Give Your Marketing a Nudge: Exclusive Interview with Nudge Social Media
According to research out this week more than a quarter of firms are heavily involved in social media and most intend to attribute more budget to the platform next year. New Media Knowledge caught up with Toby Beresford, commercial director of social media agency Nudge, to see what it’s working on and predictions for next year.
Social media has dominated strategy meetings at firms small and large this year and, while some companies still need convincing, most are putting increasing amounts of marketing budget behind social media campaigns.
According to research out this week from online marketing site eConsultancy, 26 per cent of firms claim to be “heavily involved” in social media while two-thirds (64 per cent) have experimented. 86 per cent plan to increase their social media budget in 2010 and one of those agencies hoping to build on the back of growing demand will be London-based Nudge Social Media.
The company works with the likes of Sony Playstation, Carphone Warehouse, CNN and Britvic, and NMK’s Chris Lee caught up with Nudge’s commercial director, Toby Beresford, to talk Facebook, 2010 and all things social.
You've done a lot of work for clients over social networks, such as Facebook. What sort of things have you been doing?
We've been working on brand pages for clients like Tenpin and Tango so their customers can become a fan of their page, we've created extensions from their website to allow Facebook users to plan a bowling party with their friends and "social features" for users to communicate better with their friends. We recently created the "Tango Head Masher 3000" for users to put funny stickers over the heads of friends illustrating the side effects of too much Tango. We reached over 130,000 users for that one which we were pleased with.
Does Facebook remain a largely untapped marketing tool? How can firms exploit the platform beyond purely forming 'fan pages' and 'groups'?
If Facebook were a country it would be the world's third most populous and it's still growing very fast. With so many people spending so much time on Facebook I think we've hardly scratched the surface of its marketing potential. The challenge is to find new and appropriate ways to do this: we've found that creating applications, providing game or utility features for users, can really market brand messages to specific target audiences.
What are the most effective social networks to engage with audiences and why?
We like to fish where the fish are, so if you're targeting 13-35 year olds in the UK then Facebook is currently most effective, otherwise there are smaller social networks for different age groups. For example; UK kids on Bebo, Silver surfers on SAGA Zone; Cyworld in Japan; Orkut in Brazil; Hyves in Holland; and niche interests - Myspace for music, Flickr for photographers.
However, technology needs to be taken into account, the most advanced network technically is Facebook - real identity, granular privacy controls, open playing field apps platform and controlled news feed - so we often advise our clients to get campaign tactics right on Facebook first before branching out to other networks.
How does Nudge measure the success of social media campaigns? What are the key performance indicators you use?
Our key metrics are sales (on Tenpin this means bookings, on Photobox it’s photo products), duration of engagement (the time spent in a branded environment) and active use (daily and monthly active users).
Can you tell us a bit about what you're doing with Sony Playstation and Buzz! ?
We took the multi-million selling videogame Buzz! and remixed it for Facebook. Play against friends with unlimited questions, generated uniquely for each quiz about your mutual friends’ content - photos, updates, the works - to make a compelling quiz that really tests how well you know your Facebook 'friends'. Do go and play Buzz! The Friend Quiz on Facebook to get a flavour.
Who's doing social media 'best', smaller businesses or blue chips? Does the speed required to respond to the instant nature of social media conflict with the way larger firms operate? Who's doing well at dealing with this?
New start-ups and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) inevitably have a technology advantage of building their business on the latest platforms. Companies like Zynga in the US and Playfish in the UK are building very profitable games businesses on top of social networks and mobile platforms. Speed is always important in competitive business situations. To be successful the brand needs to be remixed to fit in with a social context and this inevitably requires a mind shift on the part of the brand owner; it can even involve marketing investment model changes, for instance away from data capture towards ongoing display advertising.
Crystal ball time: What are your social media predictions for next year?
We think Spotify will take over as the primary music player, Facebook will eat all the first generation country-specific social networks; the big commercial media companies will implement Facebook Connect on their web sites. Personally I think MySpace and Bebo will eventually become apps on Facebook but maybe that's just me...