ISBA partners with IAB to help brands understand social media

Advertiser trade bodies ISBA and the IAB have come together to help brands better understand social media, after finding a third of brands have no policy for the channel.


The first stage of the partnership has been understanding what’s holding brands back from investing in social media through a study of more than 50 ISBA members.

The research found over a third of the UK’s top brands still have no policy on social media. Control of brand and the measurement of social media were the two biggest hurdles.

ISBA, which represents 430 of the UK’s top brands and more than £10bn in spend, and the IAB recognised there was more education needed to help brands realise the potential and benefits of social media, and have forged a long-term partnership to help brands.

The study revealed the most popular use of social media among brands was as a PR tool to reach bloggers and influencers online (69%) and to extend the brand via social networks (63%). Over half use the channel to research what customers are saying about them (52%) and a third use it as a customers service tool (30%).

The main concerns for marketers were having a lack of policy on social media internally, a lack of understanding of legal implications and an uncertainty of how to implement a social media strategy.

ISBA also backed the IAB’s social media measurement framework as a way for brands to understand how they should be measuring the different aspects of social media.

Alex Tait, head of digital marketing at the Post Office and chair of ISBA’s Digital Action Group, said, “This study adds context to the IAB’s Social Media Framework, which was launched in July to help advertisers and agencies measure the success of their campaigns, as there are currently more than 200 metrics available. Although the framework is very much a work in progress, it marks the start of an attempt to establish an industry standard measurement for social media.”

Amy Kean, head of the IAB Social Media Council, said, “For the IAB, the evangelism stage of our support for the social media industry is very much over, and now is the time to take real steps to address the concerns that brands have about entering this space. Real work is required, by us in partnership with ISBA, to reassure advertisers about the results they can expect from social media activity and how they can manage the risks.”

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