For the past week, I have been at the ecomTEAM ecommerce conference in Brasov, Romania.
The two day conference took part at the 4* Kromwell Hotel and around 250 delegates attended, ranging from business owners to marketing managers.
I was invited to speak at the conference on the subject of social media, as many companies in Romania are exploring the use if platforms to reach wider audiences and to influence sales. I discussed the opportunity social media can bring businesses – from generating sales, to changing a reputation and educating audiences. I spoke about how some UK companies are using social media to create enriched customer experiences to encourage a loyal fan base.
Brasov is a small town, two hours from the capital of Bucharest, in the region of Transylvania. This is also the town where the Bran Castle is found, where the legend of Dracula is based. The lovely town was a great place to visit in Romania, as you can see in some of the pictures below, and the benefits of having a conference three hours outside of the capital meant that most of the attendees stuck around for the full days of the conference as well as the evening party – which was a good chance to meet and speak to people about social media in the country.
Facebook is the most popular platform used in the country, with recent figures showing that there are 7 million active users. LinkedIn is also a popular platform, with many using it for business networking. Twitter and Instagram have much smaller audiences in Romania, and when I took my workshop of 30, only around 10% of the room admitted to using the service.
During the first panel, featuring Romania’s Head of Google Dan Bulucea, the interesting point came up that credit card payments are not as confident as other EU markets at using credit cards to pay for items online. This led me to make the point on my panel that social media could be a good technique at highlighting great customer stories. Happy customers who have successfully shopped with online companies could be encouraged to share their positive experiences online, which will no doubt influence other potential customers in using the same payment methods.
Social media could also be a great way of building brand advocates too, if companies offer great customer service and a memorable tone of voice through their channels. During my workshop, I asked how many people had a social media strategy in place. Only two people of 30 in the room raised their hands, proving that Romanian businesses are not strategically thinking about their activity.
Creating a social media strategy can help businesses to focus on why they are using each channel, and what they should be posting. It can help to achieve objectives and focus on what your audience would respond to best. In my workshop I covered how to create a social media strategy using the following 6 steps:
4. Tone of Voice
5. Content & Frequency
My workshop aimed to inspire Romanian businesses on what is possible, using lots of example from successful global brands such as ASOS, H&M, Lidyl, Nike, Oxfam, Nandos, and Jamie Oliver.
I really enjoyed my visit to Romania, and getting to know the country and would like to thank the ecomTEAM for inviting me and making me feel very welcome. I’ve been interviewed by Garbo, a lifestyle website in Romania, about my career in social media here. You might need Google Translate!