Brands will fail in Social Media, until…

the brand manager…

1. thinks before entering the social media wagon: For god’s sake, don’t enter the social media wagon because everyone is on social media. Social media demands huge investment of resources, it’s not only about creating a platform & connecting with consumers.  A thorough social media strategy that adds value to the existing brand behavior has to be crafted. Content is an integral part of your social media success, if it’s not relevant or lacks creative brilliance it will not work.

2. stops viewing social media as just another marketing tool: Social media is a lifestyle. Consider a marketing tool & your brand is due for a toss! Social media is a platform for interaction & collaboration. It is not meant to generate sales, but to develop communities, create content & developing relationships.

3. have some patience: Think long-term when you think about social media. Building a relationship is never a quick and easy solution. A brand should resist the ‘one-night stand approach’ with the consumers, look forward to building a valuable & long-lasting relationship. To build a community  or get people actively involved takes time. Don’t see social media as a advertising campaign, it’s a long term approach.

4. have a dedicated staff responsible for social media: Where does social media fit in? Web Development, Content Generation, PR, Marketing, Communications? Unless you are sure & have a clearly defined objectives & role for your employee responsible to handle social media, you will fail.  There should be a dedicated team that is held accountable for delivering results as per the the brand’s social media strategy.

5. starts listening to consumers: Consumers are the biggest source of information. You stop interacting with them & you are gone is 60 secs (not literally). But, listening to consumers becomes all the more important in times like this…because a dissatisfied consumer can make or break brand’s image. Social media is very instrumental in making the brand behavior absolutely transparent. Hence a 24X7 vigil on consumers is the key to survival.

Inspite of doing everything properly, a brand can still fail in social media…

because usage and interaction in social media is totally dependent on the user. Unlike advertising, social media is a pull medium. Social Media Metric are also very new & still to prove their reliability. Also the criteria for measurement is also very different. Advertising is measured in terms of  page views, while social media is measured in terms of interactions, i.e. no. of friends, no. of comments, quality of content, etc. Interpreting these measures & analyzing effectives is difficult at this point of time.

… atleast we can avoid some blunders.

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2 thoughts on “Brands will fail in Social Media, until…

  1. Great points that I’d argue with point #4 of “have a dedicated staff.” Yes, that is the best practice right now with the Community Managers and examples like Dell, Comcast Cares, etc.

    But I’d argue it is the job of the Brand Manager to be the one out there in Social Media.

    No they cant monitor every question, complaint, etc…they should have a team to help with that. But the person who makes the decisions for the brand should also be the one closest to the people who use brand. Tony at Zappos is the best example of this model. He has a support staff of over 200 people that are participating in Social Media for Zappos. But at the end of the day, @Zappos is Tony and Tony is the brand. He’s out there participating, listening to what people, and acting as a better manager/leader because of it.

  2. Thanks for the clarity, I was under the impression that even if there is a team in place to interact with the consumers on social platform… Brand Manager is the one who over looks the entire team. Your comment did give me a clearer picture on this topic.

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