this situation. Rather than trot out a slick PR professional or a smooth, fast-talking marketing person, they had a spokesman from their operations department address the issue. He didn’t shift blame and he didn’t tap dance. Instead, he followed the “Four B’s” of Crisis Communications: Be humble. Some companies have a hard time owning up to their mistakes, even the very obvious ones. But sincere humility goes a long way toward repairing a tarnished image and regaining the trust of customers and the public in general. Be real. This is not the time for corporate jargon and double-speak. Everyone makes mistakes and companies who can admit they are part of that majority will weather the storm much better than those who insist on maintaining a façade of perfection. Be honest. Thanks to technology there’s a good chance the mistake was caught on camera or audio so there is no point denying it happened. The best way to diffuse the situation is to simply own up to it, which demonstrates integrity. December 21st Formal YouTube Apology Coverage slows to a crawl December 19th Video hits YouTube Be direct. Keep flogging out of the apology; the public will likely take care of that. Admit to the issue, apologize for it and move on to how the problem will be remedied. FedEx did a brilliant job of deploying the “Four B’s”, but they then followed up with critical, meaningful action steps that are just as important. They didn’t just admit there was a problem, they outlined how the problem was being fixed internally. Next, they did more than own the mistake, they demonstrated they had learned from and were taking steps so that it would never be an issue again. Finally, they remembered what is probably the most critical element in crisis communication; providing people with a place to go for assistance. Whether it’s a web site, email address or phone number, offering that touch point reserved specifically for those impacted by the problem demonstrates that the company is available and that it cares about making things right with its constituents. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 When the computer monitor toss video went viral, FedEx stock took a sharp dive. When their sincere apology was made, it rose slightly but took over 30 days of no media coverage about the incident to recover. www.purematter.com | 9 www.purematter.com
  10. 10. CHAPTER 2 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Taking a Page from the Military Playbook The military does a fantastic job of putting processes into place, but they are not typically known for their transparency. In the case of managing social media postings, however, the U.S. Air Force does both quite well. This chart delivers a very clear, thoughtful process for assessing and responding (or not) to online posts. It’s a great example of military precision and offers a decision tree that can easily be adopted and adapted by any company or organization. Air Force Web Posting Response Assessment Blog or Twitter Post Has someone discovered a blog post about SAP? Is it a positive post? Discover N Y Evaluate “TROLLS” Is this site dedicated to bashing degrading others? N CONCUR A factual well cited response, which may agree or disagree w/post, yet is not negative “RAGER” Is this post a rant, rage, joke, ridicule or satirical? MONITOR ONLY Avoid responding / monitor for relevant info Y N “MISGUIDED” Are there erroneous facts in the post? N LET POST STAND No response Y Y FIX THE FACTS Respond w/factual info directly (see blog response considerations below) Y RESTORATION Rectify the situation, respond and act upon a reasonable solution. See blog response considerations below. N LET POST STAND No response N Y “UNHAPPY CUSTOMER” Is the post a result of a negative experience from stakeholder(s) Respond N SHARE SUCCESS Proactively share your story mission w/blog FINAL EVALUATION Base response on present circumstances, influence and prominence. Will you respond? Y Y Considerations TRANSPARENCY Disclose your SAP A liation SOURCING Cite your sources by including links, video, images, other references TIMELINESS Take time to create a good response – 24 hours maximum Y TONE Respond in a tone that reflects highly on SAP INFLUENCE Focus on the most influential blogs related to SAP pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 10 www.purematter.com
  11. 11. CHAPTER 2 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Putting Your Best Foot Forward to Move On It is probably fair to say that PR crises keep a good many executives up at night… and just as many PR professionals in business. Social media has created more opportunities for PR nightmares and it has absolutely changed the way these issues are publicly exploited. It is that very shift that makes it essential for companies of all sizes to assess their communication plan so they are as prepared as they can possibly be. n hinking your company is immune to a PR crisis is naïve. Have a solid plan in place so that T you’re prepared to effectively manage the situation from start to finish. n ocial media demands getting in front of an issue immediately. The longer you wait the more S likely people are going to think you were spending that time “spinning” instead of being authentic. n hen it comes to effective crisis management, remember to be humble, be real, be honest and W be direct. n his is not the time to bury your head in the sand or stay in the trenches while you work through T the issue. Be accessible to customers even in the worst of times. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 11 www.purematter.com
