How brands are unleashing the power of social media as a marketing tool
As brands become more convinced of social media's power, its scope and influence are being tested by marketers in new ways
Published - Jul 9, 2019 8:10 AM Updated: Jul 9, 2019 8:10 AM
Social media platforms are no longer just domains for socializing. They are powerful marketing tools for brands. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube are witnessing an influx of brands looking to connect with consumers in a more personalized way. Using wit, humour or a strong social message, brands are constantly trying to evolve through mediums that help them connect best with their target audience.
As per reports, Indians top the list on time spent on social media, spending an average of 4-5 hours on the phone. Though Facebook still reigns supreme, the popularity of apps like Instagram and Twitter is big for marketers too. To understand the reach of these apps one can simply land on the Facebook business page and understand the strength in numbers- Instagram has 500 million plus accounts worldwide that are active every day and 80 percent of these accounts follow a business on Instagram. As for Facebook it has 1.5 billion plus users worldwide every day and 7 million plus active advertisers.
But, it is not on ads alone that brands depend on vis-à-vis social media platforms. Campaigns on social media are getting more and more creative and interactive and influencers are being roped in to increase followers.
exchange4media spoke to brands and industry experts on the importance of targeting social media to stay on top of the game.
Says Sahil Vaidya, Co-Founder -The Minimalist’s (Design and Digital Company), "In 2019, brands are waking up to the reality of how social media really works and embracing new age trends like moment marketing, snackable video content and aggressive influencer collaborations. Some brands, by being on top of trends and understanding the need for a curated approach to hold a consumer's attention, have massively benefited and garnered an enviable share of voice in their sectors. As times change, newer trends will emerge. For now, vernacular content and minimal video content seem to be things that will be key to building brands in the coming years.”
The idea for brands is to breakaway from being distant and unapproachable. Take Swiggy’s Voice of Hunger challenge on social media earlier this year. Not only did it garner 1.5 lakh entrees, it also won the 3 Cannes lion for its exceptional consumer engagement.
Are you ready for challenge 1 of #SwiggyVoiceOfHunger? Recreate the shape of a KEBAB SKEWER by using the voice notes feature on Instagram and DM it to Swiggy to win up to a year's worth of Swiggy vouchers! Increase your chances of winning by recording yourself while sending us the voice note. Click on our profile to get started. Go! Keep ‘em coming! #Challenge #Food #FoodPorn #InstaFood #VoiceNotes #Twitter #Intern #Fired #Joey #French #bluueeblaahhhbleehhhblueeblahblehblue #foodgasm #NomNomNom #OmNomNom
According to Ashish L, AVP, Marketing, Swiggy, the idea is to have a two-way conversation with consumers and humanize the brand, he says, “Swiggy leverages all major social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with customised campaigns tailored for the platforms. For instance, Facebook is used when we want to reach out to a broader audience, Twitter to generate and create conversations with our consumers and Instagram to integrate and engage with food lovers.”
Since the impact of social media campaigns is measurable. Companies are able to identify the right social media KPIs, impact on ROI and take informed decisions for future investments. To achieve this, many brands run contests to engage with consumers to increase traffic on their social media pages.
In a contest titled Relive Your Memories, Cleartrip asked Instagram users to share their travel-related memories, it only recorded over 2,000 plus entries but the average engagement rate increased by 2X and the number of followers increased by 50 percent.
Congratulations Week 3 winners! Keep travelling and telling us your stories. For those of you yet to participate, follow 3 simple steps and stand a chance to win Grand Prize of Rs 1,00,000 or Weekly Prize of Rs 20,000. Step 1: Follow Cleartrip on Instagram. Step 2: Post a photo of your favourite vacation on your Instagram page using the hastags #TravelWithCleartrip #CleartripContest #ContestAlert #Contest #WinRs1Lakh Step 3: Add the location of this vacation and tag your favourite people with whom you want to relive this vacation in your caption/comments. You can also win Rs 1,000 by sharing our contest announcement post on your story. For more details, check link in bio.
Elaborating on how they use social media to understand consumer behaviour and fine tune their products, Ashish Dhruva, VP Marketing, Cleartrip, says, “In general, social media has become a window of direct brand interaction with our customers. Today, it has dramatically reduced the time of response in a brand and customer interaction.”
Brands often piggy back on landmark days to push brand recall. The idea is to have a two way channel between the brand and consumer which helps companies understand their target audience.
On World Music Day, Gaana held a two week long #WorldMusicOnGaana campaign celebrating the nuances of music from various cultures across the globe. The campaign was a runaway hit, and led to the highest user engagement on the app on World Music Day.
Prashan Agarwal, CEO, Gaana, says, “Social media is used as a tool to ensure we have our fingers on the pulse of our audience’s interests. It also helps us propel brand recall value by consistently engaging with them, and has led to us enjoying a 90 percent brand recall.”
These platforms are also brand lessons for companies, as they can pick on trends, fads, likes and dislikes from the social media communities. The consumer today is spoilt for choice therefore brands that are on the social media bandwagon are quick to pick on preferences and remain future ready.
On a parting note, this is the advice from social media expert Tamara Mccleary, CEO, Thulium, “If you're in the B2B space, there's no more powerful tool than Twitter and LinkedIn. If you're in the consumer space, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and if you're not on there, you're going to be left behind.”
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