According to Dr Ben Coker of the University of Melbourne, we are biologically hard-wired to learn methods of communication that provide group survival, status and accentuated group harmony. And the ability to constantly share whatever we are thinking on social media, wherever we want and with whomever we want has resulted in a population that lives life through multiple screens, constantly transmitting content to an audience that has no boundaries. In other words, we are all driven to find a sense of belonging, earning social currency through our interactions, which is a powerful motivator for people to share content on social media and be celebrated for it.
This need to belong has now led to a plethora of freely distributed information available online, and with social media users sharing their every thought online there are opportunities for some brands to leverage this achieve extraordinary results in this minefield. Take Woolworths, for example. This week, they were trending on social media, simply due to a piece of cheeky community management. The correspondence on a Facebook post between a customer and a Woolworths representative went viral across nearly every major Australian media outlet, which resulted in a huge amount of positive feedback for the brand and apparent customer conversion from Coles to Woolworths (based on comments left on the Facebook post). This demonstrates that by utilising social media content in an authentic way; companies can own media trends and capitalise on customer engagement.
According to Kinship Digital General Manager, Walter Adamson, many companies have a very limited view of how social media marketing can affect their business, when social media data analysis has the power to derive very specific personality insights and therefore direct advertising, marketing and PR campaigns in completely different, positive, directions. As PR practitioners, it is our job to help our clients understand that by tapping into social media data that is freely available, they can gather insights into existing customers and potential customers that they would otherwise not have access to. A perfect success story is that of the partnership between The City of Melbourne and IBM. In 2014, IBM analysed social media usage around the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, the insights they gained then applied to the same event in 2015. According to the event organisers, ticket sales have sky rocketed, which not only is a fantastic result for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week but also for the businesses that will enjoy extra business during this time as well.
Social media provides us with a veritable mine of information, and it’s time we put our hard hats on and plunder the data gold that is available for the taking.
Written by Sarah Cocks – Account Coordinator, Howorth Communications