  12. 12. CHAPTER 3 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Proactive Brand Management Four Ways to Make Social Media Work for You Earlier, social media was referred to as a two-edged sword and up until now the focus has been on how it can sometimes make life difficult for those who manage brands big and small. But the reality is that, when leveraged strategically and proactively, social media can become a brand’s best friend. First, companies need to view every employee and every customer as a brand advocate. If an organization has 20,000 employees, that means it has 20,000 individuals who can talk on its behalf and reach people that the brand as an entity, either through a PR agency or a central PR communications organization, could never hope to reach. That presents a staggering and really exciting opportunity when it comes to engaging and influencing people. “ ne of the O great opportunities with social media, social marketing and the whole idea of social commerce is that now companies are able to reach more people in a more effective way than ever before.” The next step is to get in front of this opportunity and utilize social to create fuller, more engaging conversations with your audience. There are four really effective tactics that companies can embrace to nurture these brand advocates with the goal of transcending brand management and moving to a state of brand enhancement: n n n n L isten More Than You Talk U nderstand Social Influence B uild Communities H umanize Your Brand Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these four areas to discover how they can create a radical change in how companies exploit social media for their brand’s benefit. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 12 www.purematter.com
  13. 13. CHAPTER 3 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media “ ake the megaphone T away from your mouth and put it to your ear.” Listen More Than You Talk This is one of the most basic tenants of good communication but it is one that people seem to forget frequently. In the context of social media, companies and individuals have an opportunity to speak to a large group so the natural tendency is to fall into the trap of self-promotion. Blogs are a great example of this. Someone may put up a blog post that she thinks is pretty insightful or engaging. If the post doesn’t take off the way she thinks it should, she may decide to give it a little boost, maybe by tweeting about it. Instead, she should take a step back and think more objectively about the low response. Maybe it’s not reaching the right audience for some reason. Maybe that audience didn’t exist in the first place. Or, perhaps the piece just isn’t as smart and enlightening as she thought it was. Companies that can listen first and talk second are much more successful in exploiting social media in the long run. Open dialogue can only happen when you really listen to what customers are saying, understand what is going on in the marketplace right now and respect people’s issues and what they say they want to talk about. Whether it’s through blog posts, tweets or Facebook updates, companies that talk more than they listen will find that their messages, no matter how compelling they think they are, fall on deaf ears time and time again. Smart brands, however have learned this important lesson and understand that true engagement can only happen when customers believe their needs, interests and concerns are truly being honored. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 13 www.purematter.com
  14. 14. CHAPTER 3 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Understand Social Influence Social influence is critical when it comes to promoting a brand and its message across social media platforms. But this concept is about much more than boosting a Klout score; it’s about strategically aligning with key stakeholders, individuals, analysts and even employees who have the influence to move the needle of awareness in a positive direction for a brand. For some companies, influence somehow seems like a dirty word and influencers are held at arm’s length so that they can’t hold too much sway within an organization. In reality, these influencers are critical brand ambassadors because tapping into their knowledge base provides the most realistic picture of how others view a brand and what they like or don’t like about it. Some influencers may have ulterior motives but by and large, these individuals are really passionate about getting their voice heard within a particular space and are really successful at doing just that. Aligning with key influencers takes the notion of co-responsibility for managing a brand and pushes it to the next level. How? By collaborating with and empowering them to steer and guide the perception of a brand to important audience bases and through proven channels. This is not a hands-off proposition by any means. But leveraging carefully curated influencers magnifies the message of a brand and makes it more believable because it is coming from a third party rather than from the company itself. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 14 www.purematter.com
  15. 15. CHAPTER 3 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media CHAPTER 3 Build Communities In the era of social media, companies need to realize that conversations are going to happen whether they want them to or not. In light of that reality, the best course of action is to embrace the communal nature of social media, to use these platforms to let customers have their say and to respond accordingly. Amazon is a great example of a company that allows customer conversations to take place without utilizing a lot of filtering. Of course the obscenities and the rants need to be weeded out but for the most part, Amazon lets customer comments stand as is. This is an incredibly smart strategy for two reasons. First, it creates a level of trust because, rather than only allowing positive ratings and comments about a product, which is clearly going to raise suspicions, less than stellar reviews are including so people have a more accurate picture about the product. Second, allowing those unfiltered comments creates a community unto itself; a safe harbor where like-minded customers can share their opinions and know that they will be valued. This community is an area where social media can really become one of the most important assets a brand has. Rather than having to hunt and peck and look for customer reactions around the globe through a host of different channels, the majority of the feedback about a brand or product is all in one place. And in this place, the company is part of the conversation; listening, engaged and able to make fruitful changes based on what is being said. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 15 www.purematter.com
