MSL China & Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador


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In August 2011, China’s largest domestic social networking services (SNS) platform Renren announced that establishing brand pages on its platform would be free of cost and companies flocked to the site to build their own brand pages. In consideration of the sudden influx of brand pages, MSL China’s social media experts teamed up with Renren to conduct a joint research project to understand the most effective practices for operating SNS brand pages. The objective of this guide is to provide you with effective brand page management models, as well as a basic understanding of how online word-of-mouth can work for your company.

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MSL China & Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador

  1. 1. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be ExecutiveAmbassador MSL China Your Brand Whitepaper 1Anyone Could Be YourBrand Ambassador By Stephy Liu, Enson Hu, Phoebe Li and Catherine Cao
  2. 2. About MSL China About the researchFollowing the union with Eastwei MSL, MSL China is Marketing and PR experts acknowledge thenow a top 5 international strategic communications importance of social media in creating a positiveagency in Mainland China. With 200 colleagues brand image. Based on recent statistics, the totalacross 4 offices, MSL China brings together over number of Chinese internet users just surpassed20 senior consultants with more than 12 years 500 million. According to a 2011 social media reportof strategic communications experience in this released by marketing management company InSiteskey global market. Part of MSLGROUP Greater Consulting, over 50% of Chinese internet users areChina, the largest PR & social media network in registered on social media platforms and over 70%the region today, MSL China provides knowledge of those users follow brands, and 39% of Chinesedriven, integrated campaigns and advisory services social media users connect via mobile phone.spanning nearly every industry and communications With trends suggesting increased social and mobilediscipline. MSL China has received recognition from media growth, many companies are doing more withthe International Business Awards, The Holmes social media networks. Many company-run brandReport’s “PR Agency of the Year,” the China pages and weibos are thriving in this new marketingInternational PR Association and China’s New Media environment and are attracting a strong following.Festival for its creativity and effectiveness in strategic But there are also pages which remain desolate, andcommunications and industry-leading social media have failed to gain the support of users. So what isoffering. the secret to building a successful, attractive page for social media platforms? In August 2011, China’s largest domestic social networking services (SNS) platform RenrenAbout MSLGROUP announced that establishing brand pages on itsMSLGROUP is Publicis Groupe’s PR, speciality platform would be free of cost and companiescommunications and engagement group, advisors flocked to the site to build their own brand all aspects of communication strategy: from In consideration of the sudden influx of brandconsumer PR to employee communications, from pages, MSL China’s social media experts teamedpublic affairs to reputation management and from up with Renren to conduct a joint research project tocrisis communications to event management. understand the most effective practices for operatingWith more than 2,900 people, its offices span 22 SNS brand pages. The objective of this guide is tocountries. Adding affiliates and partners into the provide you with effective brand page managementequation, MSLGROUP’s reach increases to 4,000 models, as well as a basic understanding of howemployees in 83 countries. Today the largest PR online word-of-mouth can work for your in Greater China and India, the group offers This paper is organized by a series of practicalstrategic planning and counsel, insight-guided descriptions and suggestions, such as ‘The Valuethinking and big, compelling ideas – followed by of Social Media’, ‘Operating Your Brand Page’, andthorough execution. Learn more about us at: www. ‘Measuring Results from Your Brand Page’. Twitter+ provide case studies and examples of how to bestYouTube manage, leverage, and measure the impact of your social media marketing programs.
