As we gear up for the Digital & Tech Summit this week, we caught up with one of our featured speakers Robin Dagostino, Comcast director, social media marketing, to gain insight about how Comcast’s social media strategy meshes with the customer experience.

Dagostino_Robin_Comcast

Comcast’s Robin Dagostino

How does social media software play a role in successful social media strategies?

At a basic level, you first need to ask yourself what question or need you want to solve when building out your social presence, content strategy, software, and tracking. Adding software can also ensure that everything that can be automated is automated—leaving more time for strategic thinking and evaluation of what’s truly working and driving community and business objectives. We currently use different software for different purposes, which unfortunately can get very clunky, but we are working towards an aggregated solution.

What are some of your favorite social media apps and why?

In terms of social media apps I try to use them all—Twitter, Vine, Instagram, TV Tag, etc. For work, I probably use the Facebook Page Manager app the most.

How do you determine which social media tools are most appropriate for a particular audience or for a particular purpose?

For Xfinity our audience is on all of these platforms since we cover many products/services and have a large customer base. Having said that, we are of the mindset to do quality over quantity, so we’re primarily focused on Facebook and Twitter because they address our strategic focus on content conversations and have the scale to address service issues. For each of our social accounts, we are focused on listening to the customers and communicating with them on topics that resonate with targeted segments.

People talk a lot about customer and viewer engagement. What best practices have you found work best in the social media arena?

One of the most valuable things that our technology does is connect our customers with the content experiences that they love. Social media is a great place to celebrate this, as people love to share their thoughts, opinions and experiences about their favorite TV shows or films, sports events, or personal life events about Internet, Home, and Voice. Using social media, we try to act as the connective tissue that enables these experiences and that encourages our audiences to share them with each other.

So, while we do use social to inform our customers about some of our new products and their benefits, we also have seen great success in using our social communications as a platform for our customers to share their love of the content and experiences we provide. In fact, real-time moments have performed best in terms of engagement as compared to customized content that was developed.

Customers look to our social media platforms for news throughout the day, tune-in information, and as a place where they can interact with us and others. More and more, it seems customers look to our social platforms as a way of staying in touch with the service they value; they want to be informed about products and news and entertainment. We’ve done a good job of tying all those together. The Olympics, Watchathon, and other promotions have shown this works.

For Watchathon we had over 10,000 unique social engagements, great positive sentiment, and it helped to drive viewership. Our viewership was record breaking. An astonishing 61 million pieces of On Demand content were viewed all together on multiple platforms.

I believe we had this success because it was a great campaign, but social was integrated into the entire campaign, and we have an amazing community that we continue to foster.

Based on research from Shareablee, our Xfinity Facebook page outperforms in terms of number of fans and engagement in our category—and remains on par with some of the best in class social brands.

What are the challenges around using social media apps and software to your advantage—and how can you avoid the pitfalls?

One of the biggest challenges right now is finding a common language to define and talk about social media success. This is evolving as the industry matures, and as companies think beyond “fans” and “followers” to the true engaged audience and value of that audience. We try to do our due diligence and vet all of the vendors who offer software that are going to solve our business challenges. Some of the deliverables that I look for when vetting is ease of use, scalability and price. Figuring this out takes time, but I would recommend that you do your research, because apps and software can be a big investment.

What’s realistic in terms of measuring ROI in social media—or directly monetizing social media interactions with customers and viewers?

You need to define what your “R” in ROI is going to be with social. Is it followers? Website clicks? Awareness? Etc. We have been working across functions and divisions in our organization to help define ROI.  As a result, our strategic focus in social media includes four strategic themes;

  • Engage. We look to understand the opportunity to ENGAGE consumers and performance of our properties and campaigns. And we put measureable objectives such as app downloads, website traffic, video starts, sign in/authenticate, etc.
  • Service. Determine how social can improve the quality of SERVICE and customer experience. And understanding customer service to reduce cost of care and become more efficient.
  • Monetize. Focus on MONETIZE social to capture new opportunity areas such as connects, upgrades, and/or transactional purchases including PPV, VOD, and Xfinity Purchases.
  • Monitor. Help MONITOR the environment using social. And we measure this by identifying emergent trends and increasing perception/sentiment.

It is very powerful when we are able to bring together the disparate findings in one holistic picture.

What’s the biggest misperception people have when trying to fuse social media strategy with the available software and technology out there? 

I think there is a lack of understanding of what you can learn from social and what actions you can take from those findings. There is no silver bullet, but you can make some very strong correlations based on software and technology if set up properly. I am a big advocate that you need the right team and social software to effectively execute and measure social media campaigns.

To gain more insight and network with Dagostino, as well as other industry experts, register to attend Cablefax’s Digital & Tech Summit tomorrow, May 21 in NYC. Secure your spot today!

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