Cathay Pacific, Intel and SINA Weibo discuss social media for brand managers

Another jam-packed session at Social Media Week Hong Kong. Ogilvy hosted Ali Bullock, global social manager for Cathay Pacific, Peter Dingle, APAC digital marketing manager for Intel, and Salina Ghafur, head of marketing for SINA Weibo Hong Kong.

The panel, hosted by Thomas Crampton, Ogilvy & Mather’s director of Social@Ogilvy Asia Pacific, covered key challenges global brands face in planning, scaling and hiring for social media positions. According to Dingle, all employees at a company should be responsible for social media. This doesn’t mean a brand can’t have a social media center of excellence to help steer the company’s point of view for social media marketing and communications. But, essentially everyone should know the basics and be able to participate.

Dingle also stressed the importance of listening in social media, saying, “”You MUST be listening to what’s being said about your brand. Your brand is what people SAY your brand is.”

Ali Bullock listed the variety of tools Cathay Pacific uses, both free and paid. Particularly for customer service, having a social content management system (in the case of Cathay, Context Optional) enables them to capture customer feedback and put it into a workflow.

He also discussed the importance of content in developing direct relationships and in driving everyday engagement among fans. For example, when Cathay posted a photo of an engineer changing the tire of a 747 on Facebook, they received 890 likes and several comments. The response has inspired the company to create more content along these lines.

Ghafur stressed the importance of experimentation. Before brands can see value and success in social media, they must be willing to try different techniques on different platforms. Now with 50,000 corporate accounts, SINA Weibo is seeing continued growth in branded uses of their micro-blogging platform. At 250M users and 100M posts per day, SINA Weibo continues to be a key platform to watch in Greater China.

Before we knew it, the hour was up, Twitter was crowded with #smwhk and #ogilvy, and the panelists were quickly rushed by the crowd. Thanks to everyone who participated in Ogilvy’s sold out panel today. Looking forward to the rest of Social Media Week!