  16. 16. CHAPTER 3 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media CHAPTER 3 Humanize Your Brand Contrary to popular belief, humanizing a brand is not about putting pictures of people on a web site or showing a picture of a person next to a 1-800 number. Instead, humanizing a brand is about making the brand relatable to people. Effectively accomplishing this objective means connecting the dots for the customer; distilling the essence of a brand and showing what it does and how it impacts people around the world. Using SAP as an example, a lot of people see the company as a big corporate monolith. But when they hear that SAP helps its customers produce 77% of the world’s beer or 79% of its chocolate or 86% of its athletic footwear, they start to understand what SAP really does; helps other companies do their jobs better on a worldwide platform. That little shift in focus does a phenomenal job of bringing the biggest companies down to a level that is relevant and true. “Humanizing a brand means thinking about what customers care about and determining how a company can interact and engage with those customers on a more fruitful basis.” Of course, to be successful in this pursuit a company has to understand and be true to its DNA. If a corporate culture is very product-centric, trying to become customer service oriented overnight is probably not realistic. A better tactic is to start with the easy wins that are more in line with the company’s culture. Regardless of its culture or DNA, every company needs to remember to demonstrate empathy through social media. Looking at how a brand can solve a problem, satisfy a need or a desire, or make a customer’s life easier is the most sincere, effective way to humanize a brand. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 16 www.purematter.com
  17. 17. CHAPTER 3 Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media How do big brands maintain one-to-one relationship with customers? CHAPTER 3 Social Media: A Brand’s Best Friend Few would dispute the fact that social media is here to stay in some way, shape and form. Smart companies know that it is a force to be respected but also recognize that it can be strategically exploited to effectively bolster a brand’s influence, image and market share. Through careful care and feeding, social truly can become a brand’s best friend. TW Answers: It’s not the brand that creates the relationship, it’s the people, which goes to the idea of people to people, not brand to people. In both B2B and B2C there is a shift taking place, moving from brand relationship to personal relationship. It used to be that a company would only have a few people speaking on behalf of a brand and they were really only speaking to the press and analysts, and maybe to a few dozen customers who were in the upper echelons. Social media has really changed that and as brand ambassadors come out and say they take responsibility for the service and support aspects of a brand, a one-to-one relationship is being created. n isten carefully to constituents and steer conversations toward the topics that interest them. L The end result is meaningful interactions that pay off in the form of a growing number of engaged customers. n eek out and leverage influencers who can infiltrate audiences and effectively socialize a S brand’s message. This is a critical element in growing a brand exponentially and without the shadow of the corporate voice. n ecognize that social media is a collection of communities. Honoring conversations and R feedback about a brand or product, and providing a place where both can be shared with little or no filtering, provides tangible, invaluable insight that companies can leverage in order to better their organization and the customer experience they provide. n rovide real world examples that demonstrate what a brand or product does. Making the brand P relatable, humanizing it, gives customers and influencers a true sense of why they should care about it and, in the best scenario, advocate for it. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 17 www.purematter.com
  18. 18. KEY TAKEAWAYS Defending and Enhancing your Brand on Social Media Regardless of how it evolves, one thing is certain; social media will continue to be a powerful force in the way brands are shaped and perceived. But managing and enhancing your brand in this dynamic new reality does require a shift in thinking, so here are some final thoughts to consider: n t’s true that corporate missteps are often amplified thanks to social media. Having a plan to be I strategically reactive in those situations, and utilizing social media to amplify your apology and plans for change, can minimize the damage and help you to move on gracefully. n Social media provides companies with a tremendous opportunity to gain insight into customer behaviors and opinions. Give your constituents that platform, invite them to participate and really listen to what they have to say. It may not always be what you want to hear but it may be exactly what you need to hear, which is invaluable. n A community of sorts has been created through social media. Yes, it’s a very large community and most of its inhabitants are not brand experts per se. But, you are a part of the community so join in. Leverage influencers, truly listen to and respect the conversations taking place and take every opportunity to make your brand real and relatable. n Remember, whether your company is large or small, social has some amazing benefits to offer. Embrace it, use it for the good of your brand and your company, and enjoy the ride in the process. pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 18 www.purematter.com
  19. 19. SAP As the market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 248,500 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. SAP is proud to celebrate its 40th year in 2013 across our footprint in over 128 countries and across our 65,000 global employees. www.sap.com or @SAP Founded in 2002, PureMatter is a mashup of Silicon Valley smarts, science and spirit that energizes business through social marketing. Visit PureMatter Labs now to get the marketing resources you need to formulate smart solutions to your programs, thinking and theorizing. HASHTAG: #pmlabs CONNECT with PUREMATTER: pm labs Social 3 2013 CONTENTS | INTRO | CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3 www.purematter.com | 19 www.purematter.com

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