Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Building brands on social media

This was another very important and interactive session during Day 2 of the Social Media Week at Hard Rock Café. The whole purpose of this presentation-based session by Samar Singh Sheikhawat was to outline the benefit of social media in a well-integrated strategy for a brand.
At present, the consumer behavior is changing; people are not buying the way they used to in the past. With social media gaining popularity, it has become essential for brands to devise an approach that helps cultivate visibility and earn leverage on different social media channels. With digital marketing as a focal point, Mr. Sheikhawat put forth a multi-layered strategy that can help a brand do just that through social media: -
Being Collaborative – Brands should recognize the need to talk to its customers and then do just that. Nike’s Chalkbot campaign at the Tour De France managed to do just that.
Being Participative – With the ubiquity of Smartphones these days, it is necessary that a brand provides avenues of user participation to bring in a sense of connect.
Being Generous – For every brand, giving back to the society is a big part of that. Now it might be opposing to the conventional marketing principles, but it is crucial nonetheless. “One Day without shoes” by TOMS which was implemented in multiple countries is a good example of this characteristic. Apart from that, the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” was an endearing one as well.
Being Experimental – Brands should always be open to experimenting to have better engagement with its audience. The “COKE Small World Machines” and “Kingfisher Beer Up” are such campaigns that paid off well thanks to the intent of the brand and execution of the campaign.
Being Playful – Till the time a brand is not deviating from its core communication, it is always good to have a fun element about the brand. “Kingfisher’s Beer Headbang” contest campaign is a good example of that.
Being Personal – Consumers always appreciate the personal touch that a brand gives them. This is something brands should look into more often. “A Glass of Water” by Toyota and Volkswagen’s “Driving Music Redefined” were two such campaigns where iOS apps helped users to improve their driving skills and create music as per your driving respectively.
The session came to a close with Mr. Sheikhawat emphasizing on the fact that effective leverage of different social media channels for a brand is possible only with a well thought-out and online-offline integrated market approach.
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