  3. 3. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 3The Value of Social MediaIf your customers are not already on social media,then they are on their wayP5 Social media and the different types of social media platformsP5 Incorporating social media into your marketing strategyP7 The value of brand fansP7 A simple and effective marketing model for SNSP7 Brand pagesPreparing Your Brand PageYour company’s corporate management modeland social media strategy should be complementaryP8 Brands and brand pagesP8 The steps in building a brand pageP10 Setting up multiple brand pages for companies with several brands or product linesOperating Your Brand PageFinding the brand and consumer social media heartbeatP12 Brand page managers, and the duties and qualifications of the operations teamP12 What brand fans care aboutP13 Ensuring that brand pages maintain a personality and achieve your business goalsP14 Responding to fan commentsP16 Responding to negative feedback and communicating with brand fans during a crisisPromoting Your Brand PageAttracting fans from the brand page to your storeP17 Quickly gain brand fansP18 Integrating online and offline activitiesP19 Finding and engaging opinion leadersP20 Using your brand page to increase salesMeasuring the Results of Your Brand PageThe input-output measures of social media marketingP21 Measuring return on investment (ROI)
  4. 4. The Value of Social Media If your customers are not already on social media, then they are on their way
  5. 5. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 5Social media and SNS relationship circle Microblog information circlethe different types Common Strangersof social media interests Family Famous Public Friends people Pages Schoolmates Me Friendsplatforms Friends’ Classmates Friends Colleagues Close Friends Celebrities Public PagesSocial media refers to web-based and mobiletechnologies that enable people to write, share, Relationships Informationdiscuss, and communicate with others. SNS and guide interaction guides interactionmicroblogs (called weibo in China) are the two, is China’s leading real-name SNS that ismost common types of social media platforms, highly engaged by university students and young whitedesigned to accommodate different user needs. collar professionals across the country. Renren provides powerful, feature-rich products including News Feeds,SNS are online communities centered on real- Blog, Album, Status Updates, Sharing, Music, Xiaozhan,life relationships and are a powerful tool to build LBS, Social Games, and Social Commerce to meet theconnections; they include sites like Renren and communication, entertainment and shopping needs from over 220 million registered users.Facebook. On the other hand, microblogs aretopic or subject matter focused, and are oriented maintaining relationships. Sina Weibo and Twittertoward information sharing rather than building and are two popular microblog platforms.Incorporating social Studies show that social media has a clear correlation with consumer purchases. Based on themedia into your AISAS marketing model, the process consumers use in deciding to make a purchase can be closelymarketing strategy associated to social media. Companies looking to reach a larger target audience should infuse socialThe popularity of social media is a global media into their marketing strategies.phenomenon, but there are few markets whereit is as prevalent as China. According to InSitesConsulting’s 2011 market report on global socialmedia trends:· 15% of people worldwide are connected to at least Consumer decision making processone social media, but the figure for China is 44%; (Each step incorporates social media)· 62% of all Chinese social media users follow ATTENTION INTEREST SEARCH ACTION SHAREbrands and 90% believe that information aboutbrands on social media is reliable;· In China, 39% of social media traffic is via mobile information, advertising, information, advertising, comments, community, community, community, e-store, word-of- web search,phone; 78% of mobile users follow brands, and 12% marketplace, word of mouth, marketplace, word of mouth, reviews, trial marketplace mouth, sharing experience experienceof them use LBS (location based service) to sharetheir location with friends when posting content.
  6. 6. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 7The value of brand Brand fan estimated future spendingfans (compared with non- fans) Banks: 4,424RMB Automobile: 24,000RMB moreNielsen conducted an online survey designed moreto measure the value of brand fans in socialadvertising on Renren. In the report, Nielsenquantified the value of fans for 50 brands in the IT (mobile phone,automotive, fast moving consumer goods, financial computer, appliances): Fast consumption: 384RMB, 1,206RMB 180RMB moreand IT industries. The report shows that: and 1,163RMB more respectively· Brand fans have a clear impact on business.Research has shown that brand fans are more likely RMB 1,206 more on the brand. This is true forto purchase from a brand they follow. This tendency other industries as well, with bank fans spendingis attributed to brand perception, preference and RMB 4,424 more, automobile fans spending RMBprevious ownership. 24,000 more, mobile phone fans spending RMB 384 more, and fast moving consumer goods brand· Interaction with the brand on a social media is fans spending RMB 180 more.shown to influence future purchases by brand fans;moreover, brand fans for each industry are more · Because of their increased loyalty andlikely to spend more on brand purchases than non- opportunities to sell to them, brands shouldfans. For example, fans of a certain computer brand continually interact and build closer relationshipsare more likely to make future brand purchases with their fans.compared to non-fans and on average spendA simple and of-mouth marketing online. Many companies have successfully adopted the following simpleeffective marketing and effective social network marketing model: 1) Build up a brand page, 2) Advertise to increasemodel for connections, 3) Publish via their network. 2: Place Social-ads, build connections with consumers, gather Brand FansSNS 1: Establish a brand pageSocial media providescompanies with a platformto connect with consumers.On a SNS platform, anyonecould become your brandambassador. One of thesecrets to a successful SNSplatform is being able toeffectively stimulate word- 3: Use the News feed to send out brand info. and stimulate Word-of-MouthBrand pages attract users interested in their brand and add them as brand fans. Brand fans have access toA brand page is an official public page belonging brand updates (news, product information, events)to a company, organization or celebrity on a social and interact with the brand and other fans at theirnetworking site. Companies use brand pages to convenience.
