As social media is taking the place of traditional methods of marketing, it helps amplify companies reputation, to consistently deliver what they promise. Social media has shifted the power to consumers. It has not removed the old method of marketing rather it has improvised it. It is always a big risk to disappoint your customers in the long run and social media has paced this process. Whether it is about backlashing or amplifying a company’s reputation, social media is playing a big role. Keeping momentum with social media is difficult but so is losing grounds of marketing. The companies who have harnessed the opportunities provided by social media have kept their strong feet in the market and even they are upgrading themselves rather than writing it again.
For companies social media is a platform where they can collaborate or betrothal with other companies. Social media provides space for open discussion, participation from experts and innovative ideas from several marketers. Alibaba, Fiesta and Microsoft are already on OPEN Forum to promote their brand and to reach their far seated customers.
Lifting Brand through social media
Earlier branding used to revolve around the product but now it is more multilateralism. It involves customers choice, preference, product attributes to fit both brand and product not one category. Swissair and zellers who are pioneers in social media, now aiming at specific segments of markets. They are targeting the age group of 10 to 14, focusing on their hygiene, and daily needs. Similarly Red Lobster has targeted non-vegetarian eating groups. Microsoft used social media to make advancement in existing technology. Recently Medline has faced drawbacks of social media, when Medline company’s cotton has caused rashes over the body. An angry customer used the media to pressurise the company to withdraw the product. Medline was confident about its product and hence denied to withdraw it.
There is a chance that some body won’t be able to tolerate chemicals in it but is not applicable to everyone. Finally the customer protection committee intervened and said, there are no harmful chemicals that can cause serious illness. This case intensifies the company’s approach to its customer in a more synchronized way and even faster than before.
Incorporating social media for branding is demand of today’s era. To use the best approach, companies must take into cognizance what brands offer. There are 4 important qualities that need to be enforced : customer affirmation, building trust, continuously upgrading and delivering new innovations. Social media can help to strengthen these 4 factors:
- Customer affirmation:
Customers desire new technology , value based product loyalty and posItive attitude from the company. To enforce all these there should be a customer care centre available on each company’s sites. There must be a customer review option where they can give feedback. It helps in keeping all activities genuine and in favour of the brand. Amazon has included product reviews via uploading pictures after purchase is made by customers.
Trust is another important factor which ensures customers will not get cheated, even when there is a peak hours, even when there is a pandemic or crash of the system. Customers need to be informed. Companies are modifying their sites to provide information real time.
- Keep upgrading :
Every company should keep adding new features to their sites to improve the customers experience. E.g. My tourism has started from online ticket booking now they are offering complete travel packages to their customers .
- Adding new innovations:
Recently Facebook has created a new blog where people from different communities can share their problems and can extend help to each other through social media platforms. To offer new and innovative products, different companies are merging together like H. J. Heinz and Kraft Food.
Strategically using social media:
No company can claim that they have masters in branding through social media. But few simple rules based on experience of companies from their failure and success are:
Companies who have improved their sales through social media are able to do so by delivering authentic and relevant data. Company’s employees can join social media conversation groups where company’s products are discussed. But one must remember that they converse only if people in conversation accept you. Also this strategy should be followed sitting at home and with- complete knowledge of the brand and values of products.