If you’re trying to build a brand through social media or influencers, chances are you’ve experienced a steep learning curve. Well, don’t feel so bad — you have plenty of company according to a new report launched by my employer Razorfish.
According to Fluent: The Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Report, companies still have a long way to go in order to build their brands effectively through social. Consumers surveyed by Razorfish report widespread indifference to brands in the social world. For instance, about 60 percent of consumers don’t bother to seek out opinions of brands via social media.
The notion that brands are finally learning the social ropes is among the Social Influence Marketing myths that Fluent dispels, as discussed by my colleague Shiv Singh, the report’s principal author and editor. Another interesting finding: consumers believe television is more trustworthy than social media advertising when purchase decisions are made:
The problem is actually not all that complicated: marketers are treating social just like TV, as a broadcast mechanism. So actually we should not be surprised that consumers trust TV more than social ads. TV has been around for decades. Consumers are more comfortable with TV in many respects.
We believe the answer is for companies to take advantage of the participatory nature of social and to develop an authentic social voice built on humility and genuine interest in consumers. Comcast is trying to do so through its responsive Comcast Cares account in Twitter. (Speaking as a consumer, I’ve used Comcast Cares to address problems with my bill, and Comcast really does care.) Comcast doesn’t use Twitter to tell you how great it is but to participate in the conversation we’re having about Comcast. Comcast is acting like a brand that does instead of a brand that just talks.
Razorfish works with a number of companies that also demonstrate the right way to build a brand in the social world. I’ve blogged about a number of them, such as Intel, Levi’s, and Mattel. For instance, to build brand awareness among gamers and designers, in 2008 Intel worked with Razorfish to launch the Digital Drag Race. The Digital Drag Race challenged designers to create short films using the Intel Core i7 microprocessor. Intel employed social media influencers (including Intel’s own Michael Brito) and media (including contest entries posted on YouTube) to generate buzz among the design and gaming community.
Fluent is also significant for introducing the SIM Score, designed to help marketers measure the effectiveness of your brand in a world where social influencers hold sway. The SIM Score, created with the help of TNS Cymfony and The Keller Group, measures how much consumers talk about your brand and how positive or negative those discussions are. In Fluent, Razorfish applies the SIM Score to companies ranging from GM to Capital One. Although the SIM Score focuses on the online world, in two industries we correlate the SIM score to the offline world, too.
Let me know what you think of Fluent. Please also visit Shiv Singh’s blog, Going Social Now, where periodically Shiv will provide deeper commentary on Fluent.