Last week – Friday the 11th to be precise, I participated in a group discussion about social media in a consumer environment. There were 10 people including myself, involved in this interesting topic. The discussion started by us asking each other what social media we use the most of and why.
The majority said they used WhatsApp because it is private and you can create group discussions with friends instead of just messaging everyone separately. You can create your own online social forum. Facebook was also mentioned as you can stay in contact with friends and family who may not live in close proximity to you and see how they are doing. Twitter was considered quite popular as in a sense it can be seen as a news feed to know what is happening and what is trending through the power of the hashtag #.
In the discussion, I mentioned that I used Twitter (@eman_hype), LinkedIn (my profile http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=221665836&trk=spm_pic) to promote my marketing blog (https://eksmarketingviews.wordpress.com/) ,to get my message across ; my ‘voice’ that marketing is my passion , story-telling is my dream and to take everyone on my personal journey to becoming a modern day marketer.
As you can see from the discussion, social media is for the people by the people.
We went onto discuss the impact social media can have on brands and consumers. By brands being on social media platforms for example Twitter and Facebook, they can communicate directly to people and people can communicate directly back. This is direct marketing but in a sense has a ‘human touch ‘(I previously did an article on that subject title) but on an online platform. By brands interacting and communicating with people; people become fans, fans become followers and followers can become consumers AND brand ambassadors. For example a person can tweet or retweet about a product or service they have received from a brand and that can help raise awareness. They re-enforce and re-endorse the brand. Word of mouth, but on an online platform.
However, the awareness isn’t always positive. It depends on the product or service that consumer has received from the brand. At the same time if the awareness is negative, it can make that brand work harder in delivering a better product or service to the consumer and regaining their faith and trust in them as a brand ambassador.
As you can see, in today’s consumer environment, it seems brands need to have an online social presence or they are not being social at all.