Rules of engagement: What can we learn from conversations taking place on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter

Annelies Verhaeghe, Simon McDonald and Steven van Belleghem
Insites Consulting

Executive summary

We know that most companies have their own presence in social media through brand pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. The reality is that even if they do not have their own presence, their fans, lovers and haters are discussing them every day, reviewing them and sharing information. We also know that while the majority of marketers believe social media marketing is essential, only a minority (14%) believe it is fully integrated within their company. And those that have successfully integrated social media are proven to have more impactful marketing communication, more satisfied customers, and better financial results. (Van Belleghem 2012). If many are only just taking their first steps into this world and learning the rules — what are the boundaries, how do you communicate, react, share and give back? What are the steps to take to manage the conversations? What about the other 85% who are not fully integrating social media into the marketing plan? What are the rules we can observe for engaging with consumers, and what are the lessons to be learned from existing conversations taking place on brand pages?