Making social impact on a global scale (Interview)

Leah Pope SynthesioSocial media campaigns, while providing brands an interactive promotional platform and offering unparalleled insight into their potential customers’ likes and dislikes, can lose some of their bite when scaled up.

We spoke to Leah Pope, CMO for social intelligence business Synthesio, about how to ensure social campaigns retain their impact on a global scale.

What are some of the most common misunderstandings or mistakes you see brands making as they start scaling their social media activity to a global audience?

One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is not understanding enough about their global audiences. Social intelligence platforms can tell you so much about your audience and how they react differently, what they like, what they don’t, who they are, what their interests are, when they want to interact with your brand etc. Yet your audience changes drastically from one region to the next, or between demographics. It’s important to understand how your different audience groupings will react to your campaigns so that you can optimise, measure and benchmark.

Are there any brands you see currently running a successful global social media intelligence programme? What are they doing right?

There are many brands that have learned to run great global social intelligence programmes, and one of the first that comes to mind is Nissan. They are very skilled at making changes to their campaigns on the fly – they’re clearly analysing everything and utilising the data properly. Nissan truly listens to their customers and audiences before, during, and after campaigns to target the right content and optimise based on audience reactions. Based on how they change their campaigns, it’s clear that they’re benchmarking their campaigns and acting on what they’ve learned to create better and more optimised campaigns.

How has the global social media game changed for brands over recent years? What new challenges and opportunities have arisen?

Brands have access to so much more data now than they have ever had before. Social media has truly become the world’s largest (and free) focus group, brands just need to know how, and have the proper tools to listen to what their audience is saying. A proper social media intelligence programme can give you more information and insight into your online reputation, audience, campaigns, and overall work than brands have ever been offered before, which is what makes it so exciting.

However, it has created the big challenge of how to use the data to gain real business impact from the work you are doing. Social data cannot live in a silo, it must be analysed for insights and distributed across teams for action. This means that social intelligence programmes must also include an insights distribution and technology and team ecosystem plan to ensure that all teams can act on the intelligence they are gathering programmatically. Social ROI is also huge challenge that digital marketers face every day, but the ones who properly benchmark their campaigns and align social KPIs to real business metrics are able to successfully tie their social and digital efforts to business impact for their senior executives.

What trends and regions should brands be getting excited about?

We have always been proponents of breaking down the silos that have traditionally limited social to a marketing, or even a specific social, team. These silos prevent the data from being as impactful as possible, as it makes it harder to get it in front of the right people. We are now seeing brands and businesses break those silos down and embrace cross-organisational social structures that allow the data to flow freely throughout an organisation, granting everyone access to it. This is very exciting for those of us in this industry who have been waiting to see this happen for years.

One area that we are seeing growing in social maturity pretty quickly is APAC. The region is still somewhat playing catch-up with North America and EMEA, but it has grown very quickly and has really embraced social intelligence. This is something that I personally am thrilled to be witnessing, but is also not very surprising. We anticipated this, which is why we were the first in our industry to open an office and establish a physical presence in APAC.

Are there any lesser-known, perhaps geographically-specific, platforms that brands should be paying attention to?

As a global tool, we believe that the only way to truly get the most out of your data is to have a complete global picture. Social media conversations, even brand-specific conversations, aren’t limited by geographic region, so it is important to capture everything. This is why we believe that geographically-specific regional platforms aren’t the best platforms to use – they’ll only paint an incomplete picture for you.

To find out more about how to effectively scale up a social media campaign, check out Synthesio’s whitepaper Implementing a Global Social Intelligence Program at Scale.

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