  7. 7. Preparing Your Brand Page Your company’s corporate management model and social media strategy should be complementary · Is your target audience using social media?Brands and Brand · Is your brand or client currently dealing with badPages press? If so, you may want to temporarily delay settingBrand pages aren’t exclusively for large brands. Small up a brand page – or create a dedicated page to dealand medium-sized companies can also set up a brand with the as a way to connect with consumers. The brand pageenables companies to identify opinion leaders, initiate · Does your brand have enough content to discuss?dialogue and develop online word-of-mouth. Social media are based on daily, high-frequency communication.But first, before setting up an account, it is important toconsider the following: · Do you have someone capable of managing the brand page? It needs at least 1-2 dedicated individuals to maintain.The Steps in Building communication so as to ensure that the brand’s message reaches its target audience. Before launching your branda Brand Page page, we suggest taking the following steps.After one of our clients decides to set up a social media Determine the brand’s social personalityaccount, MSL China will prepare a “Company SocialMedia Execution Guide” for the brand and company. This The brand page provides the brand with a direct, fast andguide includes: behavior models for typical effective social media platform for daily communicationfans, a social media map, KPI (key performance with target consumers. But to create a meaningfulindicator) management, and guidelines on and effective communications channel,tone of voice, style and interactive techniques. the company must determine theThis manual can help companies and their brand’s social personality:PR agencies to improve the effectiveness of human traits
  8. 8. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 9based on existing brand characteristics. For example, Social media marketing depends on engaging andIKEA’s social personality is based on a 30 year old guiding fans to create individualized brand material. It istraditional Swedish woman: simple, honest, and family- important to include interactive components, includingoriented. These personality traits reflect IKEA’s business discussion boards, voting, games and events. Oftengoals and target audience. MSL China will develop a times, brand engagement inspires users to effectively andcustomized “brand social guide book” for each client, positively spread the brand by word-of-mouth. However,which contains a variety of useful tips to help the company the design and preparation of successful interactiveeffectively establish and maintain a social personality for events requires intensive planning and coordination.its brand. Understand fans’ specific networking habitsDetermine the brand’s style, tone and content The brand should adopt different communicationOn a social media site, the brand takes the form of strategies for different social media, such as Sina Weiboa person, and frequently interacts with others. So in and Renren. This is because Renren and Sina Weibo haveaddition to the brand’s overall social personality, it is different characteristics that meet different user needs.necessary to determine the brand’s tone and style. Sina Weibo caters to a more information-centric audience,For example, the Singapore Tourism Board uses the while Renren focuses on real-life connections.personality of a young, mature, stylish, multi-cultural,enthusiastic and positive white-collar woman. Obviously, Standardize interaction and site managementan immature or overly energetic tone of voice would notbe consistent with this brand’s social personality. In social media marketing customer relationship management (CRM) is critical. Appropriately respondingDeveloping social content is another major challenge to positive, neutral and negative comments is a technicalfor companies. For effective daily interaction, brand art form; there are smart and creative ways of dealingpage content needs to be rich, interesting and sharable. with negative feedback and turning them into positiveDo not post traditional press releases on a social opportunities to promote your brand, but this sometimesmedia! Press releases have little or no impact on an requires help from the company’s customer supportSNS site; to the contrary, users may feel that the brand dry and outdated. Instead, companies should createa social media matrix. The social media matrix is a daily Staffingoperations guide that is designed to ensure contentis consistent and coherent, and tracks what kind of Since social media marketingcontent most effectively connects with users. It is time and labor intensive, aalso shows which brand properties are most brand page needs a dedicated team to maintaineffectively conveyed, while illustrating it. Depending on each company’s individual needs,how the brand is presented to companies can either use an in-house team or employ afans through quantitative PR agency to operate the brand pages.statistics.
