Social media today is not just about creating thumb stopping content that makes brands look relevant and not antiquated
By Deepti Karthik
“Which of my products does the consumer prefer and why? asked every marketer ever to their research agency in the last decade, which would in turn be posed to 500 respondents. The respondents would be culled out based on description of the assumed target audience shared with the agency and after the groundwork the final report would arrive in three to four weeks. Instead, today the Brand just puts up a social media poll- Tell us which colour you like best and gets 500 responses in less than an hour. Social media has changed the marketing landscape and has enabled brands to have an active conversation with the consumers in a format which is easier, faster, intuitive and credible.
Social media today is not just about creating thumb stopping content that makes brands look relevant and not antiquated, it has become the channel for building advocacy. Imagine you are a first-time mom and you start following groups on social media to seek advice and hear of a new brand of organic products that a fellow mom uses or are an avid foodie who sees a brand of seasoning and sauces used to make a droolworthy burger chances are you would give it a shot against having come across ads from these brands on any other channel. Social Media and content on social media therefore have become the most efficient growth hack for marketers who are trying to acquire new users in their fold.
I recently saw a poll which said 90% consumers who are loyal to a brand follow its Instagram handle, the GEN Z is rightfully called the progressive conscious customer for they not just want the best in class when it comes to quality but also want to know provenance when it comes to their brand preference. They want to know more about the products and services they consume since they feel responsible for these choices. 90 percent of consumers said they would switch to sustainable brands if price and quality were equal according to Bain’s François Faelli and social media is the go-to channel for information assimilation for their ilk.
Has social media become too cluttered?
Mark Zuckerberg might have heralded a new world for consumers however there is a new social media every quarter that intends on challenging the supremacy of the Facebook conglomerate and so as one channel gets cluttered there is a new kid on the block promising to be more engaging and captures the consumer’s imagination. Social media has moved from text to images to videos and while new platforms and trending formats keep marketers guessing on media dispersion being the early bird is critical to winning.
Having a framework and clear social media strategy can help brands demarcate what the role of each channel is and how it serves the brand messaging pillars. While being authentic and reliable are fundamental to ensuring talkability a brand needs to also be distinctively fresh in visual language and nimble in communication to continue to gain and retain their followers on social media.
As a brand owner, I would want nothing more than to know the pulse on the audience and the social media marketers come with sentiment analysis, word clouds, reviews, product feedback in their arsenal to satiate this need all served straight up by the actual consumers. Even creatives are now tested on social media for likeability, shareability and impact assessment before media is put behind the asset that won on the social media popularity barometer for larger dissemination on digital and mainline media. If the answer to every question is 42, then the answer to how to activate a full funnel for consumer acquisition, retention and growth could be social media till one hits the perils of the anonymity it offers to the troublemakers. Many a brand have been on the receiving end of the consumers displeasure on social media and the PR machinery could have a field day if one well-meaning post lands in unintended charters.
In the new world order- “Have you checked their Insta?” is the ultimate nod a consumer can give to a brand and the brand has all of 3 scrolls to vibe with the potential consumer. So as Brands now the moment of truth is ubiquitous and the real question is are you Insta-Ready?
The author is vice president marketing, DaMENSCH. Views expressed are personal.