The way we looked at social media 10 years back has completely changed from how we visualize it today. Just like most digital spheres social media has evolved enormously and is now one of the most successful touch points in the world of business. Talk about any aspect of your business and well, let’s see…yes it is already well connected to social media.
Branding is one of the most important aspects for any business or celebrity figure, precisely because unless you are known and talked about, there really isn’t much meaning to your existence. If you are a B2B firm, well you still need it! So, what does branding do exactly? Every brand wants to be the first to be on a customer’s recall list or the first choice while shopping for a product in that line. However, how many have actually achieved that?
A simple example for this would be our favorite cold drinks. While Coke as in Coca Cola became synonymous with all forms of cola, the other brands such as Pepsi or a Mountain Dew, although created a great impact with their advertising stunts, did not really make a huge difference in the market! What did Coca Cola do right in that case, that the others didn’t? This is completely to do with the psychology of a customer. When a person thinks about any product, they try to connect various aspects which are emotional, society related, status related and more. Coca cola connects with their audience a lot better; they carry better campaigns, display ads which talk about issues from the day to day life and hence people remember it better! Coca cola projects them as a brand which builds family bonds. And BINGO! It works. See for yourself.
So, how does this work on social media? Today we are in a generation where almost everyone we see on the street has a Smartphone in hand. Social media platforms over the decades have grown immensely as well, with Facebook and Twitter becoming the soul of most conversations. The rate at which everyone is clinging on to social media, how can a brand stay away? Therefore, to reach out to a larger audience and connect at a more personal level (which is the predominant ingredient for branding) most brands take the social media way.
What Social Media allows a brand to do?
Branding in the real sense is not just about being famous; actually it is just a small part. It also involves things like reputation management, providing customer service, finding new clients, engaging personally and measuring competitor performance. Let’s talk about these in detail with a few examples.
1. Online Reputation Management: Your product or something closely related to your product has been spoken badly about by your customers/prospective customers. What do you do? Keep quiet or speak up? In most situations you might actually need to speak up for your brand. Your customers depend on you for information and keeping their belief growing strong is your responsibility! Look at how coca cola does it and Pepsi ignores. Results; is pretty clear in the number of likes they garner in their facebook posts or for that matter even the number of fans!
2. Customer Service Redefined: It is not always about responding to customer complaints which make your customers happy and that’s what makes coca cola a better brand. As the name goes, open happiness, Coca Cola is always there to respond to their customers at happy and sad moments. It’s like a buddy! But does Pepsi nail it too? Find out for yourself.
3. Client Hunt: This becomes quite easy. You are a brand, your loyal customers’ prophesize about you and their friends try it out in turn. The process continues. The trick is to keep your existing customers happy. Once they realize that your brand connects better with them, the job is almost done. No wonder it is said, when your customers talk good about you, your brand is sure to score the goal!
4. Personal Engagement: The more personally you address your customers, the better valued they feel. It is this which leads to an unbreakable bond between the two. Coke in fact goes one step ahead by customizing pep bottles with names of people and interacts with them equally on social media. Looks like Pepsi has got this sorted too, but when some other brand is being favored on your page, it still needs some work!
5. Outperform your competitor: In this case, Coca Cola is clearly the winner. It is not just putting out better creatives but also engaging better with their customers and making them the centre of the conversations. Well taste wise, there is not a great difference between the two, however when it comes to emotionally connecting with the audience, Coke outperforms all other soft drink brand. Whether it is a heart melting ad or a simple creative or for that matter, even their tagline. Everything is in line with their sole message of building better bonds with family and friends!