  9. 9. Setting up multiple brand pages Public Page: Samsung IT World Type: Electronics andfor companies with several Digital Fans: 181,985 Public Page: Samsungbrands or product lines Television Type: Electronics and DigitalAccording to “Social Business Forecast: 2011 The Year of Integration”, social media Fans: 99,311expert Jeremiah Owyang describes 5 social marketing strategy models. Any of these Public Page: Samsung Mobilemight be the right fit for your organization depending on your operations and objectives. Type: Electronics and Digital Fans: 81,565 Public Page: Samsung Appliance House Type: Electronics and Digital Five strategy models for social marketing Fans: 18,207 by Jeremiah Owyang Public Page: Samsung Video and Photography Type: Electronics and Digital Fans: 29,732 Similarly, Nike has Just Do It and Nike Sportswear sub-brand Centralized Decentralized Hub and Multiple hub Holistic spoke and spoke pages, as well as product pages for 1) One department 1) Organic growth 1) Each employee is controls all efforts 2) Authentic 1) One hub 1) Similar to hub empowered running, female, extreme sports 2) Consistent 3) Experimental sets rules and and spoke, but 2) Employees are 3) Less authentic 4) e.g. Sun procedures across multiple organized and basketball series. 4) e.g. Ford 2) Business units brands and units 3) e.g. Zappos undertake own 2) e.g. HP efforts 3) Spreads widely across the organization Nike Sisters 4) Time intensive Apparel 5) e.g. Red Cross 20,368 Fans Nike Running Athletics 25,071 Fans· Centralized: Orders come from top down and tasks are assigned; Just Do It Apparel· Decentralized: Decentralized organization, in a developing state; 53,073 Fans· Hub and spoke: A centralized unit decides and coordinates, while other units workindependently;· Multiple hub and spoke: One unit coordinates several brands or sub-companies; Nike Sportswear Athletics· Holistic: Each employee has their own privileges and responsibilities; 150,365 FansCompanies need to incorporate their own internal management organization when Nike Skateboardingdetermining which model to use. Once the company has implemented a suitable model, Athletics 6,499 Fanseach social media platform can be coordinated together to ensure maximum efficiency.Companies who have many brands or product lines often use a multiple hub and spoke Nike Basketballsystem on SNS. One department is responsible for coordinating many sub-brands or Athletics 76,976 Fansproduct lines and operates multiple brand pages.For example: Samsung has set up different brand pages for its IT, television, mobile,digital and home appliance brands on Renren.
  10. 10. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 11As of August 2011, brand pages can be created for no cost · Special features: video, voting, forum, rating, friends album, “Renren like” (a third party application that allowsIn this free version, Renren is preparing to open up an users to share and recommend items on their news feed andApp Store. Renren and third parties will design apps that allow them to become the public page’s fans with one click).companies can use as free and effective marketing tools. · Renren App Store custom features:Creating a Renren brand page is simple - Personalized tools: welcome tab, wallpapers, flash wallpapers;If you do not have a Renren account: you can directly register - Multimedia tools: video add-ons (Youku, Tudou), maps, LBS informationa brand page account and go from there. sharing, customized themes;If you already have a Renren account: Log in, apply for a - Applied marketing tools: digital store, coupon downloads, productbrand page, select a brand page name, add a profile picture Q&A, online market research, group purchasing, grab-a-deal, brand memberand description (Note: these will appear in the news feed, registration, auctions.and your friends will see it. Use this to start gathering yourbrand fans), then apply for a URL ( Custom themes stimulate fan interactionbrand_name) and you are set. Afterwards, you can addvarious apps, customized themes and content to attract Companies can post videos, music, animated GIFs, andfans. other multimedia features on their brand page. The brand page can also use flash and iframe features to increaseRenren brand page allows the use of API for third parties interactivity with fans.Renren’s application programming interface (API) allowsthird parties to read and write network resources withpermission from Renren by logging into their networkaccounts. Your company’s technical support staff can for additional information.The main components of a Renren brand page· The brand page is built similarly to a personal page;however the brand page possesses several features thatencourage fan interaction. A number of apps are alsoavailable to meet different marketing needs.· Basic features: news feed, comments, personal detail,status updates, album, blog, share, private message,mailbox, gift box, music, friends and related pages.
  11. 11. Operating Your Brand Page Finding the brand and consumer social media heartbeatBrand page managers, topic messages that may be sent by competitors and need a quick and strategic response. Social media is graduallyand the duties and evolving into a catalyst for major news events. As every marketer knows, if these latent disasters or developingqualifications of the crises are not effectively dealt with in early stages, the consequences could be dire.operations team · Pay attention to competitors: While maintaining yourIn order to begin operations, the company needs a page, you should take note of competitor pages anddedicated team of up to 2 or 3 people. For effective daily analyze their interactions with fans. You can learn a lot bymanagement, the brand page’s staff needs to: how they act as well. Operating a brand page requires in-depth knowledge and· Track and analyze feedback: Companies can leverage ongoing effort; it demands strong content productionuser comments and messages to understand fans’ capabilities, market awareness, social communicationopinions about the brand. As the number of fans increase, skills and crisis management experience. PR agenciesit may be necessary for the site to manage several have experience managing multiple brand pages andthousand messages per day and conduct analyses on can set up a completely new brand page in a relativelyconsumers’ perception of the brand. Using this feedback, short time. PR agencies can also make quick and accuratethe company can then make any necessary adjustments strategy adjustments as new situations emerge. If theto the brand page. brand needs to simultaneously manage two or more brand pages or needs to coordinate with another social· Release content: The brand page strategically and media platform, professional PR agencies often have thesystematically releases fresh and interesting content collective resources to coordinate them more effectively.for fans, including albums, blog and status updates. Asthe brand page develops, the company will strengthenthe brand’s influence on consumers. Designing and What brand fans careorganizing events that attract users to close the gapbetween the company and consumers and maintaining aboutfan activity is an important daily task. Events requireintensive planning, from wording and image selection toaward design and management. Maintaining brand fans is like keeping in touch with real- life friends. Consumers will want to know about the latest· React rapidly: During daily operations, the brand will brand updates, share the opinions of other consumers,run into problems such as user complaints, as well as and be informed of upcoming promotions, events and“trolls” – users who post inflammatory, extraneous or off- new product releases.
