Social networks developed as places for friends and colleagues to share information and make plans. And now retailers are participating in social channels to help build communities around their brand, support customer service and even drive sales, says David Berkowtiz, senior director of emerging media and innovation at digital marketing agency 360i. He will speak at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2011 in a session called “Social marketing finishing school: Learning the right approach and the right things to say”.
He says the session will help online retailers understand how to use social networks and what consumers expect out of a relationship conducted via social media. “I'll bring case studies representing a core set of best practices that all retailers can follow, including tips on how to build vibrant digital communities and inspire your fans to become active participants in your brand's story,” Berkowtiz says. “I'll also share some emerging opportunities for innovative brands looking to pave the way in social."
Retailers and marketers must follow a code of acceptable behavior when using Facebook and other social networks to promote or engage customers, lest efforts backfire, he says. For instance, marketers must learn when to sell and when to simply provide information to consumers. Marketers also must cultivate relationships with fans and friends and figure out what information those consumers want and will respond to. Marketers also must understand how often to provide information and what makes a compelling Facebook offer.
Internet Retailer’s editors asked Berkowitz to speak because he’s a veteran of the emerging realm of social marketing. At digital marketing agency 360i, he develops social media and mobile programs for marketers spanning the retail, media and entertainment, travel, and consumer package goods industries. An acknowledged expert on media, marketing and technology trends, he is a frequent industry speaker and prolific blogger. Prior to 360i, he was director of marketing for Viewpoint's rich media advertising group Unicast and interactive agency iCrossing. Previously, he served as editor and head of media relations with research firm eMarketer.