Social media is a revolution in consumer and B2B marketing and it’s effectiveness for brands is certain, if not misunderstood. Social media is not magic, it is not a cure-all. It cannot make your defective product miraculously function properly, or sell your service to those who have absolutely no need for it. It can however promote your defective product and engage with new markets for your service. Despite rumors to the contrary, there are 7 primary areas (not thousands) in which social media, when done correctly, can have a sometimes profound impact on your brand.
1. Increase Awareness of Your Brand
Look at your brand(s) from the eyes of your stakeholders. They don’t live and breath your company and yet their perception of your brand is more accurate and indicative than your own. Social media can help make that perception a positive one with messaging, online conversations, effecting consumer preferences, appeal and online market share. Remember, your audience on social media has its own audience too.
2. Protect Your Reputation
Nothing has revolutionized crisis communications more than social media, both positively and negatively. On one hand, social media has become a resource for those who wish your brand harm, on the other hand it’s an effective and essential tool for communicating with those who may hold a sympathetic ear.
3. Increase Public Relations Effectiveness
Social media is a convenient extension of public relations. It more easily incorporates media relations, event planning, community relations and internal communications.
4. Build Community Around Your Brand
Growing an audience of consumers to serve as ambassadors for your brand is central to social media marketing objectives. Social media is the ONLY truly effective and scalable way to build a constantly-connected community around your brand.
5. Improve Customer Service.
Increase engagement, decrease costs. With social media,your customer service department can more easily facilitate needs with online communications, while constantly tracking sentiment and brand reaction with social monitoring.
6. R&D & Continuing Education
There are a lot of very smart and creative people out there. Many of them are in your industry and are offering their thought leadership, ideas and plans for free with anyone who cares to listen. Social media makes continuing education, access to creative ideas and inspiration and thought leadership more accessible.Creativity, ingenuity, innovation & continuing education are all made easier and more accessible. The idea is simple – experts share their expertise with others. This is open-source collaboration at its finest and has never been more real than in the age of social media. Share and learn.
7. Drive leads and sales
That’s right, we said it – social media can and does (when done correctly) bring in revenue. It can do so by generating leads from blog visitors, from social channel interactions, from increased conversation rates and from your community of advocates.
|About The Author:
Robert J. Munson is a marketing and public relations strategist based in Baton Rouge, LA. His firm, RobertJMunson, specializes in modern marketing strategies including social media marketing, content marketing and corporate social strategy. Follow Robert J Munson on Twitter.