Social Media In Marketing : Here to Stay

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1697 , Published on 17 July 2012

Recently I attended a lecture on how Marketing has changed in the last decade and the speaker ended on the note of Technology‘s impacts in Marketing eg: social media. One of the key features in our daily life today is social media, I call it a feature because it can no longer be called a syndrome which impacts one generation or race or social profile. Social Media today is a part of our life and Marketing is about realizing the consumer and acting fast to tap any mind space that one can.

When I was studying Kotler back in my college sitting in a MBA class the highest level of brand connectivity was brand loyalty and the examples quoted included Shopper ‘s stop making one return to their shop by handing out First Citizen Cards which promises lots of advantages none of which the buyer truly understands.

Brand loyalty can encompass everything from the free coupons handed out by Dominos on purchase of every Pizza which offers a discount on the next purchase to every occasion when a retailer hands you a Pepsi, and you ask for Coca Cola. Brand Loyalty could be measured by observing repeat purchases and inflexibility of the consumer to switch even when faced with unavailability.

However the new terminology as the highest recognition of brand s sustenance is “BRAND LOVE”, brand love can be vaguely defined as the phenomenon where a consumer is so in love with a brand that the brand becomes very personal to him/her and one reacts to the brand same way as a person you are in love with. For eg: A Federer Fan will continue to argue with others on his form and will not take kindly to any communication against him and hence the writer of the piece will also have rubbed the person the wrong way. Today that’s what a brand aspires to be and it is the ultimate challenge to marketers.

Social Media plays a key role here because Newspapers have become an obsolete medium of communication and with internet penetration on a constant increase an aspirational brand can capture the right minds by just being on the right social media platform. And the social media which has India hooked onto it while world over it continues to decrease on followers is Facebook.

With 5% and arguable the top most strata of India’s population on Facebook, no brand today can afford not to be. I was pleasantly surprised to see not just Brands like Maggi, Olay, Bajaj pulsar, Fastrack etc on Facebook but also a brand like Santoor which is widely perceived as the soap of last generation in East and North India while the it reached the no.1 soap position in South India beating HUL’s Lux and Lifebuoy.

Being on Facebook has many advantages

  • Direct Engagement with user
  • Uplifts brand imagery as up to date
  • Mind share for new products in an established base of old Bru Exotica is searching for its new variant through its Facebook Page and is depending on the poll conducted amongst followers.

What makes Facebook a Marketers delight are the Share and Like buttons. A recent study conducted on why people press the Share button suggests that only when one considers anything to be worth being associated with will a person share it with all the friends who will be able to see the same on his/her page otherwise a “like” will just suggest that while you appreciate the brand but are not willing to share that with your friends.

Hence now Marketers have their job cut out on how to make the consumers to come to their page, join in so that the brand can put updates on their page and convince them enough to share this information with their friends who are currently not followers of the brand.

While Social Media changes the face of Marketing the bigger challenge is the negative comments, a Brand Manager ‘s nightmare is the “I hate…” comment or page. Its always easier to get people to comment on such posts and vent out their frustration and once something like this goes viral no amount of positive enforcements can help the brand. Hence you can like it or hate it but Social media is here to stay and as a Marketer you just cant ignore it.

This article has been authored by Deepti Karthik, MBA (NMIMS). She works with HUL.



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