Just about anyone in today’s marketing/advertising/pr community can tell you – social media is here to stay, and may very well be the most powerful channel media in today’s marketplace
Creating an accurate list of social media/branding opportunities is impossible, as the exponential growth of services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (to name just a few) continue to provide new layers of connectivity and interest. However, there are a few major opportunities that each of these channels share, each of which is well worth the investment of time and brand equity development.
Engage Truly Loyal Brand Users
No matter what the topic (product or service), there’s an audience discussing it in detail somewhere…. and if there isn’t, the opportunity to create one is immediate and at virtually no cost. It’s never been easier to reach interested and loyal prospects and users than it is today.
These opportunities are very different than in the past. Advertising basically employs disruptive practices to communicate with its audience – reaching greater extremes with each layer of communication to rise above the clutter of messages bombarding the market every day. Social media provides the opportunity to engage these audiences on a one-to-one basis, without the need to interrupt or disrupt their stream of consciousness.
Building Loyal Relationships
By allowing your audience to build a relationship with your brand on their own schedule, you’ve begun the communication process without having to force your viewpoint, or worse yet, interrupt the audience to literally “cram your perspective down their throat”. Which is more effective, cold-calling sales, or responding to a request for a sales contact?
Through your perspective and a “insider expert”, new traffic to websites and blogs can be generated without relying fully on traditional and digital channels of advertising and marketing. Establishing these channels of information allows the audience to build their own sense of loyalty, at their own pace of acceptance. While that may not reflect in direct sales, it does establish the baseline of loyalty that builds the long-term brand affiliation that will, in fact, impact sales in the long run
Creating A Deeper Basis of Brand Loyalty and Recognition
Through the shift from sending messaging to engaging messaging, brands and their companies can reach out to enable new and old prospects to discuss their brand affinity, and expand that experience through dialog and promotions. Through social media, a brand can create an endless array of way to enhance and sustain the brand experience to customers that voluntarily choose the message – suddenly, communication is now two-ways, and not just a “shout into the void
The Truth and Nothing But The Truth
Ask a company what’s important to them, and if they understand their brand, they’ll tell you that “feedback is king”. Online forms gather a narrow set of criteria when evaluating a brand, but that methodology requires effort from the participant – which can easily lead to skewed (or even frustrated) responses.
Get a response to your company blog, however, and a world of communication opportunities opens both positive and negative comments from customers
The immediacy of tapping into public response at virtually no (or low) cost enables the company brand to adjust to immediate input – allowing for product revisions and offerings to be updated with current, and valid input trends.
Value, Measurement and Refinement
Needless to say, beginning a social media campaign can be a tremendously cost-effective portion of any marketing/advertising/pr campaign. If the budget is in the millions to promote and establish the brand, an investment of $30,00-$300,000 can be the most cost effective, highly measureable arm of the campaign’s arsenal.
Add that to social media’s ability to measure the effectiveness of campaigns and re-shape them for greater impact and effectiveness, and social media then becomes a necessary portion of any comprehensive brand campaign
How to take the first steps toward your social media campaign.
A few easy, interesting points to consider as you ramp up.