Brands need to target social media for image building

Industry leaders brainstorm over the need for a social media policy, and how brands can leverage social media for outreach and image building

e4m by Ankur Singh
Updated: Sep 4, 2014 8:34 AM
Brands need to target social media for image building

At a time when social media is increasingly becoming a part and parcel of personal and professional universe, its use presents certain risks, and carries certain responsibilities as well. 

At an Assocham event on Tuesday, industry representatives brainstormed over the need for a social media policy, and how brands can leverage social media for outreach and image building.

Hareesh Tibrewala, Joint CEO, Social Wavelength, said, “Twenty four years back, corporate communication was fully regulated. In the next technological wave, there was an era of email with a post-facto audit policy. And, now, it’s all about social, where regulation is a challenge. The medium needs a framework of proper dos and don’ts, and a practical audit policy.”

Asking the right questions

Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including your own or someone else’s web log or blog, journal or diary, personal web site, social networking or affinity web site, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram, etc.

“The most pertinent questions companies need to ask themselves is, the reason behind having a social media policy — the ‘Why’ of the policy.  “Framework will then be needed to regulate the policy,” pointed out Beerajaah Sswain, VP, Digital and Emerging Media, Omnicom Media Group.

Nilay Arora, VP, Marketing and Business Development, WeChat India, said, “The question brands need to ask themselves is that, do we really need to implement a policy? Or are we looking at inculcating a culture in a positive manner? We need to evolve in terms of giving the consumer real-time responses. This will help brands connect with its consumers and relate to consumption.”

The ‘Evolution’

“Social media will soon become a formal Consumer Relationship Management (CRM) platform for companies. It will not just be a B2C solution, but also a B2B solution,” stated Daman Soni, Business Head, India, LINE.

Today, it is helping create and maintain relationships with key stakeholders through online conversations. Through an integrated digital and social media development framework, brands can deliver holistic solutions, geared towards impactful results, he added.

“Brands can build, enhance, protect and even repair their online reputation with efficient and engaging digital content. They need to use tools to measure online reputation across various platforms and map it against their vision,” said Sswain.

Who’s responsible?

Today, companies and its employees are entirely responsible for what they post online. But, there have been many incidents of mismanaged social media handles. Before creating online content, brands need to consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved.

“They need to be mindful about any conduct that adversely affects the performance of employees, clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, or people who work on behalf of the company’s legitimate business interests. Crafting a social media policy for the workplace is as much about protecting your employees as it is about limiting your business' exposure to unwanted criticism or legal issues. Brands should aim at killing negative comments by positive comments,” said Hareesh Tibrewala, Joint CEO, Social Wavelength, JWT.

Social media can be an empowering venue for your employees to communicate and interact with customers, but it also carries some risks. So finding a balance that affords some level of empowerment with clear boundaries can make all the difference, said Anurag Batra, Chairman, Businessworld.“Social media is one of the biggest tools for brands that are looking at becoming a ‘force for good’,” he pointed out.


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