Canon Oceania's Nina Spannari on why social media is crucial for the brand

Canon also functions as enablers of sorts, providing great products and much more.

Canon's users advocate for the brand on social media because the platform is a visual medium that inspires, connects and creates opportunities for people to express themselves. It is also essentially the imaging equipment giant’s brand purpose.

This is according to Nina Spannari, assistant general manager of digital marketing at Canon Consumer Imaging (CCI) Oceania, in an interview with The Drum. She adds that Canon also functions as enablers of sorts, providing great products and much more.

“This includes experiences, knowledge and training, project assistance and so on to help people do what they do best: show their unique worldview. The value of this approach and these platforms for us is evident in the significant organic monthly growth we’re still able to achieve despite those pesky algorithms,” she explains.

Spannari, who was originally scheduled to conduct a workshop at the upcoming Engage 2018, a summit for social media and digital marketing professionals in Bali, Indonesia from 1-3 March, goes on to explain that the beauty of social media is the ability to have two-way communication and foster relationships with Canon’s community, which helps the company become a storytelling brand.

“The stories we tell are not ours but those of the users of our products so social is a conduit to hear from our community and for the community to interact among themselves,” she says. “Visual storytelling poses many questions about what’s going on behind the image as much as in the image itself, so this free exchange is valuable for the community.”

In Southeast Asia, Canon recently launched a campaign with Uber, where both companies used the data to find the least visited places in the region and sent photographers to find out what was interesting, as a way of encouraging people to find new experiences in their cities.

Spannari highlights that Canon has had many similar partnerships in Oceania in recent years aimed at connecting audiences through shared interests such as travel and adventure. She also points out that Canon is the only photo brand in Australia with a dedicated team of expert photography tutors, called the 'Canon Collective'.

“Knowing that four wheel drivers love to capture their weekend or holiday adventures, we recently teamed up with Australian 4WD authority Pat Callinan to help his audience do just that,” she explains. “Their digital and social channels were a great way to reach people with inspiring video tips and tutorials demonstrating the difference that a little knowledge and high-quality photography can make to the enjoyment of their off-road adventures.”

However, Spannari is keen to stress that engaging with influencers is not a social media strategy for Canon because it is core to what it stand for as a brand. “We see every customer as an influencer and across the board we look to how we can contribute to people doing more with their imaging and maximising their satisfaction,” she says.

“This leads to genuine advocacy. In the social media realm our direct relationships help us identify community members who would like to take part in activating our programs, or Instagram takeovers, or face-to-face Instameets. Authenticity is key for everyone and it’s something we manage directly as a brand based on the simple principle of value exchange, not cash for comment,” Spannari adds.

Aside from Canon, Starhub and Tinkle International will also be conducting workshops at Engage 2018, while speakers for the event includes Vanessa Lim Singh from World Wildlife Fund, Tom Fishburne from Marketoonist, Tina Moore from New Zealand Media and Entertainment, and Philip Kitcher from Stylehaul.

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