May 17, 2020


SMW employees


"What is my role? is the one question every brand should ask themselves before starting their next social movement. "

Henk Campher, VP of Corporate Marketing at Hootsuiteis passionate about connection. Henk leads Hootsuite's global marketing strategy with the goal of promoting brand awareness and market leadership. He is fairly fresh in the role and brings 20 years of storytelling experience to some of the most prestigious brands in the world. He writes compelling stories that change behavior. Brand awareness and leadership are integral to a brand's integrity, and there are numerous examples of the perfected method.

During #SMWONE, he discussed how we could reinterpret the use of social media in an uncertain world.

Here are the key findings and insights:

  • Half of the world will be online by the end of the year
  • Two thirds of consumers identify themselves as "driven by faith".
  • Social media uses not only a megaphone, but also one-on-one conversations

For the individual, a smaller group often means economic survival. It is close efforts with like-minded family members and friends who all combine their work to contribute to greater wellbeing. For companies, an ever growing customer base means economic survival. How can these two groups coexist in a natural, casual and symbiotic way? Social media.

It's an overused saying, but it's still the truth: we're connected now more than ever. By the end of 2020, we'll find half of the world on social media – this is more than just a moment, this is the new normal.

When brands try to join the social media conversation, they have to stay true to their audience and themselves by asking: What is my role? Are you a good neighbor like State Farm? Or are you more like Gym Shark and a daily trainer? Maybe a cheeky friend with whom you can have a beer, like Burger King? Above all, when you define the role of a brand in conversation, it runs smoothly. If you want to participate in the larger conversation, you have to do it authentically.

Participate in the larger talks

The actual conversation takes place on social media, in public forums and in DMs. To have a voice in this conversation that is powerful for a brand. It's about being aware that the conversation is taking place, recognizing what's important to customers, and staying in the moment. Through a precisely coordinated brand identity, the draft is created, how and when to comment on a particular situation – if at all.

Create experiences that you remember

Maya Angelou said it best: people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Social media engagement is an opportunity to create a memory of a shared experience that resonates. There is a growing mood that consumers want to hear from people like them. A modern brand can complement communication with other buyers or even employees. One-to-one private chats contribute to the overall emotional experience of being connected, and “emotions affect loyalty more than anything else,” adds Henk.

Go deeper with data

Henk advises against being "like the terrible guy at the party who only talks about himself" as a brand. Social media is a two-way connection tool. The best communicators are good listeners. Advanced analytics like Hootsuite make brands smarter and faster than their non-listening competition. Through social listening, you can ask important questions: How well is this brand loved? What are competitors talking about? Is our customer happy? This emotional data deepens the efforts for authentic and valuable communication.

Henk mentions Bimbo as an example of successful social listening. In the United States, Bimbo released a special edition of his gansito in red velvet. Bimbo had never considered doing anything similar in Mexico since the popular cake hadn't changed its original recipe since it was made in 1957. Word got around in Mexico that the United States had a special edition of the Gansito and that Mexican consumers were angry that the product was not available locally. "Gansito Red Velvet" became a viral trend topic throughout Mexico.

Bimbo brought the product to Mexico in a limited edition and immediately recorded double-digit percentage increases in sales. Listening is a powerful tool.

The beginning of a conversation with open ears and a strong sense of brand creates an environment that fosters an authentic dialogue. Messaging is further developed by analyzing communication. Social media is a powerful tool for growth and research, but at its core it is still a means of connection.

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