There are plenty of brand mentions to go around in Social Network Sites. Consumers continuously shape brand perception with their online conversations; This means your company and your brands’ reputation is on-the-line. What can you do? give the influencers something positive to talk about.
The above graphic by PR firm immediate future illustrates the number of brand mentions, for the top 25 brands, throughout a significant portion of the social media landscape for 2007. The beginning n of online marketing is done with the purchase of the YouTube subscribers. Is it ok to buy YouTube subscribers? With the availability of the subscribers, the promotion of the brand is done effectively. All the things should be considered while purchasing the subscribers.
Many companies have used social network sites to spread their message and to create brand awareness. Adidas and its campaign using a MySpace poll in its profile is one of the most cited examples of big companies using social networks. The poll itself generated more than 50,000 votes, but the whole campaign was seen by around four million MySpace users. For a campaign as minor as that, four million is a figure hard to ignore. Pizza Hut in South Korea, on the other hand, used Cyworld, and that too garnered an overwhelming response. Results such as these have prompted other brands to follow. And soon enough, Pontiac, Skittles, Victoria’s Secret, among several others, have used MySpace, Facebook, and other similar websites.
But despite these success stories, it is still a generalization to say that using social network sites as a means for promotion and marketing is for everyone. For some companies, this process will fit like a glove, which will obviously result to a positive outcome. For a number of brands, however, the process may be more strenuous, the results less sterling.
So how do you decide if you should use social network sites for your brand? Here are some factors and tips you should consider.
- Are you customers members of social network sites? According to Social Media demographics, the online population can be classified into six types: producers, commentators, gatherers, joiners, observers, and inactives. Joiners, as the name implies, are those who join in various activities online. If majority of your customers are joiners, using social network sites as a means for marketing will be effective and can produce positive results. This simply says that you first have to make sure that you can reach to a significant number of customers before you make any marketing efforts through social networks. Age is one of the key factors you should take note of. If your brand caters to people ages thirteen to twenty-three, you must use social networks. If your customers are aged from twenty-four to thirty-five, your efforts will probably succeed too. On the other hand, if your customers are older, your marketing efforts may not yield substantial results. However, sites such as Facebook are exerting efforts to reach out to older people, so marketing through social network sites may become imperative regardless of the age of your clientele in the near future.
- Will your customers be active? As in the case of Adidas and Pizza Hut, it has been proven that customers can be active in social network site marketing tactics. The level of participation will determine the success of your endeavor. If the level of participation will not be significant and the brand enthusiasm online is low, it is best to exert marketing efforts in other areas. At this stage, it may be imperative for you to know the online buzz regarding your brand.
- Does your brand have online presence even before you exert effort? Social networks have been around for a number of years now. It is possible that someone has already created a MySpace profile or Facebook group of your brand. So before you use social network sites, check what’s already out there. If there are already existing groups or profiles, this should not discourage you from using social network sites. The fact that you will maintain the official page of the brand on MySpace, for example, will attract avid and enthusiastic customers, since you can use this to disseminate information and as a base for future marketing attempts. But on the other hand, you should not discourage these groups too. You should find a way to incorporate these existing pages and accounts. One of the mistakes of a number of organizations is shutting down unofficial profiles, just like what then presidential candidate (and now United States president) Barack Obama did with an unauthorized MySpace page. Do not view them as competition; rather, treat them as an ally.
- Can your brand promote interaction through social network sites? If you do create MySpace or Facebook profile for your brand, the members who will add you as a “friend” are those with an existing relationship with your brand or service. So rather than just using the social network site profile as a means for marketing, you should use it to interact and communicate with your “friends.” This way, you are creating a deeper relationship which, in turn, could lead to brand loyalty. This can be done by using widgets, wallpapers, and other promotional tools and spreading them through your social networking profile. You should also respond to comments left by members; in bulk or individually, depending on the content. Of course, you will need to people to program your profile and to reply to messages and comments. With this done, you can use social network sites as a main base for your advertising effort.