Panasonic switches funds to social media

Panasonic UK is to feature its most passionate social media advocates in traditional advertising, one of several investments in Facebook and Twitter that will see digital funds shifted away from display marketing.

PanasonicUK

The electronics brand will look to recruit fans to act as spokespeople for its products and services after admitting that its previous marketing strategies have failed to get across how its products can “change peoples lives.”

It will offer fans behind-the-scenes access to each of its sub-brands in the hope that by rewarding followers with content they will then go on to share feedback and promote the company’s products to people in their wider network.

Gaele Lalahy, digital communications manager at Panasonic UK, says the strategy differs from similar social media efforts because the aim is to ultimately “integrate” its “real fans” into its above-the-line advertising. Fans will be used in ads, while insight will be used to inform marketing and innovation strategy.

She adds: “It can be difficult for technology providers like Panasonic to connect with consumers on an emotional level. I don’t want to create ads anymore. I want to create campaigns whereby social media is being used to explain the reasons why we’re doing an advert on TV, or explaining a new piece of technology to our fans rather than the mass market.

“Our strategy is all about using social media as an engagement platform with core fans and not using it to attract broader consumers.”

The company cites the success of its London 2012c Facebook app, which it credits for increasing its followers from 30,000 to 100,000 over the last two months, for accelerating its investment in social media. The app allows users to virtually paint their faces with a country’s flag to show their support during the Games.

“It’s not just about the number of fans we have for us”, says Lalahy. “We now have 100,000 people that we can reach at the push of a button and with that we can start to present our technology in a fun and relevant context to people looking for that two-way dialogue with our brand.”

As part of the increased investment in digital, Panasonic says it will spend a “sizeable amount of money” on Facebook ads and Promoted Tweets, despite criticisms from some quarters of the advertising industry on how effective the ad formats are. The company says it gets a better return-on-investment from using both compared to display advertising.

Lalahy adds: “We’re investing less in display advertising because its playing less of a role in our marketing and spending more on social media because it links better to what we do in our above the line work.”

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