Having a presence on social media will not automatically help brands build relationships with customers, an expert has insisted.

According to Huib Van Bockel, Former Head of Marketing at Red Bull, companies cannot simply be “on social” – they must actually “be social” too.

This, he said, is partly because many consumers use ad blocking software to filter out unwanted promotional content, while mobile technology has relegated television to the background in many households.

As a result, Mr Bockel believes the onus is now on brands to develop something that “people genuinely want to see” or else “they won’t engage with it.”

“Give people something truly worthwhile, which they will want to seek out and share with the others,” he commented.

Mr Bockel observed that people often react badly to being targeted and put up a wall between them and a brand that is trying to attract their attention.

He believes brands must therefore bear this in mind when devising a marketing strategy, so instead of trying to get people to love their organisation, they should ask how they can improve the lives of their customers.

“Brands need to think about what they are giving and what they are taking – you need to create things that people really want to see,” Mr Bockel said.

He stated this can engender not just attention but also loyalty, as well as high employee engagement and “potentially, a positive impact on society.”

Mr Bockel went on to recommend that if brands are planning to launch a new marketing campaign, they should be clear about their brand mission beforehand.

Otherwise, he believes they will struggle to come up with a genuine suitable approach that reflects its products, services and objectives.

“It is possible for a brand to create something really amazing, sometimes it’s just about trying things and seeing what works,” Mr Bockel added.

Brand experiences in the social era Event