Social media has evolved into a genuine game changer for businesses. Reflecting and connecting with the online audience has become an integral part of the process of creating and managing brand value. Usage of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can make or break a brand. It has become important to be clear and honest about products and services, lest bad feedback permeates throughout the internet and wreaks havoc.
Key Component in Brand Value
For a brand seeking mastery over markets, the current time promises increased inter-connectivity, transparency and faster means with the help of digital channels. The two main dimensions that represent the real value for a brand on social media are sentiments and advocacy.
A great example of a brand that evolved to a social content powerhouse through positive response from the social media is ‘Burberry’. In 2011, they streamed a live video feed of the spring/summer and fall/winter fashion shows. Millions of fans around the world were able to witness this on Facebook and YouTube. It also premiered an ad for its fragrance ‘Body’ on Burberry.com and YouTube – not the traditional TV. Apart from reducing dependency on traditional media, this has helped them connect with their audience online.
Business and Social Media – Intertwined
According to a Nielsen report, 60 percent of consumers who research products through multiple online sources learned about a specific brand or retailer through social networking sites. With the increasing number of social media users, it is more likely that they will read product reviews online, and 3 out of 5 create their own reviews of products and services as well.
Hence, social media users have switched to this online medium for consumer-generated reviews and product ratings. The same report also gives a detailed break-up of the main reasons why customers share company experiences.
There are currently over 450 social media platforms and the list is growing on a regular basis. Brands that choose to be in social media must be able to take advantage as avoid the pitfalls.
Brand channel has analysed information from their own experience and highlighted challenges and benefits of social media space.
Brands have always acknowledged that influential people (now key influence blogger) can help increase brand credibility and also have the power to influence purchase decisions. In an interview, Greg Swan VP of Digital Strategy at Weber Shandwick, one of whose clients is the U.S. Army shares how the U.S. Army encourages soldiers to blog and some of the influences of these influential bloggers.
Ford Motor Company is a great example of how companies can use this new medium to build collaborative relationships with consumers like never before. Here’s what they did. Ford gave 100 indie “agents” a free Fiesta for publicly ‘life-casting’ their experiences with the car. Bloggers, filmmakers, and social networkers who were already documenting and sharing their lives were among the recipients. Their experiences with the car were published online at FiestaMovement.com. Alexis Morrell drove her Fiesta across the country twice in six months and the experience changed her mind about Ford cars. What would have otherwise costed millions, Ford achieved with $5 million. As a result, Fiesta had 60 per cent name recognition before it hit US lots. Jim Farley, VP of global marketing, Ford believed that their attempt to make customers to tell their story has succeeded with the digital medium.
Measuring online is difficult at best but it is not impossible. Social media monitoring and analysis is ideal to analyse the impact of social media on your brand? Share your thoughts with me.
Also see the reports mentioned in the post.
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