With judges for the Social Buzz Awards being announced this morning, the deadline for entries is drawing ever closer.
The Drum caught up with one of the judges, Nick Jones, vice president of corporate communications for digital at Visa Europe, to ask him his views on social engagement, the changing world of social…and what he will be looking for in the judging process.
How can brands build loyalty via social communities?
I don’t think it is necessarily a case of ‘building loyalty’. As a marketing term ‘loyalty’ has picked up a lot of baggage over the two decades it’s been a mainstream marketing strategy. It has connotations of ownership. In today’s world of networks and ecosystems such singular loyalty are much rarer. There are more suppliers and more opportunities to consume complex combinations. So, a consumer is less likely to be habitually loyal. A brand has always needed to earn the trust of a consumer and that is no different in social media. That trust is fundamental to whatever type of relationship you seek to build on whatever channel. Social media is no different. Trust is the basis for finding that elusive win-win-win for consumer, the brand and whoever else is in that particular network.
How can brands use social engagement to create the same level of impact or brand awareness as traditional advertising?
It’s not a game of substitution. It’s one of complementarities. They are inter-related. Awareness can be sustained by generating memorable experience along a journey that bridges many channels. Social media can amplify a traditional execution. An ad can incorporate user-generated content.
What will you be looking for during Social Buzz judging?
Creativity. It is now tougher as more and more social media techniques become business-as-usual. We now talk of classic memes which are easy to replicate but have less effective reach. So, how do you create something intriguing enough to generate engagement and that compels that all-important share action.
What has been the biggest change in social media so far this year?
Social media business-as-usual. The strategies and tactics are now mainstream across marketing and comms. How do you deliver stand-out performance when everyone is doing it.
The Social Buzz Awards, which are sponsored by the iomart Group and Meltwater, are open for entries until 16 August. More details and entry information can be found on the Social Buzz website.