Sudhanshu Rai talks about how people are using new-age media as an influential medium to promote their brands
The widespread digitalisation demands that every business, irrespective of its size or type has a social media strategy in place. This new age media which includes social media is centered around interactions among people. It facilitates broadcast messaging that is accessible to everyone and can trigger a chain of more communication. The messaging can be personalised and updated keeping in mind the rapidly changing dynamics. Research conducted confirms that today consumers spend at least an hour on digital media out of which social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube capture their maximum time and attention. The information posted on these sites affect the users without them realising, it shapes their thoughts, attitudes, and behavior.
Tapping the power
Why does social media have such a profound and powerful impact? Information regarding a brand is posted by social media influencers. We can easily relate to these influencers, they are credible, attractive and yet normal and down-to-earth people like us so relating to them comes naturally. Encouraging customers to post their experiences regarding services or products of a brand on their Facebook pages can inspire more people to checkout the products. According to a recent survey, 71 per cent of consumers who have enjoyed the services of a brand are likely to recommend it to others on social media. This survey confirms the vital role that social media can play in increasing brand engagement and winning new customers. This medium can be used to generate leads; the interested readers can be engaged to pass on the message to their connections; this can be done at many levels; thus adding more prospective customers and multiplying the probability of converting them into lucrative deals by manifold. Thus social media increases the reach and penetration with minimum investment, what is required is an involved and creative approach. This is an extremely effective marketing strategy with a frugal budget.
However, on similar lines, if something discouraging about a service is published then the chances that the readers will think twice before purchasing the service or product increases.
Another survey by a Nielsen and McKinsey suggests that around 60 per cent of consumers who research products online check for information about a brand or organization on social networking platforms. Most social networking platforms have information on product reviews, customer feedbacks, product ratings and user information that play a role in shaping their decisions. Prospective customers prefer this approach as there is transparency and the information is easily available.
What can new entrepreneurs do?
They need to leverage the potential of social media channels. They can organise paid campaigns on Facebook etc. Instagram is one of the biggest platforms for influential marketing. Even the paid campaigns are cost-effective. Using social media in your advertising and branding strategy is a must and no more a choice. One of the common challenges identified is regarding the choice of the social media platform that can yield the best results. This can be decided with research and the kind of audience you want to target. Posting the right messages at the right sites can reach more networks. Choosing relevant role models whose values are aligned with the brand values will enhance the authentic factor and having transparency regarding the brand its product or service is what attracts millennials. Finally crafting a dynamic, engaging campaign, sparking off conversations, using innovative methods to make the message viral can go a long way in establishing your brand.
A well thought through strategy to tap the power of the social media can prove to be immensely beneficial, it can decide the fate of the brand i.e. make or break it.
(The author is a brand strategist and a motivational speaker.)