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Blog post
June 25, 2019

How can brands build trust across all channels in a fragmented news environment?

While we can all acknowledge that there are many hard lessons to be learned from 2016, from a Marketer’s standpoint, one in particular stands out for me. The nature of traditional media and social media becoming two contrasting superpowers that must be wielded with collaboration and caution.

The recent US presidential election may have the most lopsided traditional media vs social media messaging the world has ever seen. Hillary Clinton had over 200 mainstream media outlets supporting her campaign – Trump had 6.* Social media on the other hand, was a wildly different story. Trump’s highly sophisticated social media targeting campaign paid off, with overall chatter and positive sentiment seen to be building around him. In short, the key messages around Clinton on traditional media were not aligned with the messages on social media – spelling total disaster for her Presidential campaign.

Here in Singapore, we know that to achieve sustainable and favourable brand equity, an organisation’s messages must be communicated across all relevant channels. What is less common practice is the ongoing monitoring and analysis that is required to ensure that messages don’t slip off course. In today’s media jungle, traditional media pinches stories from social media and social media puts its own spin on traditional media stories. Buzzfeed has built its entire existence on this practise. As a result, it’s becoming trickier for organisations to manage their brand reputation. Consumers don’t see a traditional media strategy and a social media strategy, they just see the brand. If misalignment of brand messaging becomes more visible to consumers, it can be very dangerous territory. Consumers feel the brand isn’t connected with them (its customers) and that the brand is maybe trying to cover something up.

We can illustrate this point further in infographic 1. It shows that there are many potential message gaps in the communications chain that leave an organisation vulnerable. For example, when an organisation communicates its messages to the traditional media, it is maybe doing so without having assessed the appetite for the specific messaging on social media and vice versa. Furthermore and the most importantly, there is likely to be a message gap in what the company is pushing out as its key messages to traditional media, and what consumers are actually discussing and engaging with on social media.

Using the example of a local Trade Agency, who was keen to look at this message gap in more detail. From studying the messages communicated to traditional media against the key messages being discussed on social media, Isentia were able to identify clear gaps and areas for improvement.

As you can see, there was a clear disconnect in how the traditional media was discussing the issue against the actual consumers on social media. This is particularly stark for the example of Jobs Growth, where the net sentiment around the prospect of Jobs Growth was -16. To help shift the negative sentiment for this particularly company, it comes down to improved online visibility. Armed with these insights, the organisations can team up with relevant micro-influencers to help in clarifying the messages and humanising the overall campaign.

What can brands do to ensure coherent brand perception across traditional media and social media?

Listen. Do you know how your last brand campaign played out on traditional media vs social media? Media monitoring tools are an essential in understanding when, where and how you have been mentioned in the media.

Measure. Now you have done the listening, what are the actionable insights that can be gained? Where should your team focus their time?

Diversify. Diversifying your communications assets can be hugely beneficial to aligning your media strategy as it means it’s not just one voice pushing the same message – for example, utilising the right micro-influencers, creating a content hub and facilitating unique brand collaborations.

References:

*Politico.com

**Favourability scored worked out in accordance with CARMA methodology, providing a score out of 100, with 50 being the neutral point.

***Net sentiment= positive sentiment – negative sentiment

Featured at Singapore’s Australia Chamber of Commerce magazine

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Tips for Weibo success

With over 600 million registered users and 100 million daily users, Weibo is one of China’s most popular social networks – and one that is essential for brands looking to reach Chinese consumers. However, to engage users and ultimately achieve Weibo success, it’s essential to understand both the Chinese social media landscape and how Chinese users utilise social media.

What is Weibo?

Weibo is a microblogging network often referred to as the “Chinese Twitter”, but in reality it’s a fusion of Facebook and Twitter.

Posts are public and limited to 140 characters, and users can also post videos, music and images. However, like Facebook, users can also comment on posts and play games with each another. Weibo also utilises gamification with a medal system to encourage users to spend more time online, and to interact with other users and brands.

How can brands drive engagement on Weibo?

On Weibo, it’s all about understanding the Chinese digital landscape, culture and the way users post and consume content on the platform. If you’re looking to engage with Chinese consumers on this social media giant, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Take advantage of rich media functionalities

While Twitter allows brands to share either videos or pictures in tweets, Weibo offers a rich media experience where posts can contain both videos and images. Brands such as Lancôme have used Weibo’s gallery format to produce creative image displays that garner thousands of likes, while Oreo drove engagement by creating a competition where parents could create emojis from their photos and share with friends and families.