  12. 12. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 13Ensuring that brand Create a friendlypages maintain a relationship with targetpersonality and consumersachieve your business · Plan posting frequency to prevent negative feedback from oversaturation;goals · Write material from the viewpoint of fans, postingFind the Social media heartbeat of your brand and information in a friendly and open style;target consumers · Monitor and collect feedback, and make changes to theSocial media marketing differs greatly from traditional brand page marketing. For example, consumers tend tobe skeptical of sales promotions, but in social mediamarketing, users often enjoy promotions and are eagerto participate. The key is finding the brand’s social mediaheartbeat. After a company determines consumer needs,wants and desires, it becomes easy to know what topics However, whenand content will deliver the best results. The company canuse this content as a resonating point for both sides and posting this typeultimately form the company’s “social media heartbeat”. of information, it is Finding social heartbeat important to note: Promotions on a brand page work differently than in traditional marketing. Consumers’ tend to initially be skeptical when encountering a store promotion. However, when information is shared between friends, the level of trust is substantially higher. Social media provides brands with the opportunity to form a direct link to consumers in the form of a friend-to-friend relationship. Of course, this Case study: Watsons friendship requires long-term maintenance. Below are a few techniques to ensure that this relationship can take brand page product shape: classification · Daily greetings; Watsons brand page separately classifies content · Timely responses; using special tags. Classifications include informational tags about products, promotions and · Regular and interesting updates; events. Fans can comment or share information on these tags and generate word-of-mouth. · Helping fans resolve issues; · Seasonal and holiday greetings; Watsons uses Sina Weibo to advertise in-store promotions, using tags for each category. Above, Watsons “Sharing Beauty” tag informs fans about a Labor Day promotion for · Discussions on common topics; club members. · Following social hot topics, and appropriately participating in discussion.
  13. 13. Responding to fan Case study: Li-Ning –comments one journal entry leadsResponding to fans requires tact. Below are a fewtechniques that will help you better interact with fans: to a comment war· Regular responses: It is important to respond to One of Li-Ning’s sub-brand pages published afan comments in a timely manner, especially in the journal entry entitled “Summer Youth Dreams: MCCearly stages of developing a brand page. We suggest tide of new summer products”. Li-Ning had nomaintaining a high ratio between fan comments and idea that the entry would result in a comment warresponses; even if it is a simple greeting, each reply between fans. The day after the entry was posted acements the relationship with your consumer. fan asked a question regarding the market position of Li-Ning in a completely neutral tone. Another· Respond within a set timeframe: brand page responses user responded and said that there was no way thatshould be conducted against a set deadline. This Li-Ning could boast the second largest share ofcultivates fan habits of regularly checking responses from the global market compared to other brands. Thisthe brand page, and will avoid negative feedback due to post was followed by a third user comment that Li-late responses. Brand pages generally do not update on Ning boasts a large share of the Chinese domestica daily basis, so we believe this is an opportunity to do market and it is already good enough that China hasbetter than the competition and suggest that at the end of a large domestic athletic brand that can supportthe work day the brand page responds to user comments ensure that they keep visiting the page. On the morning of the third day, Li-Ning responded· Develop opinion leaders: Each brand page should have to the three users respectively in a polite and openits own loyal fans. In the early stages of operations, the manner to express its appreciation. Afterwards,brand page should regularly comment on user status the first fan responded that he hopes for Li-Ning’supdates, and maintain communication with more active continued growth and believes the brand can makefans. Through daily interaction, these users will eventually Chinese consumers proud.develop into the brand page’s opinion leaders.