Technology has affected us and the way we carry out our daily activities. The evolution of technology has seen the emergence of new ways of conducting business as well. Gone are the days when aesthetically pleasing internet websites or fancy product brochures were considered enough to drive profits. The art of conducting business and for that matter marketing itself has crossed over to incorporate the growing trend of social media to set themselves apart from competitors.
In these testing economic times when a number of media forms are finding it difficult to survive, it is forecast that Word of Mouth (WOM) is set to grow by 10.2 percent. WOM has always been considered to be one of the most effective forms of advertising. The buzz that WOM generates is infectious and gets passed over and over. No matter what your brand provides, WOM can be one of the most influential factors affecting the way your brand fairs in the market.
The power of WOM lies in the fact that it encompasses a wide range of different media, from blogs to street teams to traditional grassroots campaigns targeted at people to get talking about a product or service. The other main advantage, of course, is that WoM doesnt necessarily cost a lot. And with a latest Nielsen Global Consumer Survey claiming that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, the power of WOM cannot be undermined.
In order to launch an effective social media campaign that leads to WOM, you need to be aware of how your brand is positioned across your target market. Knowing your audience and listening to their needs is of prime importance as it gives you a good idea about how you can contribute by providing an effective message across your audience. It is all about sending the right message across the right people at the right time.
An effective message is worthless unless it is targeted wisely. Although many brands are still utilizing traditional media outlets, to get their message across, social media is rapidly becoming the sought after platform for brands because online advertising is cheaper compared to other mediums such as TV and print and is far more targeted. Choosing a targeted cost effective channel to promote your brand can not only give your brand that much needed boost but will also be light on your pockets.
Popular social media networks such as Facebook with a user strength of more than 250 million users and Twitter with a head count of 20 million and growing, can serve as WOM networks to get your message across. Once your message is targeted, these social networks can provide that much needed domino effect to push your brand to recognition. However unless you have solid, relevant content, the social media marketing efforts can be easily put to waste.
You can make sure that your social media marketing campaign is an absolute winner and thus improve your brand marketing by using a few basic techniques. Although your customers can get information from the internet, you can do your brand a world of good by providing your customers with free resources such as reports, statistics and guides. Valuable information provided to your customers will not only keep you ahead of the competition but also earn their loyalty.
Incorporating a way to get feedback from your customers is a great way to ensure that your brand is heading in the right direction. Several companies like Starbucks, BestBuy and Pizza Hut use customer feedback to improve their brands and you could rightly benefit from it, too. It is also important to stay consistent and admit any wrong as people appreciate honesty and integrity. In addition, when you show progress or improvement as a brand, your customer will empathize with you for the openness and sincerity.
Social media is revolutionizing the marketing world and has put institutional control of marketing in the hands of consumers or the general public. Using it wrongly could bring disrepute to your brand, but use it correctly and you could see your brand breaking boundaries and reaching unimaginable heights.