Social Media Marketing is now part of almost every Digital Marketing Campaign. It’s now, considered a permanent and usually valuable part of the brands marketing activities. A lot of this also depends on how a brand manager views and values social media.
Now contrary to popular belief, Social Media might be considered to be limited to Social Media platforms but if used wisely; its benefits can be far reaching.
Let us take the example of any product manufacturer. There are n number of ways in which the brand manager can extract additional benefits from his/her agency. Some of them can be as mentioned in Diagram 1
Customer Care and Aftersales
The most obvious yet most brands miss it. Actively listening to opinions, feedback, complaints and queries from your customers and potential customers can bring to light various aspects of a brands image, as of yet, unknown to the brand manager. Eg even though the end product is more or less the same, Pepsi and Coca-Cola have completely different brand image in the minds of the consumer. And even if the brand manager would like to believe, it is not necessarily the one which the company wants to portray.
It can be seen as the same way as standing in the middle of the market and listening to whatever the shoppers have to say. Social Media just makes it much much easier. Targeted listening can be about your own brand, and also the competition. This can help a brand manager or any member of a marketing team gain valuable insights into what a potential customer wants and what he/she does not give two hoots about.
Here, a layer of geographic mapping needs to be added on top of active listening. Through this, a brand can have a basic understanding of the needs of the consumer in various locations in a particular region or country. If you have a regional brand, this will come in handy but it is absolutely essential for a national level brand.
Actively analysing this data can help in predicting potential demand hikes and slumps and accordingly keeping the supply through various logistics channel in various locations better equipped to deal with dynamic market requirements.
Product Planning and Design
Being a citizen of a nation which takes its Fundamental Right of Freedom of Speech very seriously, feedback and reviews are always available in plenty. However, this also makes sure that there is better understanding of how the consumer interacts with the product or product usage habits. Social Media helps shed light on the deficiencies which were either overlooked or hidden by the producer. The data so gleaned from these platforms, analysed and compiled can prove invaluable in figuring out pain points of the current product and points for improvement to have a better chance of success with the new version of the product.
Some brands have gone so far as to completely crowdsource a product design and its features and then share it for review before formally launching the same. This can prove to be a dream for any manufacturer where he/she does not have to second guess what a consumer might like or despise when the hand holding in this case is done by the potential customers themselves.
These are some important benefits of using Social Media seriously and optimising online listening but even here, we have only scratched the surface. A combination of intelligent tools and thorough understanding of Social Media, with a clear understanding of requirements can be prove to be a dynamite combination for any Brand Manager in understanding the Target Audience, leading to better marketing techniques, holistic understanding of customer requirements. This obviously ends with better sales figures and a comparatively pleasantly steep professional growth chart.