The following is a guest post by Carlos Pandian (author bio below). Enjoy!
It’s not sufficient to merely purchase ads on a social media site as you would in other more traditional outlets and allow things to chug along. A strategy has to be created which incorporates functionality, business objectives and measurable goals, all while developing customer interactions in order maximize the potential created there. Here we take a look at some top brands that illustrate the importance and effectiveness of social media marketing.
Innocent Smoothies has developed from humble beginnings in 1998 to a major brand by concentrating on establishing a relationship with its individual customers through social media strategies. It has established an engaging and responsive dialogue with its audience and amassed a loyal following as a result.
Its campaign on Facebook, for example, includes sites in several different languages to reach a wider audience, and it also uses the platform for advertising its ‘Inspirational Evenings’. What Innocent hasn’t done is use the platform to force-feed advertising to its followers, and this softly-softly approach seems to have found favour. These efforts have gained them what is now 345,000 Facebook fans.
Technology sales are increasingly being driven by marketing on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Salesforce sees social media as increasingly important in building its brand awareness. They have been one of the few software companies to see major acquisitions being made in the social media space, as traditional business growth slows down.
Their online campaigns not only allow people to update regularly on the status of the Salesforce Cloud, for example, but also gives the company an opportunity to promote their charity work in the form of the Salesforce Foundation.
Dominos leads the field in social media innovation and has proved itself to be a recession-proof success as a result. Its Facebook page attracts enormous numbers of fans as it uses the channel as a successful marketing tool to great effect.
As a franchise with a branch for central marketing, its franchisees are able to create their own plans for social media marketing on their local Facebook pages. This makes Domino’s social media operations much more relevant to local people and encourages greater levels of interaction both online and in the ‘real’ world.
Bombardier has driven its increased brand awareness through tactical and strategic SEO and through campaigns on Facebook and other social networks. They also interact and engage with existing and potential customers online to target their primarily male audience.
Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club uses funny and tightly scripted online video advertisements on YouTube to wow audiences and drive brand awareness and sales. With people tending to remember products best when there is musical accompaniment, and with comedy being a type of music, the aim has been to imprint Dollar Shave products and brand on customers’ minds. This has proven to be a hugely successful strategy for them time and time again.
Starbucks has a very high following on various social networks and is especially strong on customer engagement and content quality. As well as cultivating current relationships, Starbucks encourages sharing through special promotions, customizes experience through programs like My Starbuck Rewards, makes the brand fit into trending topics such as environmental awareness and cross-promotes across different social media platforms.
Rather than over-promote their products, Starbucks have gone for a more ‘feel good’ approach to their social media activities, encouraging an association with harmony, care for the environment and social responsibility rather than full-on marketing.
Burberry has only been foraying into social media since 2009 and has greatly strengthened the brand through innovative campaigns on Facebook and other platforms aimed particularly at engaging younger customers. The company has relied largely on word of mouth and public relations spread through Twitter, Facebook and The Sartorialist, to create an ‘in-the-know’ feel for its Art of the Trench line of fashion clothing.
Their online activities tend to focus exclusively on marketing, but for the demographic they are aiming at, this has worked more successfully than the tactics of similar brands.
Free People engages actively and creatively with its customers through a swathe of social media including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Rdio, Vimeo, YouTube and Flickr, and places much emphasis on feedback. Followers can create an account and rate their purchases using a sliding bar, as well as write reviews and leave personal information.
The company has a very clear identity of their targeted audience (clearly laid out on the top of their Facebook page), which could be accused of being a little too exclusive. However, this does make them extremely market-focused which in turn leads to increased levels of interaction with their audience.
Puma’s social media campaign PUMA Finger Bash uses well-known stars of the cricketing world to create avatars that are used in the online game on Facebook. Promoting on Twitter, it aims to engage with existing fans and entice new ones in and has proved to be an innovative way of promoting brand awareness.
Their online profile on Facebook, for example, is extremely slick with professional standard photography and very striking images – and the result is a strong but subliminal CTA that translates into increased sales.
ModCloth shares status updates on Facebook that include; quotes, photos and personal videos as well as asking for feedback on products. They have built an engaging community through constant dialogue and involvement in the brand.
They also link their Twitter account to an innovative Social Butterflies page rather than to their homepage, to give users information specifically about the team behind their blog, Twitter account and other social media profiles. They reward for loyalty to boost crowdsourcing and to embrace user empowerment.
Accounting suites like QuickBooks from Intuit, the leading financial software provider, is used by most successful brands to streamline their accounting operations. Their online profile, however, is not what you’d expect from an accounting software company and takes a very relaxed and one-to-one approach to interactions.
It uses the platforms to update customers and even solve personal issues that users may have, but primarily it takes a low-key approach to online marketing which seems to be extremely effective. One of their employees also launched a rap song about a new accounting procedure in the UK.
About the author:Carlo Pandian is a freelance blogger and social media enthusiast. He is a regular contributor at Techli and has previously spoken at Google Campus about social and web marketing for entrepreneurs.