Oct 27, 2010 at 07:34 PM
written by Ben Pincus & Josh Robinson, Robinson Pincus

Sponsorship's Role in Retaining 'Control' in Social Media

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Sponsorship gives brands a fantastic access point into Social Media, especially those with concerns about 'loss of control'. Consumers are given free reign to say what they think, wherever and whenever they want...and for some brand owners, this is scary stuff.

The Social Media industry gives some stock responses to the calls for clarity and confidence:

"Your consumers are talking about your brand through social media anyway. You have no choice but to get involved."

"It's not a question of whether to do social media. It's a question of how."

"You've just got to jump right in with both feet. Fortune favours the brave."

Although true, none of these responses restore confidence or give brand owners a sensible pathway into social media. Sponsorship is a great way to dip that toe in the wide open ocean that is Social Media. Here's the '3 Ps' that make the difference:

1. PASSION-POWERED CONTENT

Sponsorship operates in a space where activity is inspired by people and their passions or interests. In Social Media, the Sponsorship-driven conversation is smaller, warmer and more welcoming than many other brand conversations that take place, such as customer service.

2. PARTICIPATIVE COMMUNICATIONS

Great Sponsorship ideas are 'participative'. Social Media facilitates participation in a big way. When consumers are part of the solution, Sponsorship platforms are co-created and co-owned. This strengthens a brand's positive bond with the community that helped build them and share them.

3. POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP

The big opportunity for brands in Sponsorship is to help consumers and customers get more from their passions. Today, it's more about enablement than entertainment. Sponsorship's social voice is insightful, helpful and value-adding - part of an intrinsically positive conversation.

So, yes. Regardless of whether your brand 'does' Social Media or not, consumers are 'doing' it and they are talking about you. And, yes. you do have to get involved to reap the rewards.

Sponsorship is a great way to enter the world of Social Media confidently and positively.

Robinson Pincus is a London-based agency that creates and manage sponsorship platforms that are rich in social content that consumers and customers want...and want to share..

#soapbox