How ‘social’ is this ‘media’ for brands?
In class V we were taught that man is a social animal, though we were more local than social in those days.
Today we are more social than local. We will probably not recognize our neighbors until we friend them on Facebook or Instagram!
And then, of course, the neighbors can also be privy to what goes on in our house, including our dog’s daily menu and sleep patterns!
There is no doubt that social media is filling a huge gap in the lives of people. Otherwise, the trend would have withered away a long time ago.
But what does it mean for marketers?
For B2C brands, it is a no-brainer to opt for social media postings and advertisements. It helps them connect with all generations including X, Y, Z and millennials across different parameters of age, net worth, regions, etc.
A very pertinent point to note here though, about social media posting for B2C brands, is not to indulge in ‘in-your-face’ selling.
For that matter, it holds true for any kind of advertising or reach-out that marketers do for B2C brands. Please do not sell to the consumer.
In 1955 David Ogilvy said in a famously sexist quote, “The consumer is not a moron. She is your wife.”
In 2019 I will go out on a limb and say, “The consumer is smarter than all of you put together and more.”
Therefore do not ever sell directly, instead educate the consumers, cajole them, humor them, and use subtle nuances to get through to them.
They really do get it!
For B2B brands though, social media should be used more as a branding medium than an aggressive selling tool.
When B2B brands want to reach out to their prospective employees or build a positive image and reputation, they can harness the power of social in media.
Various initiatives like CSR reach outs, team accomplishments, completed projects, etc. be used to build thought-leadership positioning.
Most B2B brands do not realize the power that social media holds. Every employee, vendor or consultant who feels proud of working in that company is a brand ambassador. They and their families have social media pages.
Every brand ambassador has touchpoints of at least 50-100 people in a month. This increases manifold the influence a brand can exert over people that it would never get across in its lifetime.
So, even for B2B brands, social media holds great potential. It is important to recognize this and adapt it accordingly.
Anju Thkral Makin heads a Gurugram-based niche consultancy firm, Alchemy Corporate Communications, specializing in marketing strategy and brand communication. You can contact her on LinkedIn
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