No one can control social media— but companies can control consumers through social media.
With the zenith of social media as the avenue of advertisement and marketing for businesses worldwide, we could not help but ponder how businesses amazingly generate leads and increase their sales through social media. Moreover, how do they pull the strings to catch the attention of the consumers?
Involving the community in various social media-driven activities are the primary game plan. Well, getting your subscribers, followers, and fans to join your cause is entirely another humongous effort. It takes not just only a quirky idea to ignite the audience, but also a genuine motive should jump-start your efforts.
Social media presence is a definite factor that should be taken into consideration before you start any campaign in mind. Before pushing any campaign, define yourself and take a firm stand with your brand in the social media sphere. Martin Lindstrom, branding expert and one of TIME magazine’s Influential 100 Honoree, claims that while people are believed to harness the power of saying who’s in or out through social media, there are companies that are guilty of having the power to manipulate the consumers’ decisions.
The power to manipulate the consumers’ preferences through social media can be achieved through properly branding your business and strengthening your foundations in order to create a firm voice in the industry.
A company with successful branding is likely to succeed in crowdsourcing. Consequently, a company may use crowdsourcing to further establish branding. It’s a cycle with a predictable pattern; however, the borders between the means to attain results and the results itself are blurred.
Let’s take the Starbucks’ campaign, “My Starbucks Idea”.
We all know Starbucks. Many people had already tried their concoctions. When the word Starbucks is uttered, what comes to your mind is coffee. Expensive, but exquisite coffee. They launched this campaign in 2008, wherein they set up a website where Starbucks consumers and addicts can share and express their thoughts about the products and services— whether good or bad.
My Starbucks Idea clicked and is embraced by the people due to the transparency of ideas flowing in the site. What made it more realistic is that there are ideas being implemented by the coffee company; making the people feel they are one with the product— feel they are involved with the change— that firmly secures the engagement between Starbucks and consumers. See how blurred the connection is?
It’s a blurred line, since you’ll never know when a result will pop up in the end, or midway. The flow of the campaign is predictable, but there’s no definite call-to-action if it’s enough to catch your subscriber’s attention. As mentioned earlier, the mere social media presence of a brand is enough to spark an interest, therefore leading to a large number of participants that would join in your social media campaign.
Why did the Starbucks’ campaign succeed? They definitely leveled up a notch with its based on their consumers’ suggestions on what they would like to be implemented by the company, worldwide. As it was said in “Positive Brandwashing”, a brand ethics guideline made based on consumer votes, “Develop your own independent consumer panel (a representative target audience) and disclose the perception of the product, as well as the reality. Let the consumers make the final call.”
Simple as this: Starbucks asks for your idea, you give them your idea for free, they’ll implement it if it’s plausible. With the integration of crowdsourcing in their business plan, they got what they want; fresh ideas, positive feedbacks, and a solid brand entity.
With the zenith of social media as the key to unlock vast branding possibilities, emerging platforms for social sharing will help send off new avenues that can help your brand in many ways as possible. Take the pains of establishing yourself in the monopoly; once you acquire the voice that can call forth a crowd that will do your bidding, plan your campaigns thoroughly and start them with much bravado. Use social media to ascend the ladder and watch as leads come pouring in. There are other factors to consider too— stashing importance of your brand’s presence is a good start.
This is a guest post by Alexis Trinidad, the Outreach Manager of SEOteky.com. She currently focuses on content marketing and strategy and currently works as an outreach coordinator for Martin Lindstrom – international brand workshop leader, author and branding speaker.