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Simon Eaton Commercial Manager RadiumOne

How can Sport and Automotive brands benefit from the amount of social sharing that takes place as consumers share, ‘like’ and tweet about things they like?

Simon Eaton, commercial manager at RadiumOne UK, considers how sport and automotive brands can benefit from the amount of social sharing that takes place as consumers share, ‘like’ and tweet about things they like

Brands in the sport and automotive sectors often stand in a privileged position. They drive considerable passion and engagement with millions of individuals as audiences emotionally attach themselves to their favourite sports, teams and brands. This presents a fantastic marketing opportunity.

The opening lies in understanding and harnessing these audiences more effectively online, as in areas such as music, sport and automotive audiences flock to follow, like, discuss and share the things they both endorse and disagree with. 

RadiumOne’s perspective on this is that these audiences should be understood more effectively. The actual importance of a Like is highly debatable, yet an engaged fan of any brand has considerably value. Those that choose to follow have some value, those who click on and share social content, visit web pages and download apps are showing clear intention and affinity. If you can better harness these audiences in order to understand who is actually engaging across the digital ecosystem, you can begin to see a genuine ROI from your social media and content production efforts.

Another area largely ignored is the notion of ‘Dark Social’. Despite the rather creepy sounding moniker, it is one of the most pervasive forms of communication in the world today. What is it and why’s it so valuable?  

We live in a world of sharing. Billions of articles, products, and links are shared every single day. However, when people think “sharing”, they immediately think Facebook and Twitter. This is a mistake, especially for marketers, as sharing on these networks really is just the tip of the iceberg. The content shared through good old fashioned cut & paste via email, IM etc is a considerable, currently untracked and unactioned element. Twitter and Facebook do account for around 40% of all shared items, and it’s easy to measure. However, the key question here is “what about the other 60%.”

The biggest challenge for marketers is reaching their audience, no matter where they are, and understanding what they do in multiple places across the Internet. Connecting the dots, attaining that single digital view on your customers and harnessing Dark Social is the key to achieving this. 

So how can we shine the light on this dark activity? Smarter tracking of shared content (RadiumOne’s Po.st and Connect Platforms), and how it is shared across social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn is required from the outset. Marketing teams must also consolidate the data and track the volume of shares and referrals that occur, and see which sharing channels are the most effective source for driving new customers.

The good news is that there are the tools available to make sense of this previously unknown quantity. And it’s already happening. The FA, Team Sky & talkSPORT for example, have implemented measures to gain more insight from their customers to improve the way they interact with them and bring more commercial value to their sponsor partners and power more effective marketing. There’s no need to be afraid of the dark any more. It’s time for all brands, agencies, publishers and rights-holders to step into the light and discover their entire potential audience.