At the very least, you can use Weibo’s rich media to complement your current content marketing efforts and share a variety of posts including videos, images, galleries and links. Also remember that Weibo users respond well to fun competitions and sharing mechanisms, so image-based competitions and Weibo apps can help your brand achieve cut-through.

2. Optimise your content for the platform

Weibo is a great place to share diverse media, however you need to tailor your social media efforts to the platform and Chinese users. Like any other social network, duplicating content is not the most effective solution and success on Weibo requires an understanding of what content resonates with Chinese consumers.

At a basic level, every post needs to be in Chinese to make it accessible to your target market. However, to achieve true engagement and grow your community, it helps to create campaigns dedicated to Chinese users – for example, using local brand ambassadors that are popular among your target market, creating apps or competitions for Chinese New Year, or using dedicated hashtags to compile your content in one place like Twitter.

3. It’s not just what you know, but who you know

Networking is crucial to success in the Chinese market, and on social networks it’s no different. Whether it’s selecting a prominent Chinese celebrity or influencer to be a brand ambassador, or utilising a foreign celebrity who has plenty of clout in China, this is a great way to rapidly build a presence on Weibo, increase engagement and establish trust in your brand.

4. Be authentic in your posts

While half of all Weibo users may click on popular ads, that doesn’t mean users respond well to pure advertisements. The brands that succeed on Weibo put content marketing first, providing Chinese consumers with entertaining blog posts, videos and images that generate interaction through comments or shares.

Keep your tone of voice light, friendly and accessible – as if you were talking to a friend – and keep the promotional posts to a minimum. Sharing other users’ posts and adding emojis to your copy could work wonders as well.

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Blog
Want to be a Weibo Guru?

With over 600 million registered users and 100 million daily users, Weibo is one of China’s most popular social networks – and one that is essential for brands looking to reach Chinese consumers.

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In today’s evolving corporate world, personal branding is becoming increasingly important as we see more emphasis on, and interest in, the people and personalities behind the scenes.

Regardless of age, position or the stage of your career, investing time in setting up your personal brand is extremely important, both for current and future employment opportunities.

“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room” Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com

Through an amalgamation of multiple daily actions, it is important to establish and communicate who you are and what you stand for – every picture you share, every tweet you send, every status update you make, contributes to your personal brand.

Having an effective brand can (and will) attract business opportunities and highlight your strengths as a subject matter expert, and as a future employee.

If you don’t define your own personal brand, others will!

Many successful entrepreneurs have achieved strong personal brands focusing on their point of difference to leverage their exposure and reach. 

Elon Musk, for example, has more Twitter followers than 3 of his companies (Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity) combined. The same goes for Richard Branson, (Virgin) and Arianna Huffington (Thrive Global). 

Having a strong personal brand generates conversations and enhances community relationships. When setting up your personal brand, the most important step is to lay a foundation that is authentic and can engage your audience strategically. Here are some things to consider when creating your personal brand:

·         Vision – what do you want to be known for? Do you want to be known as a go-to expert on XYZ topic? What would that be?

·         Mission – why do you want to build a personal brand? What is your purpose? Who do you want to influence? What do you want to accomplish?

·         Key messages – What is the key message you want to communicate? What message do you want to portray in your content and in your marketing? Will you give advice to your audience? What would it be?

·         Values – these are your operating principles and they impact how you feel, behave and react. When you are in alignment with your values, you portray energy, confidence and provide your availability to others.

·         Personality – what are some of your personal characteristics and traits you can incorporate into your brand? Your personality can have a profound effect on what careers are suited to you and the audience you attract.

·         Strengths – it’s important to identify the strengths and qualities that power your image and messaging. Build on these strengths and seek out opportunities to demonstrate your skills in these areas to your audience.

Developing your corporate personal brand can require some time and thought, but it’s a powerful leadership enabler that can help showcase your authenticity and expertise to an audience beyond your immediate peers.

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Blog
How to set up your personal corporate brand for the new year

In today’s evolving corporate world, personal branding is becoming increasingly important as we see more emphasis on, and interest in, the people and personalities behind the scenes.

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With the rise of social media marketing, the demand for dedicated social media community management grows; but what is it and how does it work?

A community manager is an increasingly vital role for effectively managing social media accounts. Controlling the day-to-day operations of the online experience across multiple social channels is no small task, and one that is often a missed opportunity for improving reputation, experience and customer advocacy. With a direct connection to many different, and important audiences, community managers also are indirect brand ambassador - engaging with potential customers, building relationships with existing customers, and encouraging the advocates to talk to each other.

Social media is a fluid industry, and because of this, a community manager specialist can be incredibly valuable. Taking on the responsibility of staying up to date with the latest social trends, rules, and opportunities and all while providing confident, professional and timely responses to anything thrown their way.

