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She Says Scotland

Engage with superfans and appeal to multiple communities, Blonde advises at She Says Scotland event

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

November 18, 2011 | 3 min read

“The route to engagement is two-fold: content and communications”, Deana Burke from Blonde advised at Glasgow’s first She Said Scotland event last night, adding that the content was “the trickier part.”

One of three speakers at the ‘Engagement: The battle for your time’ event, community manager Burke gave her top five tips to help brands create an online presence.

She suggested brands appeal to multiple communities, e.g. Irn Bru recipes appealing to fans of the drink as well as foodies and cupcake fanatics; consider curating for a steady stream of high quality content e.g. guest posts; use segmentation; go offline if possible e.g. sampling campaign, during which you can take photos and ask consumers to tag themselves; and engage their superfans by asking them to test new products or providing them with merchandise to make them feel special.

Also speaking at the event were Elaine McVicar of Equator and Leanne Rinning of Bigmouthmedia/LBi.

McVicar discussed website design for brands, stressing the importance of designing for the user and the client rather than for yourself: “I think a lot of designers have that feeling it’s what you like and what you don’t like. What you’re trying to do is design for the user, also designing for the client as well, and trying to bring the user’s needs together with how the client’s brand can fulfil this need.”

The four stages in the design process, McVicar said, are research, design, evaluate and measure. Before starting to design the website, the objectives and tech requirements must be researched, as well as finding out who the consumers are and what they want. Only when this is done can the design begin, with evaluation to be carried out through the process via user testing to test the key functionality. After completion, the results should be measured to check that users are completing the tasks they should and that they are able to find what they want.

Rinning then looked at the change that social media has brought to brands. Consumers used to be passive, only able to read and see about brands through the traditional media, with the brand controlling the message, but brands are now controlled by the people, who are able to ‘like’ and make their own definitions of the brand known.

With consumers driving the content, Rinning emphasised the importance of being interesting and adventurous, while also making sure that the brand has strong customer service.

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