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|McCann Worldgroup Goes Into Social Central Mode|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 17:14|
McCann Worldgroup management from across Asia Pacific recently converged in Kuala Lumpur to share trends and best practice in social media at the first McCann Social Central conference. McCann Social Central is a community of digital and social media talent drawn from across the McCann Worldgroup network with one simple goal – to drive the creation of integrated campaigns which spark and maintain engagement between brands and consumers.
“Today, social is integral to a brand’s story,” affirmed Tony Savarimuthu, CEO, McCann Worldgroup Malaysia. “McCann Social Central is designed to work with brands to leverage social media to create real business impact and measurable ROI.” Social media is an increasingly powerful channel for businesses to create deeper, more meaningful relationships with their consumers. According to social media analysts, Social Bakers, Facebook currently has over 12.5 million users in Malaysia, and this figure is growing every month.
However, Nick Handel, McCann’s regional digital director, explained that despite the continuing buzz around it, many companies are still using social media in the entry level phase. “Many brands have been hesitant to invest in social, being pulled into the space as a consequence of what their consumers are doing rather than actively driving engagement through this dynamic channel. Social represents a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with these savvy, empowered consumers and build communities of advocates around their brand. But only if it is leveraged effectively.” Greg Armshaw, McCann Worldgroup’s regional technology catalyst, highlighted the importance of brands understanding their audience on channels such as Facebook and developing targeted social strategies to connect with them.
“McCann manages over 50 brand community pages with over four million fans and no two fan communication strategies being the same. As a community manager, we have to ensure the voice and personality of the brand is consistent and aligned with the brand's values and purpose. So the content of each individual post whether it be video based, commentary or promotional has to be congruent while enriching the story of the brand.” Many businesses are now recognizing the benefits of integrating social into their brand communications strategy and are employing dedicated digital and social teams to take charge of their online presence.
“It is important to ensure the competency and passion of the team growing and managing the community around your brand is as high as possible,” Armshaw added. Recent research from Deloitte and the MIT Sloan Management Review indicated that although 80% of brand owners globally believe social media has a key role to play in building customer relationships, most still do not measure the effectiveness of their activity. To help brands better understand their online presence, McCann has developed a propriety analytics tool to determine the digital ‘health’ of a brand, allowing businesses to track social ROI and effectiveness.
“In the United States and the United Kingdom, clients are investing as much as 50 per cent in the digital space,” commented Donald Lim, managing director, MRM Philippines. “Although investments in digital aren’t at this level yet in Malaysia, we believe that revenue will grow exponentially within the next few years.”