Focus areas for community managers: 

  • Reporting on performance and measuring the level or quality of engagement
  • Gauging sentiment around their brand
  • Providing insights based on statistics and customer feedback
  • Using listening tools to monitor share of voice, share of audience and any risk indicators for early crisis management
  • Identifying new ways to engage on each platform, aligned with company or brand strategy

Community management

When it comes to community management, it’s not simply about championing the brand, but also listening to customers and their valuable feedback. Gaining a more in depth understanding of social audience and what they want, can provide more chances of attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.

It’s best to not think of community management or social media in general as a separate element of a business, instead think about how community management integrates into part of your everyday client experience and your strategic planning process. If left as an afterthought, you run the risk of audiences feeling unappreciated, unheard or misunderstood that can lead to further damage offline, or spiral into negative chatter online that encourage more of this same sentiment.

Community management enables social media and business operations to be interrelated - ensuring business objectives correlate with the social media plan and the social media community is properly defined.  For those brands and businesses who seek to build out a strong social media presence, there are a few aspects to consider when creating a successful community management environment.

1.         Implement an effective escalation process

Social media crises are bound to happen and can have a negative impact on a brand. While negative chatter can start elsewhere, having a crisis plan that includes social media is crucial to addressing customers in the chance of an unforeseen event and is an important aspect of community management. Having an effective escalation process in place (that is also documented) is a good way to quickly rectify issues - even when the community manager is not present to oversee. With an escalation process timeline in place, it ensures the right people are engaged when it is required and provides clear instruction on what needs to be done, by who and by a specific timeframe. During the time of a crisis, response time and transparency are critical to mitigate any further damage to the brand’s reputation. The sooner customers are correctly informed, the better.

2.       Frequently asked questions

We live in an environment where instant gratification is sought after – responses are wanted quickly and solutions even faster. Regardless of the context, all customer interactions should be addressed in a timely manner to make customers feel valued and encourage their brand loyalty. Questions or comments are often plentiful and having a community manager addressing them will ensure customers are provided the correct answer and can encourage greater brand loyalty, or even advocacy.

Having a consistent tone of voice is also important for community managers and customising responses makes for a more personal interaction, whilst also providing the opportunity to reflect key messages or care for their customers. Community managers have the ability to seek the correct answer for customers instead of providing generic responses that may not be entirely relevant. It’s all about providing an exceptional customer experience, and community managers have the power to do just that – listen, respond promptly, with something relevant and with a little personality.  

3.       Community management is proactive

Having a dedicated person to listen, monitor and respond to community blogs, forums and social pages will enable a better understanding on the what is being said and by who in the community as well as in the media. It’s important to be across topical trends and conversations happening across various social media channels and by incorporating a community manager into the business’ strategy will ensure the relevant stakeholders are kept informed and issues from social channels are addressed. Often community managers will work within Marketing or Communications teams and use the same media monitoring tools as their team to report on social media responsiveness, tone, trends and where conversations have overlapped online or off. 

Community management can be beneficial when there are specific guidelines to adhered to, for example industry body regulation or product recall protocols. They can also check what’s going on in the news and seek out opportunities to create engaging content that’s relevant to the customer base and using appropriate hashtags to promote further engagement. Often taking the more traditional conversation into a two-way forum to be seen as the facilitator of an important or relevant conversation.

Having a great community manager can improve the effectiveness of brand, marketing communications and business strategy. It enables greater control of a brand or businesses presence across social channels, and the ability to react appropriately in the event of a crisis by effectively engaging with customers. They also help promote an interactive and friendly conversations between customers and ensure all social chatter promotes a positive reputation.  

If you would like more information on how you can monitor share of voice about your brand or related topics, get in touch with us today.

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Blog
3 reasons to consider social media community management

Having a great community manager can improve the effectiveness of brand, marketing communications and business strategy.

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Understand the importance of sentiment and the value the reputation and how they’re mutually beneficial

Sentiment analysis is a valuable tool for brand reputation and management. Understanding the perception your clients have about your brand defines the operation of your business.

Using sentiment can harness strong brand equity. It also provides opportunity for your business to monitor, measure and maintain a strong reputation.

Want to learn more about the value sentiment and brand reputation?

Download our whitepaper below or get in touch with our team to discuss your needs.

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Whitepaper
A deep dive into sentiment and the value of reputation

Using sentiment analysis to measure customer opinions and attitudes towards your brand, products, services or campaigns can provide valuable insight into maintaining a positive brand reputation.

Ready to get started?

Get in touch or request a demo.