Create Brand Value through Local Community Management

The following post is part of the Mindjumpers Network series and written by our Community Manager, Sara Hansson. Mindjumpers Network is a global network of local country community managers enabling international companies to execute and maintain brand communities in a structured, quality assured and cost effective way across markets with the aim of creating effect and value.

 

Culture is one of the largest components of how people communicate. Cultural trends and norms are therefore something marketers and advertisers closely have to track and take into consideration when working with community management for brands who want to create business value through social media. For international brands and companies, it can be a challenge to control and maintain product perception worldwide. There is a wish to convey a global communication across markets and at the same time have the possibility to do marketing initiatives on a local level. In this blog post, I put focus on the value of using local community management to connect with consumers on local markets and how this process has created value for our client Ben & Jerry’s Nordic.

 

According to the Facebook IQ 2012 report, 41% of international brands maintain at least one local country page. These local Facebook pages have grown at twice the rate of global communities and register 50% higher engagement. International brands have to tap into local community management in order to optimize the chances of turning Likes into revenue. When managing communities on a local level, brands can assure three key points that are essential for successful communication – language, culture adaption and real time.

 

Talk to your fans in their language

It’s proven that communication in local language gains more engagement as a natural result of the messages being easier understood and consumed by the audience. In the case of Ben & Jerry’s Nordic markets, we therefore make sure that our community managers in the respective markets translate the text of the updates and images attached as well they contribute with updates themselves based on local events or happenings. We would not be able do the translation by using e.g. Google Translate or someone at our office who had a language course in Norwegian as the most authentic way to communicate on a local level is through a person living in the given country. A person who holds the language as mother tongue and knows about local expressions.

  


Adapt to the culture of your fans

It‘s of great value to have the local page monitoring done by a local community manager who has an understanding of the local culture and who is staying updated on local traditions and norms that may affect how people perceive your brand message. Some subjects are also more or less sensitive to speak about depending on which country you target. E.g. we are thanks to our Ben & Jerry’s community managers in Sweden, Norway and Finland able to post social content that implement local traditions into the conversations we want to create, conversations that are easy for the target groups to relate to and engage with. The images below show an update on the Finnish Ben & Jerry’s page creating engagement around a local celebration of the Week of Women and an update on the Swedish page celebrating their Midsummer tradition.

   


Leverage content in real time

Another key element is real time. What goes on in the country right now? Tracking happenings and events as well as local campaigning through other media channels is not only important to be aware of, you can also strengthen the integration of channels to connect with your audience in a well-organized and cost effective way. To include another example, our local community manager in Finland noticed that a documentary on Ben & Jerry’s social mission was to be shown on Finnish television. Gaining this kind of input from our local community manager, helped us to produce social content and create awareness around it in the Finnish community. In addition, it provided our users with further knowledge about what Ben & Jerry’s represents as a brand at the same time as it helped us strengthen the message we aim to communication for the brand on social media.


Local campaigning means business revenue

With local community management, international brands and companies are able to do editorial planning on a global as well as local scale. It’s also about adding value to your fans as you can create more relevant content and do local campaigns with interesting deals and offers. Further, this means that you have possibilities to create business revenue on the markets your brand wants to penetrate.

  


A central hub for quality assured processes

For international brands and companies, tactics should include leveraging local community management in order to connect and engage local markets with authenticity. Concentrating social media strategies and guidelines to one common hub where the local markets gather and find support, can secure an aligned global communication and enable best practice across local markets. Try to create a hub where you can share knowledge, best practice cases and processes such as editorial planning helping local managers follow the global social media marketing plan. A central hub is also a cost efficient way to use your recourses.

 

Ben & Jerry’s Nordic is a client of Mindjumpers Networks – a freelance network of local community managers who enable us to activate and engage markets on a local level with Mindjumpers as the main and central source for account and project management.

 

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!