· Carefully resolve crises: When fans post complaintsor negative feedback, be careful how you deal withsuch comments. Try to avoid deleting comments. It isalso unacceptable to publically attack or directly refute Li-Ning responds to each fan. Li-Ning notes a fan’s concerns and promises to consider their feedback to improve their product and brand. Li-Ning thanks the fan for their input.commentators. Instead, you may be able to deal withthese situations by: In social media, brands will receive fan support and - Responding to complaints or negative feedback with positive affection, and at the same time can be targeted withresponses. criticism and doubt. Brands should react quickly - Leaving a response, and then if appropriate deleting the original and use a positive tone to influence negative voicescomment after gaining the acknowledgement of the poster. and work to convert them into potential brand - Using the brand page’s mailbox to actively keep in touch with ambassadors. Through this case, Li-Ning wasfans, gaining the acknowledgement of those fans and then deleting the able to turn negative feedback into positive brandcomment. support.Although it is not necessary to delete all negative comments, you do Li-Ning’s brand page operations team responds toneed to delete excessively negative comments by “trolls”, “spammers” each and every comment on a daily basis. Li-Ningor other destructive users. responds to product purchase inquiries, product
  14. 14. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 15 Case study:design suggestions, brand advertisement views andproduct quality complaints. Some fans will even Lufthansa respondstalk with Li-Ning about personal matters, includingmarriage announcements. Of course, Li-Ning will to questions andcongratulate the fan, just like a friend would. requests Lufthansa Airlines recently changed their Renren page name to “Lufthansa Flight Clan” with the goal of attracting Chinese users who are interested in, or live in, Europe. On Renren, Lufthansa provides fans with information onResponding to a fan commenting that they prefer the company’s previous logo, Li-Ning explains thereasoning for adopting the new logo and its background. European tourism, study abroad, and other related topics. Fans can participate in monthly prize contests and promotions, and use the site to learn more about Lufthansa’s China operations. Lufthansa responds patiently to each user question and comment, fromA fan asks about Li-Ning’s newest product line, wondering if they carry a woman’s size. Li-Ning thenpoints out which shoes are for men and women in the new line. inquiries on special price tickets, flight routes, and luggage, to frequent flier programs. On the morning of the third day, Li-Ning responded to the three users respectively in a polite and open manner to express its appreciation. Afterwards,A fan is curious if Li-Ning will sign on tennis players for future promotions. Li-Ning responds thatthey already have deals with international and Chinese tennis players and lists them. the first fan responded that he hopes for Li-Ning’s continued growth and believes the brand can make Chinese consumers proud.A fan makes an inquiry on sponsorship for an activity that fits with Li-Ning’s positioning. Li-Ning givesthe fan an email address to send their plan to Li-Ning. Li-Ning thanks the fan for their support and saysthey will consider their plan. Lufthansa provides the link for frequent flier membership for a fan inquiry. A fan asks for student itinerary for a roundtrip flight between Shanghai and Edinburgh, Lufthansa redirects the fan to a page listing price and times for flights.A fan makes a complaint about the sizing and shape of Li-Ning shoes. Li-Ning responds by askingthe fan to provide details on the problem and will redirect them to the sales department to resolvethe issue. A fan asks about luggage weight costs for a flight from France to China. Lufthansa responds saying that student tickets generally allow up to 30kg of luggage, but the program is not available France. Lufthansa then makes an apology.As mentioned, some fans will share their personal life with Li-Ning. One fan makes a weddingannouncement on the Li-Ning brand page, and Li-Ning gives them a big congratulations! A fan is having problems with their frequent flier card and their miles are not being counted. Lufthansa responds saying that the miles can be added on and provides the fan with a link to customer service. A fan suggests adding a new direct flight between Nanjing and Dusseldorf, in addition to the Frankfurt route. Lufthansa patiently responds saying that it would regretfully not be possible due to a lack of infrastructure.
