The Social Media Scene in Brazil and Beyond

August 29, 2011

Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to the world’s fifth-largest nation for a close-up look at how social media are evolving in the rapidly growing country of Brazil. During my trip, I had the chance to offer my impressions of the social media scene both in Brazil and the world in general for a post on a Brazilian blog called PR Interview, and below I share excerpts of my key points. 

As in other countries, the development of the social media landscape in Brazil is fast-moving and complex, and Brazil’s soaring economic growth and large population make the development there even more intriguing. I invite you to check out my observations and let me know what you think about these.


    • On the Future of Social Media and PR Agencies – “PR agencies will evolve with clients to create and distribute stories that are more personalized. People have highly personal and specific content consumption preferences. Some prefer video, others prefer websites, and some will still definitely continue to prefer printed material. The role of PR will be working with clients to create communications that serve as platforms with multiple types of content to communicate a more meaningful and personalized story that the audience prefers through social media.”


    • On Whether Digital Media or PR Agencies Are Best-suited to Develop Social Media Content – “PR agencies are experts in communication and understand that just as there are markets for a company’s products and services, there is a market for stories. PR agencies know the dynamics of these markets and are able to produce content that tells a meaningful story or conveys data and information in a easy to understand way. Digital tools are a very powerful content distribution mechanism, but without PR’s ability to create a solid story based on audience interests and/or consumer insights, the fanciest digital technologies won’t be able to help.”


    • On the Best Ways to Develop a Digital Media Strategy – “When thinking about social media strategy, I like to use the phrase ‘Don’t be a cure chasing a disease.’ In other words, don’t start with a fancy technical solution and then find a problem to solve. I like to use the following steps as a basic framework that can be modified as needed to develop a solid strategy:
        • Research – Detailing the business objectives you’re trying to accomplish, researching the audience’s media (social and traditional) consumption behaviors, and then analyzing the current online discussions in topic areas related to the company is the best way to start. 
        • Program Development – Developing a strong creative program based on audience insights and screened through the lens of business objectives and then creating a multi-generation social media program plan that addresses the business objectives in an integrated, logical, and measurable way is the next part. 
        • Organizational Alignment – Aligning agency and organizational resources to execute the strategy is the next critical piece in strategy development.
        • Rapid Cycle Implementation – The best way to implement the strategy to achieve long-term success is using monitoring and measurements to focus on quickly identifying which pieces of the program are over performing and underperforming. 
      • Measuring, Learning, Applying – A good strategy is to have a detailed understanding of all the different metrics available to you and use a set of metrics when evaluating the program. This is why integration is a critical strategic component of program development. Understanding how measurements are dependent upon other tactics helps identify pieces that are contributing to the overall synergy of a program. Once you’ve learned from everything the measurements are telling you, applying those insights to the program and then spreading best practices throughout the organization help build a company’s social media skill set that leads to future benefits in all programs a company deploys.”


  • On the Readiness of Brazilian PR Agencies to Develop Social Media Campaigns – “I can’t speak for all PR agencies, but after talking with Ketchum’s leadership in Brazil and receiving questions from clients and people who attended my presentation, I am very confident that PR agencies in Brazil are prepared to work in social media. The reason for this is that everyone is trying to answer the RIGHT questions. Instead of just thinking of social media as a shiny new digital toy, the people I spoke with are thinking critically about the use of social media as a technology to solve business problems. We discussed difficult questions like, What are the best ways to measure ROI? How do you convince senior management to embrace social media? How should companies use social media to evolve into a social business?”