Why social media presence is important for ALL brands and companies:
As you know, almost all companies and brands, now have social media pages. Why is that? Why is it that all companies, even the ones NOT selling products through social media, have a SM page?
Well the answer is quite simple. Companies want to build a relationship with their customers, employees, suppliers, and whoever is a stakeholder. Social media has been both extremely beneficial and has negatively impacted a lot of brands. This form of media allows a company to use a voice and tone they may have not been able to in traditional media. “Online brand communities represent a network of relationships between consumers and the brand, product, fellow consumers, and the marketer” (McAlexander, Schouten, & Koenig, 2002, p. 39) Unfortunately, with social media a company also gives up certain share of the voice and instead allows their customers and users to take that position.
Lets take a look at the pros and cons of social media for brands and companies:
Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram allows a company to speak directly to customers. Literally, in the sense that they are able to respond to customers almost immediately. Figuratively as in, they are able to reach a specific target market easier than ever before. Social media allows a company to quickly solve a problem or question a customer might be having. With a simple reply to a post, a company can improve their customer services dramatically. SM has allowed brands to not only reach mass audiences for a cheaper price than traditional media but has allowed companies to get the customer involved. By creating a “movement”, if you will, using specific hashtags on twitter and Instagram, companies can now allow customers to be involved in their story telling. If you take a look at brands like Nike, Guess, Calvin Klein and many others, you will see that they have done this. By creating a social media campaign like “In #MyCalvins ” brands give their customer the opportunity to get involved. Users are eager to feel as though they apart of something bigger than them. They want to feel as though they are involved and social media is the best platform to allow a brand to connect to their customer.
Along with all the benefits social media provides, there are also negative aspects of it. As a company, you are giving up share of voice on social media by allowing customers to post their own comments on your page. This can negatively impact your company. So often, there are unhappy customers who will post negative postings and reviews which will be visible to other customers, investors and other stakeholders. It is sort of like airing out your dirty laundry. Take for example Zara, one of the biggest fast fashion retailers in the world. An extreme online social media presence but one tweet and the brand was all over the news due to a woman finding a mouse tail sewn in her dress. These are the things that a company must be on the constant look for and be able to address these issues immediately. By responding to consumers negative comments, it can help companies improve on certain aspects of their company or simply do damage control before something has gotten out of hand. These are the times that a company can take initiative and improve on their company based on what the customer wants from them.
Adweek posted an article on how to deal with negative comments on your brands social media page that can be extremely useful for companies : http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-to-deal-with-negative-facebook-comments/
All in all, social media is a benefit for all companies, be it a clothing brand, automotive supplier or nail salon. It allows companies to promote for a cheaper price than traditional, improve on their customer service and target the exact audience they wish to reach.