  15. 15. Responding to During a crisis, companies should take a calm approach and avoid panicking or lashing out. While interacting withnegative feedback and fans, praise and criticism are two sides of the same coin. Once negative feedback or a latent crisis emerges, thecommunicating with brand should actively respond with positive feedback as best as it can, listen to fans’ opinions, and then works tobrand fans during a resolve the crisis in a timely manner. Below is the general procedure for resolving social media crises.crisis A general guide to dialogue flow in resolving an issue/crisis Take reasonable actions to fix the issue and let customer know Positive Negative Yes Yes No Do you want to Assess the Evaluate the Does customer need respond? message purpose more information? Yes Yes No Appropriately and Unhappy Are the facts No Response carefully correct the customer? correct? facts No Yes Can you add No Dedicated Yes Are the facts No value? complainer? correct? No Yes Leave a well- Yes Explain what is being Thank the Seeking Is the problem thought done to correct the person attention? being fixed? response issue Yes No Ignore and monitor complaint
  16. 16. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 17Promoting Your Brand Page Attracting fans from the brand page to your storeQuickly gain brand fans · Social Ads: Social ads provide exposure and clicks, certain apps to guide fans to their brand page. Your company but more importantly they enable users to spread the can use the free game app and infuse advertisements into advertisement themselves. Creative advertisements the game. Dell placed an advertisement into the popular and user interactive features (sharing, liking, voting, Renren Restaurant app, and within four days attracted downloading, attending, one-click purchase, etc.) can act as 104,398 new fans with 38,893 joining in one day alone. a trigger for word-of-mouth marketing. The brand page and advertisements should include sharing functions for fans, such as the “like” button, to enhance promotion. Sharing features provide greater exposure for your brand. The more fans the company has, the more advertisement exposure increases and the higher · Integrate with other digital communication channels: You the ROI. Also, Flash Box can use Renren brand page to post information from other allows users to directly interact in advertisements and post platforms such as Sina Weibo. Conversely, you can use other flash content in the news feed. platforms to advertise your Renren brand page, for example by adding a button on your company website.  · Using offline communication channels: You can provide the address for your company’s Renren brand page on other promotional items such as coupons, brand publications and printed advertisements, and invite them to follow the brand on Renren. · Search engine optimization (SEO): Brand Page search engine optimization is similar to having a good URL; · Application encoding: Renren offers users with a number choosing a good name, description and keywords are of social game apps and provides space for ad placements essential for the success of the page. in each game. Companies can make use of the popularity of
  17. 17. Integrating online and offline activitiesClosing the gap: let fans take the lead in offline events “Renren LBS” motivates fans to shop In November 2010, Renren released “ Renren LBS”, a location based service for mobile phone users. Using its Case study: Li-Ning large number of mobile users, “ Renren LBS” is a powerful tool for social, local, mobile (SoLoMo) technology. is more than just an online friend Social media provides a way to maintain Case study: Master Kong Daily C ‘check- connections for users and brands, but relations should not be limited to the internet. Social media in and win a drink’ gives brands and fans an opportunity to meet in person and build real relationships. Li-Ning invited brand page fans to attend an offline rebranding In June 2011, Master Kong Daily C used “Renren event. Attendees were given a voucher for limited LBS” and Sina Weibo’s LBS service in 16 cities for edition Full-String line running shoes, met with a new beverage promotion. Mobile phone users the designers of Li-Ning’s Cross-Border line, could log on to the LBS service at any of the 39 and interacted with Play designer Rei Kawakubo drink sample locations in China and instantly and illustrator Filip Pagowski. Brand fans were receive event information and coupons. Once a able to witness Li-Ning’s brand in action, and user successfully checked-in, the system would many attendees also had their own personal send a news feed post to their friends. Within 12 experiences with Li-Ning. One member of the Li- days, over 10,000 users checked-in and over 90% Ning sponsored Tsinghua University shooting team of participants exchanged their coupons for drinks; was in attendance and shared his experience with 60% of users checked-in via Renren. the brand. Li-Ning also selected a few attendees Tip: If you want to use “Renren LBS” to attract and had them share experiences that changed their customers to the store or an event, don’t forget to lives. Videos of their stories were posted on Li- also promote it on the brand page. The brand page Ning’s website and SNS site for the company’s 20th provides a forum for users to meet before going to anniversary celebration. the event.
  18. 18. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 19Finding and engaging Case study:opinion leadersFinding and engaging opinion leaders is key in developing Watsons’ strategya brand page. Opinion leaders provide reliable brandtestimonials, and are often more effective at interacting for developingwith other fans than the company itself. There is a numberof effective methods to discover and foster opinion opinion leadersleaders. During early stages, the brand page should set up a strategy to develop opinion leaders. WatsonsUse daily observations and analysis to find the most monitored and evaluated fan participation levels,active fans and developed evaluation standards as the number of fans increased. Based on data analysis,It is easy to find that there are a few particularly active Watsons discovered which fans were opinionfans on the brand page when you conduct your daily leaders for the brand. These fans had relativelymaintenance or use analytical tools. The company should similar characteristics: as a group, they were active,pay attention to this group of fans and learn their interests possessed a high understanding of personal careand behavior. It is important to give these fans extra and Watsons products, and were willing to helpencouragement because they are likely to influence other other fans by posting and responding to By doing so, you will help build brand loyalty and Watsons fostered dialogue and designed specialthese fans will gradually develop into opinion leaders. interactive events for these active users, including a competition to determine the “best commentator”Develop opinion leaders based on marketing goals on its brand page. Through material and verbal encouragement, these loyal and active fansSpontaneously developed opinion leaders have their became opinion leaders for Watsons.own personalities. However, if the company wants tohave some opinion leaders precisely convey corporateinformation, it can actively cultivate these types offans. Employees, for example, often have the greatestunderstanding of company ideals and goals. By havingreal employees convey company viewpoints andcommunicating with others through a personal socialmedia account, content becomes more credible for otherfans.Use celebrities or grassroots figures who have a toneconsistent with the company messageCelebrities have an obvious and powerful effect in media.The company can invite a celebrity with an image andpersona similar to the brand to participate in an onlineevent. With continued celebrity support, the levels offans will increase and negative comments tend to drop asspokespeople lend credibility through endorsement.
