social media's influence is increasing so fast and has permeated to influence even traditional mass media. Companies should take social media seriously and develop a robust user engagement strategy that has defined objectives with help from Digital Marketing Consultant
A decade ago no one could have imagined the role of social media in our lives today. From being a platform to connect with friends, family and others that we know, social media has gone on to have an indelible impact on our lives, society and the very fabric of our existence. From its role in Arab Spring, to raising awareness about problems in our society, social media has emerged as a major source for developing public opinion.
For a company, social media has proved to be a double edged sword. Use it strategically and it can be a great brand equity creator. Be indifferent to it and social media has the potential to dilute a lot of the equity you may have created much before social media arrived. So how does an organization leverage social media to build its brand?
Notice the trends
Social media has two elements to it. It is a lot easier to create new brands using social media as compared to the conventional way of spending money and building brands in people’s minds.
The second is being able to use social media to measure your brand value at any point in time. I am not saying social media is the only media, which is relevant, but it has become one of the most important mediums. So, in terms of let us say if I were a large organization, based on social media metrics or based on an understanding of what kind of conversations people have about my brand, I can be sure that it is a good representation of what people are talking about in general about my brand.
Brand value is a moving index. As an organization we are developing a tool that can depict the movement of brand value on a graph in real-time as conversations take place on social media. We believe that this index can be a good reference point for brands to reflect on their real brand equity.
The sway of social media is not limited to influencing brand triggers only. If you notice carefully traditional media is also getting strongly influenced by social media as most of the stories are actually germinating from ideas trending on social media itself. In fact, traditional and social media is increasingly interconnected now. You can see a TV channel with news, but there are tickers around Twitter and Facebook also running at the same time.
We think the challenge for brands is going to be how to utilize social media for their benefit. Measurement is cler and creating a new brand is also relatively easier. However, where you have already created a lot of equity using whatever means social or non-social, you need to have a strategy to actually secure and monetize that equity.
That is not currently evolved because a lot of what is happening in social media as a tool for branding is mainly restricted to increasing followers as a demonstration of influence or putting up posts, which are not really meaningful or not really integrated to the brand objectives. They are simply to keep people engaged without any plan in place.
Ad-hoc usage in India, including the MNCs, less than 15% of established companies are really able to use social media in building a brand and the rest are just participants.
They are updating randomly, adding followers without any defined strategy to build a brand on social media.
Earlier in the case of conventional media, if you read a news story and had something to say you would write a letter to the editor, which made the entire process complicated. On social media, the customer is much closer to the brand, therefore, many brands do not know how to develop, control or manage it well.