Social Buzz judge David Parkinson from Nissan: Loyalty isn't built, it's earned

With the deadline for the Social Buzz Awards, in association with iomart Group and sponsored by Meltwater, extended to 30 August due to demand, The Drum catches up with judge David Parkinson, general manager EMEA for social and digital engagement at Nissan to talk loyalty, changes in social and what he will be looking for in the judging.

David Parkinson

How can brands build loyalty via social communities?

Loyalty isn’t built, its earned and to earn it you have to be out there and engaging in an honest and proactive manner – social is about building that two way relationship with influentials in communities and helping them with what it is they need – be it advice, support, help or just to talk. Then its up to them – but be sure, you need the organisation behind you to achieve that – community managers cannot do it if they don’t have the right support from the right business departments.

How can brands use social engagement to create the same level of impact or brand awareness as traditional advertising?

Lets not kid ourselves – Social DOES NOT create Mass awareness (unless your very lucky/unlucky and hit the news for the right/wrong) – so we keep talking about competing in an uneven playing field that we don’t need to compete in. What social can do is provide advertising to the right person at the right time – and done right produce results from that effective and honest communication – advertising says “Oi - buy our Stuff” – social engagement says “hey, we have what your looking for, can I help?”

What will you be looking for during Social Buzz judging?

I want to see entries that understand the meaning of people and engagement and do it in an honest and authentic way – I don’t want to see advertising turned into social – I want to see social that by its nature supports the person engaging in what they needed (be it services, goods or just some good old fashioned fun…)

What has been the biggest change in social media so far this year?

A: For the UK I can feel the tipping point starting in social for people using it where its no longer new, its ubiquitous to their daily lives, including their consumer lives – I’ve seen in the last 3 month alone many more people coming to social for advice and support then in the months previous. This fits with where we are compared to the US several years back and where we sit on the adoption curve. I see Europe doing the same in the next 12 – 18 months.

Parkinson is set to speak at the Social Buzz Awards panel during Social Media Week, looking at the good, the bad and the ugly of social.

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