As part of our drive to understand and discover the best thinking from across the marketing world, we have been lucky enough to engage in conversations with senior marketing leaders from a broad range of industries. Through all our discussions, it is clear that certain themes are top-of-mind for many marketers, so we’ve distilled key insights to share with you here.
Last month, we focused on what it takes to succeed. In this post, we'll hone in on how brands can use social media to engage their customers. We'll hear from top CMOs about their social strategies, what they’ve been able to learn from their customers by being engaged, and how social media can create opportunities to get to know your customers better.
Personalization As A Tool To Increase Engagement
Remember when you were a kid, searching for something at a souvenir shop with your name on it? Personalization makes people feel special and gets their attention. But how can brands utilize personalization on social to increase engagement?
“I think social media is an excellent tool for personalizing customer engagement. Customers sign up for and follow social media platforms and topics on their own accord. If a customer follows a SGI or HPC group on social media, we know by default they are interested and want to be a part of that group. We can personalize our engagement with them, track their interests, and make sure our communications are resonating. Social media is also useful for internal communications. For example, we use Jammer as our internal social media platform, and it has proven to be great for cross-functional employee interactions and dialogue.”—Cassio Conceicao, EVP and Chief Operating Officer, SGI
Transparency As Strategy
When it comes to social, there’s nowhere to hide. Transparency increases trust and provides opportunities to elevate your brand’s reputation. How can companies utilize transparency to their advantage?
“Social media has made it much easier for everyone to check on the company’s reputation in the industry. Now you really need to live your values as a company, because everyone will know if you don’t.”—Justin Schuster, Head of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Acxiom
“My team and I leverage Facebook and Twitter to create continuous communication with our customers. My team and I developed the “Tell us your Amazing” campaign where we generated a huge spike in our social awareness and audience at last year’s Super Computing conference. We received over 150 quality submissions from people telling us what they would do with a Cray. It was challenging to tailor the conversation to the different audiences, while still being relevant and topical. But that was how we proved to the different communities that we were active and the leader in our industry.”—Fred Kohout, CMO of Cray
Listening To Learn
When it comes to customers, listening through social media can provide a big impact. How can social media create learning opportunities and opportunities to go above and beyond customer expectations?
“We leverage social media channels to gather fan preferences. We aggregate this data into one platform to be sure we’re hearing from a good representation of fans; otherwise, we’re primarily hearing the negative feedback because that tends to be the “loudest.” We also learned from the collected data that fans wanted improved Wi-Fi at SAP Center. As a result, we installed a new, state-of-the-art wireless network in the venue, which has enhanced our mobile strategy and allows us instant feedback from our fan base on a number of items. One example is how we are able to source music during the game. The DJ knows what our fans want to hear because we have a better understanding of the genre our fans are interested in hearing.”—Flavil Hampsten, Executive VP, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Shark Sports & Entertainment
“In March, an elderly couple left a comment on Red Robin’s Facebook page about wanting to come into Red Robin, but stated that after paying for a taxi they wouldn’t have enough money to pay for the food, so they decided to hold off visiting until their 52nd anniversary. Our social media community manager heard about the story through Sprinklr and reached out to the couple directly to invite them into the restaurant with a free meal on us so they could enjoy a nice night out together, solidifying what we believe in as a brand.”—Jonathan Muhtar, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews
Success For Less
Social media doesn’t have to break the bank. The most expensive campaign is not necessarily the best campaign. How can brands implement social media into their campaigns and still stay within budget?
“We hired a New Yorker cartoonist and every week we released one new cartoon called “On second thought...Brocade” on our social media channels, and we encouraged our employees and salespeople to post them on their own social media if they desired. After four months, LinkedIn reported that we had the highest performing B2B campaign of all time as measured by engagement, and Twitter gave us weekly measurements that outperformed their previous high water mark campaigns by 300%-1000%. We spent less than $200K in total on the campaign. The content always evoked emotion and engagement, and it allowed us to begin a conversation and pull customers into longer form content or one-to-one discussions.”—Christine Heckart, CMO, Brocade
The potential for engagement on social media is enormous. From gathering valuable insights about your customer's preferences to providing opportunities to engage and surpass expectations, social media helps brands come out on top.