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Strategy+Business, 8.28.12: Scaling Up Social Media

Strategy+Business, 8.28.12: Scaling Up Social Media

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Published by Brian D. Johnson

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Published by: Brian D. Johnson on Sep 08, 2012
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issue 68
Scaling Up Social Media 
  A survey of senior marketers reveals three capabilities for building better online consumer relationships.
   I   l   l  u  s   t  r  a   t   i  o  n   b  y   F  e   l   i  x   S  o  c   k  w  e   l   l
l   e a d i  n g i   d  e a s 
strengthening social media is on theCEO’s agenda at 40 percent of re-sponding companies and is a topmarketing priority for about 60 per-cent. Seventy-eight percent believethat social media efforts enhancetheir marketing effectiveness; 95percent expect to invest more in so-cial media.Today, two-thirds of respond-ing companies dedicate 5 percent orless of their digital marketing spend-ing to social media. Within threeyears, however, 56 percent of re-sponding companies expect to spend10 percent or more of their digitalmarketing budgets on social media,and 28 percent expect the figure toexceed 20 percent. (See Exhibit.)Companies aiming to take fulladvantage of this expanding socialmedia spending need to scale threeimportant capabilities: community management, content development,and real-time analytics. For innova-tors like Burberry, these capabilitiesare most often combined as a mutu-ally reinforcing system operating under the leadership of the market-ing function. (In Burberry’s case,the company’s creative and designleadership are involved as well.)
Scaling UpSocialMedia
A survey of seniormarketers reveals threecapabilities for buildingbetter online consumerrelationships.
by Christopher Vollmer andKaren Premo
urberry Group PLC has a rich heritage that wouldmake many other compa-nies envious. For more than 150years, this luxury apparel company could credit its success to its instant-ly recognizable brand and timelessyet contemporary designs. But today a new defining element has come tothe fore: branded digital and socialmedia experiences. Just look at how dramatically Burberry has reimag-ined its fashion shows, once effec-tively off-limits to the brands many admirers. Today Burberry streamsits shows to its fans on Facebook (12.8 million as of May 2012) andits audience on YouTube (13.3 mil-lion unique video views and about35,000 subscribers to its channel asof May 2012). Partnering with Twit-ter, the company created the “Tweet- walk,” a real-time feed that show-cases new designs just before they hit the runway. This gave Burberry’sTwitter followers (978,000 as of May 2012) unique “see it first” ac-cess. By leveraging these platforms,Burberry has turned its fashionshows into content-rich social expe-riences that engage millions of fansand interested consumers, ratherthan just a few industry insiders. With these moves, Burberry haspositioned itself on the leading edgeof digital and social media. Andmany other companies are investing similarly in strengthening their so-cial media presence and related ca-pabilities. In the summer and fall of 2011, Booz & Company and Buddy Media, a social enterprise softwareprovider, conducted a quantitativesurvey of 117 leading companies anda series of in-depth interviews withsenior marketing and media execu-tives. The results revealed that
l   e a d i  n g i   d  e a s 
 YouTube channels, Google+ circles,and, most recently, Pinterest boards,they realize quickly that establishing a social media presence is just thebeginning. Community manage-ment — the art and science o con-vening and hosting ans in socialmedia across multiple platorms —quickly emerges as a vitally impor-tant skill.This discipline is critical in es-tablishing a social media communi-ty that is healthy, active, and grow-ing. Further, once visitors becomeans, companies have the responsi-bility to listen to them and rewardtheir behavior with an “always on”experience. Managing real-timecommunities requires expertise thatincludes listening to what ans aresaying; curating the editorial experi-ence; ensuring that the brand’s voiceand presence are coherent; measur-ing the eectiveness o the brandcampaigns against business andbrand objectives; and innovating toanticipate what is next or thebrand’s an base in terms o content,tools, or digital media platorms.Not surprisingly, these new re-quirements also raise concerns. About 50 percent o respondents satheir lack o sucient community management resources represents a major barrier to social media suc-cess, and 55 percent worry that they are losing control o their brandmessages. “You have to be ‘on’ 24/7,”notes a senior executive with a majorapparel brand. “You have to respondto customers all the time. Issues es-calate so ast, you can be held hos-tage by someone in social media.”Many companies are thereoreon the hunt to recruit talent thatcan support high-impact commu-nity management. The community management proessional, partbrand champion, part chie listener,part superan, and always “missioncontrol,” brings a variety o skills tobear on the job. It is a dynamic,complex, and people-intensive unc-tion that requires a usion o analyticand creative expertise.
2. Content development.
Tobuild a robust content developmentcapability, companies must otencompletely reboot their approachesto communications and campaigns. According to one major beveragemarketer, “Old-time brand manag-ers only did TV. Now brand manag-ers have to think about social [me-dia] in everything they do. Do they have sucient content they canshare with their community?”Unlike traditional advertising content, the goal o which is otenawareness or brand recall, social me-dia ocuses on sharable, participa-tion-ocused content that stimulatesconversations and gets the consumerinvolved in and connected to brandstorytelling. A powerul example isNike’s “The Chance,” a global Face-book and YouTube-centric competi-tion developed by Nike agency  AKQA. Over an eight-month peri-od, 75,000 young, undiscoveredsoccer players rom 40 countriescompeted or a lie-changing con-tract with the Nike Academy. Theaspiring athletes were encouraged toBurberry’s deliberate investment inthese digitally ocused capabilitieshas enabled the company to developpowerul, direct, and multiplatormrelationships with its ans and con-sumers, creating unprecedented op-portunities or brand building,product marketing, and consumerengagement. This strategic ocus ondigitizing and socializing its brandand the consumer’s experience o ithas prooundly changed the compa-ny. Says creative director Christo-pher Bailey, “Burberry is now asmuch a media-content company as we are a design company.
Creating a Social Experience
For companies in all sectors, com-munity management, content devel-opment, and real-time analytics rep-resent a new way to build directrelationships with consumers — andthus a major opportunity to generatebusiness value.
Community management.
 As companies begin building brandson Facebook pages, Twitter eeds,
Unlike traditional advertising content, socialmedia focuses on sharable, participation-focusedcontent that stimulates conversations and getsconsumers involved in brand storytelling.
Investing in Engagement
Social media spending as a percentage of the digitalmarketing budget is on the rise
Less than 5%5%–10%10%–20%Over 20%
% of Respondents% Budget28%27%
Sums may not total 100 due to rounding.
Booz & Company/Buddy Media survey

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