Integration: Brand Networks and Lithium Technologies Team Up to Turn Siloed Social into Holistic Paid, Earned, and Owned Strategies

Brand Networks today announced a partnership with Lithium Technologies, a social media management and digital community platform recently ranked as a Leader in “The Forrester Wave™: Social Media Management Solutions, Q2 2017.” The partnership enables best-of-breed technology support for paid, earned, and owned marketing tactics executed across social channels.

“Our customers have longed for a partnership that replaces the siloed approach to data gathering with a holistic social media strategy,” said Todd Taplin, CEO of Brand Networks. “Interoperability like this is key to achieving next-level efficiency and performance. Our best-in-class social advertising platform, paired with Lithium’s engagement platform, will streamline how marketers drive real business results through social.”

The ways marketers approach paid, earned, and owned social has changed over the years. While an expanding and constantly innovating social landscape offers opportunity, it also creates the kind of complexity that makes it challenging to effectively and efficiently drive toward marketing goals on social. Add to that a propensity of large businesses to leverage multiple marketing and advertising technologies for social, which often create data silos that obstruct the ability to achieve next-level social performance, and what you have is a situation where it can be hard to advance and level up.

What’s the best way to approach a social ecosystem comprised of more than 2B people worldwide?

We like to think the answer is a combination of Lithium Technologies and Brand Networks.

Unlock the Power of Holistic Social Media

Paid, earned, and owned social content play roles at every stage of the customer journey. When operated independently across disconnected teams, even the best social strategies can fail. However, when approached holistically, social media monitoring, social content publishing, social community management, and social advertising can work together to drive consumers toward affinity, trust, and conversion.

Let’s take a look at some ways paid, earned and owned social efforts are already coming together as touch points in the customer journeys of many consumer brands.

Stage One: Find Customers Primed to Buy

Referred to as the awareness, interest, discover, explore, or acquire stages of the customer journey, this stage is all about introducing your brand or products and services to net-new prospects.

Paid social has proven effective at inserting your brand into the minds of potential shoppers, acquainting them with your products or services and beginning them down the path to purchase. Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter’s “Lookalike Audiences,” or Pinterest’s “Actalike Audiences,” are examples of effective ways to reach audiences like these.

Of course, organic content also plays a role in customer acquisition. Paid advertising can be “shared,” turning it into earned media. In addition to the kind of owned communities that support word-of-mouth referrals, these organic tactics are among the most convincing ways to connect with new audiences.

Stage Two: Nurture Customers, Establish Trust, and Convert

With 83% of consumers saying they would stop using a brand after just one bad experience, it’s critical that your customer touch points are as meaningful, authentic, and productive as possible.

For examples, customers Tweeting at you for help expect a personalized customer response within the hour. So give that to them. If a customer writes a negative review on your Facebook Page, respond quickly and accurately or risk losing that customer’s loyalty and potentially turning others away from your brand.

Paid social plays a role when paired with messaging that speaks to mid-funnel mindsets. Website retargeting can drive shoppers back onto your website or take them from basic browsing to purchase consideration. You can even work with your organic teams to auto-promote your top-performing earned content into social ads, which Brand Networks proved effective with a Facebook ad campaign for Crown Resorts.

Stage Three: Create Lifelong Relationships

Built on trust, honesty, and value, this stage of the customer journey is where one-time shoppers turn into lifelong customers. An approach becoming popular of recent is to invite your customers to help define the next generation of your products—for example, the Frito Lay’s “Do us a Flavor” campaign. This instills a sense of value and shows that you’re just as invested in them as they are in you.

The earned and owned side of social play critical roles in creating the customer service experience that paves the way for long-term relationships between brands and customers.

Regarding paid social, re-engage past customers by leveraging first-party retargeting audiences like Custom Audiences on Facebook and Snapchat, Tailored Audiences on Twitter, Customer List Targeting on Pinterest, and Matched Audiences on LinkedIn. These can all effectively reinvigorate past shoppers and extend their lifetime value.


There’s no denying that social media marketing tactics each play a role in the customer’s journey and overarching brand experience. But pulling it all together is tough. The key is to allow your specialized teams (paid, earned, owned) to stay focused on their specialties while still sharing data and keeping the lines of communication open. Rather than a single, multi-component social tech provider that’s likely to serve one team better than the others, success is about combining the best social marketing and advertising technologies in thoughtful and productive ways.

Today, Brand Networks and Lithium Technologies let marketing leaders do just that.

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