‘A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is- it is what the consumers tell each other it is’- Scott Cook (Director of eBay and Procter & Gamble)
Social media has taken the business world by storm with its extensive reach and impact on its stakeholders. To adapt to the changing culture and advances in technology, businesses are required to work at having control on their social platforms and use it to their advantage to advertise their products and create a good brand image. Various platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest etc. enable businesses to have direct communication with their customers by giving immediate customer grievance responses, having Facebook pages for their events and making public press releases.
Have you ever thought about why and how we youngsters got into using #netflixandchill? Netflix’s understanding of consumers need for access to all the television series and movies and their deliverance of binge-watching has created a loyal customer base. To increase their customers and to display this understanding they adopted a social media strategy #netflixandchill which was used extensively by the youngsters on Twitter with hilarious tweets that included memes and gifs. Netflix went all out by creating and posting their own memes on Twitter and kept the trend going. #netflixandchill
ASOS, Foever21, and Zara are some of the Fashion brands with already existent mobile applications and websites for online purchase. One of their strategies is the use of Instagram to display their products and conduct competitions to increase their followers and customer base. By displaying their garments they inform the customers about their latest collections and the latest trends in fashion. Some of these fashion brands also link their online shopping websites so that the customers can directly purchase the outfit they just viewed. They give out freebies and conduct online competitions wherein the customers need to either follow, like, comment or post the picture wearing a piece of clothing from the brand. This indirectly works at promoting their brand at a low budget. These brands also approach YouTubers and Bloggers to create honest reviews about the products.
Louis Vuitton was one of the first brands that used the discover feature of Snapchat. They use the platform for media coverage of their events like the professional sailing event in New York and their yearly fashion week. This kept their customers engaged and involved in their events.
Maroon 5 is a band that increases their fan base by using bots on Facebook messenger. This works by sending already made messages personally to their existent fans informing them about any new album launches and music tours, they also ask for feedback which helps the band realize which cities they should target for their upcoming tours. Similarly, NH7 is a music concert in India that disclose their artist lineup on social media platforms.
The flip side to all of this is that it can ruin your business completely. Think about it one negative post by a customer or one mistake by the brand could become a public event and a never ending story.
What happens on social media stays on Google forever.
In 2009, two of Dominos staff members thought it would be funny to post a video on YouTube of them displaying unhygienic practices while preparing the food, they obviously lost their job but the damage was done and the video was viewed nearly a million times within a span of 24 hours. The only way Dominos could make a comeback was by posting a video from their side wherein the CEO apologized for the same.
Even the smallest of things like the circulation of an image on WhatsApp of spoilt food or a worm found on a piece of chocolate (like in the case of Cadbury) can impact your brand image.
Social Media is a different ball game in itself. It’s tricky but you have to play and if you make the right moves it’s the best medium to building your unique brand image.