Lessons to Learn From Failed Social Media Outings of Big Brands
By Vivek Patel
Let us not go ahead of ourselves in calling social media universal. But with worldwide social media users projected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018, it is surely getting there. Social media plays a major role in influencing buying decisions of both the retail and enterprise customer, wherein 57% of them said that they are influenced to think highly of a brand after seeing positive comments online. 90% of young adults (ages 18-29) use social media and marketing budgets for social media will rise to 24% of the total marketing share by 2010.
The above statistics make it amply clear that social media is something brands cannot ignore if they wish to engage with their customers. Or as Erik Qualman says, “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the choice is how well we do it.”
You cannot simply bulldoze your way through social media
Social media marketing is more of a subtle art than an exact science and big brands often make the mistake of comparing it with traditional marketing. You cannot shout your messages to your audience. Companies get a rude shock when the feedback starts pouring in. They fail to realize that social media is all about creating a rapport with the users, creating a strong fan base and then subtly sharing sales messages.
Not long ago, businesses would still thrive despite being rude. But the Internet has changed business dynamics. Now consumers talk about their experiences online and other consumers are influenced by these experiences. Big brands suffer from a self-righteous syndrome where they tend to believe that since they are well-respected, popular and produce (or provide) high quality products (or services), they are immune to negative feedback and criticism.
But social media lays everything bare. Reputations and businesses alike have been left to tatters through inadvertent or deliberate misadventures on the social media.
The disconnect – Budget and scale of business
Even though big brands do realize that social media marketing is really a tightrope walk and they cannot simply bulldoze their way through, they need carefully crafted marketing strategies to succeed on social media. The biggest mistake a company can do is starting a half-baked campaign with an insufficient budget.
A major reason why most brands do not see any meaningful results from their social media campaigns is the inability, or apprehension, to allocate sufficient budget to their campaigns. If your objective is to drive the penetration of your new product to millions, does it make sense if your social media activity is engaging only a couple thousand?
Big brands have a massive reach and they sell to a large number of people. Their social media activities should also reflect this and sufficient resources should be allocated towards reaching these goals.
How these small businesses nailed it on the social media
Whether you are a big brand or small, your social media budget should support your goals. Many small businesses are killing it on the social media with well thought of campaigns and strategies. Steve Go to the full article.