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As we approach the end of Social Media Week, we caught the last session at Hearst with Beyond the Like for Lifestyle Brands with presentations by Richard Jones of EngageSciences, Eve Sangenito of Brandwatch, David St. John Tradewell of Econsultancy, We Are Social's Robin Grant and Craig Hepburn, Global Head of Digital and Social for Nokia.

One of the biggest takeaways was an urge for marketers to look beyond sheer numbers and to look at who is engaging and what actions these lead to. Why blanket market to 50,000 fans when only 9,000 are actually bringing in the majority of engagement, shares and revenue.

Richard Jones of EngageSciences kicked off by laying out the groundwork around this topic. To him, and many of us, activation is beyond post engagement. The 'deadbook' problem is just bad management and you need to manage the fan base or your fans won't actually see your posts and content. 

On average 50% of acquired fans won't see any posts within 3 months if they aren't engaged. Your total likes mean nothing now so if you manage your social database like an email database, you can apply principles of segmentation and targeting to your social campaigns.

This can help you reengage your audience so you can manage edgerank and understand dormancy. Just look at the segment of people you are engaging - unengaged fans fall off edgerank and won't see the posts. If you want to leverage social channels you need to be able to understand who is in them.

So it is important to create a customer record. Append their behavior to that record and then you can see how they are driving referrals and the history of engagement.

Advocates are undervalued

The top 4.7% of a brand's following generate almost the entirety of referral campaign conversations with friends with an average of 2.47 referrals per advocate compared to the 0.12 referrals per average fan. This gives them 176.2 times the reach. On average, they post 3.38 entries, send out 38.81 invites, and share 1.83 posts. An average fan will only post 1.7 entries, send out 3.7 invites and share 0.41 posts.

By including your advocates in curated streams like we used for our recent JUMP conference in New York, EngageSciences has seen conversions increase by over 300%. A simple way of engagement by just publishing what fans are saying alongside supporting content.

You can't rely on just sending message to your fans, so when you are looking at Facebook, it is essential to create an app strategy such as Krave (as part of E4 in the UK did) to link TV, social, and mobile ad spend to a target audience.

But how do you apply social analysis to brand strategy?

Eve Sangenito of Brandwatch gave a few guidelines how to best achieve this in five simple steps: 

  1. Define objectives
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Collect data and insights
  4. Take action
  5. Measure and refine

By having social data and your measurement tools in place, action is more possible. For instance, you can use it both reactively and proactively to inform business and brand intelligence. It can make you smarter about how to better to attract, acquire and retain customers (and what matters most to them). It can also be applied across the entire customer lifecycle value chain, accelerating time to revenue and it can help create new business opportunities.

But what are some simple actions you can take once you have collected your data? Sangenito pointed out the following actions that could benefit most businesses:

  • Refine positioning to highlight differentation
  • Develop more relevant content that resonates with your audience
  • Indentify more targeted placement
  • Segment your audience for more accurate engagement
  • Identify top sites to reach more influencers
  • Capitalize on opportunities in the market and competitive landscape

But how is it used in practise?

One of the three case studies given came from Nokia, who we wrote about after they spoke at our New York JUMP conference. Its approach is to find your soulmate in amongst your friends by using tools to find and amplify those voices.

To the team behind social media at Nokia:

  • Social can live offline
  • Social gives us more credibility
  • Social turns employees into advocates
  • Social means being open
  • Social drives collaboration

We will be following up this write up with the Ducati case study from our own David St John Tradewell and We Are Social's Robin Grant will be sharing the Jaguar case study with us in more detail. Until then, here is the live stream of the event which briefly touches on both.

Heather Taylor

Published 22 February, 2013 by Heather Taylor

Heather Taylor is the Editorial Director for Econsultancy US. You can follow her on Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.

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