ADOTAS — Social media is the tool of the decade for marketers and brands. With new technologies and the advancement of online and mobile advertising, social marketing has advanced at an exponential rate. In order for brands to compete in today’s cut-throat marketing wars, adapting to this new technology is essential.
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and other social media platforms each have different methods that achieve particular goals for brands. These platforms have transformed the marketing industry by opening several windows of opportunity for improved targeting and communication with consumers.
“A brand must be able to articulate their purpose, message, and mission in order to select a platform that best suits their needs,” said Kendra Bracken-Ferguson (pictured), co-founder of Digital Brand Architects (DBA).
No Magic Formula
There is no magic formula that tells brands which is the best social media platform to utilize. According to Kendra, “there are different features in each social media platform that make it fitting to brands’ specific goals.” Several factors play a role in determining the best form of social media to use, and sometimes there isn’t one simple answer.
“Facebook is the holy grail for retargeting, greater reach, and customer engagement,” said Kendra. “Instagram is useful for retaining established consumers. Pinterest helps solve the question, ‘How do I bring a brand to life?’ LinkedIn is great for recruiting and applications. Also, we’ve been using a lot more Google+ recently. Every company should start to venture towards Google+.”
Ultimately, there is no obvious answer. Brands must decide what type and level of engagement they are seeking and what goals they hope to achieve through their engagement with consumers. Then and only then will brands be able to take full advantage of the wide variety of social media platforms.
There is Value
Asked if there is true value for brands in the use of social media platforms, Kendra did not hesitate to respond. “Yes there is definitely value in using social media for engagement. The shift in communication with consumers and the availability of data-rich platforms allows brands to form direct relationships.”
Therefore, social media has value for both the consumers and the brands. The consumers feel more appreciated by a brand, which creates a positive experience that will entice consumers to keep returning to that brand. The brands benefit in several ways, such as retaining customers, creating direct relationships, and delivering desired messages.
Kendra explains that the best aspects of social media are “the ability to identify key and new consumers, create one-on-one relationships and conversations, testing new products, and co-creating new products with consumers.
The only way social media can backfire, she said, is if a brand doesn’t use it appropriately. For example, if a brand chose to ignore feedback from customers, that would be counterproductive.
Therefore, she said, social media, when used correctly, offers extensive value and benefits to brands that are both worthwhile and necessary to continue growing and competing in the marketplace.
Unlimited Room for Growth
“The sky’s the limit” is no metaphor in terms of social media growth. Despite all the new developments and improvements already made in social media, there is so much more that can be done.
“Social media will shift and evolve as we advance as a society with new technologies and new ideas,” Kendra said.
As society and technology continue to evolve, brands and marketers will be forced adapt accordingly. There will always be room on both sides to progress and take on new forms. Literally, the sky is the limit.