  19. 19. Using your brand page enter each ambassador’s personal page. On the page, users can make inquiries, interact, and maketo increase sales appointments.Renren provides brands with a platform for communicationwith fans, and in this self-defined space companies can Exclusive offers for fanspost physical store information or promotion activities onthe brand page. The key is figuring out how to generate fan After amassinginterest and transform it into sales. fans through its representative- led activities, Case study: How Dell initiated a series of Dell sells PCs on exclusive offer events through the company’s brand page. Renren In December, 2010, Dell launched a Christmas promotion combining an interactive game on their To facilitate sales, Dell moved its entire flagship brand page with a coupon promotion, marking the store onto its Renren brand page. Currently, Dell first time coupons and an interactive event were maintains daily interaction with over 730,000 fans. combined on Renren. The event attracted many Keeping close ties with fans has generated real first-time fans to the page. Users played onsite sales. games and earned points. Fans then converted their points into coupons for Dell products. Building a flagship store Turning relationships into sales In order to encourage fans In April 2011, to interact with Dell launched the Dell brand the “Dell page, Dell set Money Jar” up a flagship program. The store on its event took brand page. advantage of Fans can use coupons to buy products from the Renren’s real- online flagship store, gather product information or life user relationships and converted them into talk with sales associates. actual sales. “Dell Money Jar” encouraged fans to use Renren to earn points and buy Dell products. Building up a network Fans could complete tasks and gain the support of others to earn credits and then convert them into Accompanying coupons. After 15 weeks, Dell gathered 125,179 the flagship new fans and successfully sold 3,887 computers, store, Dell generating over $US2.88 million. Most surprising also set up an is that over 300 of the computers sold through the online “campus event were high-end gaming laptops—this reflects ambassador” the purchasing power and brand recognition of page. Dell social media users. posted company agent information directly on the brand page which allows users to click on an icon and
  20. 20. MSL China Executive Whitepaper Anyone Could Be Your Brand Ambassador 21Measuring the Results ofYour Brand Page The input-output measures of social media marketingMeasuring return on measured by simply adding impressions and clicks. This standard for Social Advertising must take into account theinvestment (ROI) secondary transmission effects of users disseminating brand messages, as well as the new fans earned across Paid,Many companies still use traditional methods of measuring Earned and Owned meida.ROI by using cost per mile (CPM) and cost per click (CPC)in social media. Actually, the value of social media should Brand recognition, preference, pre-orders andnot be strictly limited to counting the number of clicks and recommendationsviews; there are also hidden values such as word-of-mouthexchanges and the inherent value of fans. Nielsen examined the results of several brands’ advertisement placements on Renren and noticed that theMeasuring the value of social media exposure and page views originating from word-of-mouth had a key influence on the brand and sales. Word-of-mouthIn November, 2010 Renren released “Renren Effect - has an obvious impact on brand recognition, consumerStandard Metrics for SNS Social Advertising” as a way to preference, pre-orders and recommendations that surpassesmeasure the values of Paid, Free and Owned Media. paid advertisement placements.This model quantifies word-of-mouth exposure and viewtotals as a factor in ROI. Renren Effect shows that in social The value of brand fansnetworking site real relationships are able to developinto a unique social advertising and communications Apart from word-of-mouth, companies are particularlymechanism and enables each fan to become a potential interested in the value of brand fans. Nielsen released aambassador for the brand. Companies can pay for report on the consumer value of 50 companies’ brand fansadvertisement placement, establish free word-of-mouth to help companies precisely estimate the value of each fan.exchanges through fans, and also use their brand page as Synchronizing Renren’s brand page statistical report systema standalone advertising entity. with Nielsen’s findings allows companies to more effectively gauge the value of fans and better operate their RenrenThe value of an Internet Advertising can no longer be brand page. Enhanced effects for different social-ads Ad recollection Ad content Brand Brand Brand pre- Brand recollection recognition preference orders recommen- dations Based on 10 brands on Renren
  21. 21. MSL China regularly publishes Executive Whitepapers with insightsand comments on trends, the industry and society as a whole.To get information from MSL China or to subscribe to futurewhitepapers, as well as to contact us for any other matter, please sendus an e-mail on greaterchina@mslgroup.comor call us +86 21 5169 9311 (SH) or +86 10 8573 0688 (BJ).MSL China Executive WhitepaperApril 2012Copyright ® MSL China