In today’s world, where ‘trending topic‘ has replaced ‘wildfire‘ as the synonym for hot news, whether you like it or not; you simply cannot ignore the omnipresence of social media. The fact that the first word of the attack on Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan by the US Seals was reported on Twitter, speaks a lot about the evolution of our information networks.
The world is shrinking and everyone is connected through these newly discovered tools for professional and personal reasons, and as such, can ignore its importance only at their own peril. Since I belong to the marketing world – let’s talk a little about how social media can affect brands.
In my opinion, for companies that invest heavily in creating and maintaining a brand image, it would be detrimental to neglect social media and its prevalence in its consumer’s lives. It is imperative for them to monitor what is being said about them at the largest gathering of people over the world. Brand image is created as much (if not more) by the opinion of the masses, as by the million dollar air-time brands gets in commercials. A trending topic related to a product or brand could speak volumes to millions of people in a matter of minutes. This scenario can be scary if it’s ignored but can also be extremely beneficial if exploited in the right way.
Companies who are on the right track and in sync with social media, can easily work towards creating viral messages for their brands or even trying to change directions of trending topics to their advantage through steady social media monitoring. In fact now companies have easy access to opinions about their brands whereas less than a decade ago, companies would do anything for this kind of information at their fingertips. With social media’s dominance in our lives today, it has actually become possible to know exactly what people are talking about every hour!
Apart from being a fantastic place to gather information, social networking sites also allow companies to advertise their products to a very specific target audience. If you have ever updated a status message on Facebook with a keyword like ‘camera‘, and consequently found camera brand ads on your page, it wasn’t just a coincidence. It’s wired that way, in your face, ready-to-assimilate information.
Social media is also a great competitive intelligence tool. A company can track their competitor’s brand to know where their strength and weaknesses lie. Thus, a company not only knows what is going right/wrong with its own brand placement in the sector, it can also analyze its competitor’s position in the consumers’ mind. Moreover, people on these social platforms also talk about their needs, wants and desires. This could also give useful information about what the consumers increasingly need and a general consensus about a requirement that could potentially lead to a new product idea or a feature change. The value for businesses seems endless.
With a page of your own on these platforms, you could not only keep an eye on the flow of information but also participate in it. You could spread the word about your product amongst your consumers with very little effort. You could collect feedback, participate in relevant discussions, organize polls, and post updates to build a strong and effective media presence that facilitates the process of forming the desired brand image.All in all, jumping onto the social media bandwagon and monitoring your social media presence can help you keep the moolah flowing!!
So let’s just close this by summarizing – monitoring social media gives you an edge on the knowledge front. In line with this point of view, Brandscapes has launched a social media monitoring tool called “Net Worth”. Get in touch with us to find out more!
This blog post is written by Neerja Goswami, Associate Insight Consultant, Brandscapes Worldwide
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