Creating inspiring brands.

Ask what social media can do for you

For the most of you who read this blog social media is a standard thing. Waking up and having coffee while checking up your e-mail or updating your Facebook and Twitter account sounds pretty much like the usual morning routine for most of us. But what happens when it comes to brands? Do they follow or share our daily routines? Should they post daily or weekly on their changing moods or show us their newest photo collections? Can the social media improve relationship between brand and its consumers?

The best thing a brand can do is to become close friends with its consumers. Becoming friends means sharing the same values and offering comfort, inspiration or fun when needed. While other media such as TV or print make a solid platform to promote core brand values, social networks make the perfect place to getting to know your consumers better. To listen to them, offer them advice or share news on daily basis. Just like what good friends do.

It’s not strange that some of the most successful global brands have recognized the opportunity and invest heavily in this kind of friendship. Besides veterans such as Coca-Cola with nearly 22 million friends on Facebook and Starbucks with 19 million, one of my top favorites is Ford. Once the first talks about social media have started Ford has hired Scott Monty as their Head of Social Media. Scott has taken his role pretty seriously and has become a true touch point between the brand and its consumers. Scott promotes his own and his company’s views and values through his blog and Twitter account where he has made about 30.000 followers. With investing so much effort in trend watching and innovation, no wonder Ford has come out as one of the winners from the last year’s automobile industry collapse. According to brandchannel “Ford is expected to post its best annual profit in more than a decade, when the company announces its fourth quarter and full year financial results on Friday”.

Last year we have seen a true rise of social media. One of the heaviest advertisers when it comes to traditional media Procter&Gamble has announced recently that it will redirect a fair amount of its advertising spending from daytime television serials to social networks. The Old Spice Guy campaign staring Isaiah Mustafa has certainly been a huge incentive to this kind of strategy with 140 million views on Youtube and 1.2 million fans on Facebook. When it comes to ROI, the Old Spice has reported a double-digit growth by the end of 2010.

So how does this apply to your brand? Communicate with your consumers, get to know them better, show them your fun side, make them laugh and talk about your brand over their coffee breaks. That’s the best way to enter their minds and hearts.

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