Pleasance Coddington – Global Head of Content and Social Media Marketing management at Momondo Group, London (flight search service) – started working in travel industry long before social networks even appeared. Nowadays, when being present in social media is more than natural Pleasance tells about SMM becoming a top-ranked marketing technique.
Pleasance Coddington, Global Head of Content and SMM at Momondo Group, London:
• 10 years in travel industry;
• 3 global brands;
• 4 pages on Facebook;
• 1,5m subscribers.
Play with the Big Boys
Everybody considers himself as an expert in social media marketing, because each and every person uses them every day. One gets the feeling that to develop a marketing plan is really simple, and it seems everyone knows how everything is arranged. It is logical that people start using this tool without a clear strategy in mind. Meanwhile, developing a business marketing strategy is very important, probably even more important than one can imagine.
I treat SMM seriously. Social networking is no longer a new field of marketing. Few years have passed since it had appeared, but this is a quite commonly used tool already. And so the question arises why we use social networks and why should we use them?
Most companies do not really understand why they are in social networks – there is just something that makes us believe we need to deal with them. If there is no clear understanding of what social media can bring to the company, and if there is no idea how to deal with them – do not even start dealing with them at all. It is not even about the goals that the company is pursuing in social networks – it is important to understand what the marketing campaign objective is. One should not expect fantastic opportunities from social networks – it is necessary to set an objective for the whole marketing campaign. SMM is not a new space, but rather the use of traditional marketing metrics and additional opportunity for a company in achieving certain goals.
Certainly, some new options marketers have not had before appeared: to receive immediate feedbacks and to stimulate users to recommend the product to friends. But we should not focus on special aspects of social media; we need to understand what they can give the company in general.
Momondo on the Russian speaking market
At the present time the company is working to acquaint the audience with the service, because Momondo is a completely new brand on this market. By means of Facebook page marketing we gradually build and establish relationships with potential clients. Some of the companies create a company page in social media too quickly and want to attract the target audience to these pages quickly as well, but that will not do, especially when a company does not care about the content on a page and bombard users with irrelevant posts.
The content on the Facebook page of a company that provides online ticket search and purchase services depends largely on the audience it is targeted at. There are services that prefer to publish information on the tickets prices, which means that the company is targeted at customers who are going to travel in the nearest future. Statistics shows such audience is in the minority in social networks. In Momondo we consider it is important to work with users who think about a trip, but along with this the decision on a trip is not made yet. That is why we try to provide users with information about interesting places and unusual activities in different countries, with unusual facts.
When the page is subscribed by more than 100k it becomes a media channel. In other words, at this point it becomes more important not to attract new audience but to retain the existing one. Therefore, we are quite serious about the published posts – it is important that they would be of high quality and meet the expectations of subscribers.
Most global companies do not think of their local markets and work only on a single page in Facebook (which is most likely in English). However, even on the same page a user can see the content that is relevant only to his or her region. That is what we do in Momondo: a user from Russia sees Russian posts, and a user from the UK sees posts in English.
Tips from Pleasance Coddington
SMM managers must not ignore the overall goals of the company. There may be only few employees involved into SMM campaign, but they should be integrated with the team working on the company marketing. Team meetings must be held each week to discuss all the details and activities, ups and downs.
Social networks have become a real tool, no need to go to charity: SMM team has to report on every step and talk about every achievement, just like any other marketing department.
Do not invent something new when measuring the success of a social network page, use traditional marketing metrics. How many new users have learnt about a brand? How many people are involved into discussions and take interest in them? All these figures are part of the company marketing campaign. If you can not measure the efficiency of the tool, then it makes no sense for using it.