Today, social media dominates the channels of our lives.
With technology like iPads, smart phones and the ever shrinking laptop it’s becoming easier and easier to stay plugged in to what everyone in our lives, brands included, is doing.
As a recreational user of these devices it never would have occurred to me that businesses use social networking in an entirely different way.
As a consumer, it’s only been just recently that I’ve started to follow some of my choice brands on social media.
I’m beginning to realize the difference between which brands maintain their social media well, and who is causing their brands to end up dead in the water.
With sites like Facebook and Twitter, businesses have a whole new channel to reach their consumers and can start conversations about their brand.
Consumers are becoming ever more interactive and aren’t just taking what information is spoon fed to them anymore.
The new consumer asks: “Why do I want to buy your brand?” “Is this good for my family?” “What does this stand for?”
It’s about time.
If consumers had been asking this years ago than Edward Bernays’ “Torches of Freedom” campaign may not have had the effect that it did. This is only half of the work. The other half of the job is done by the company. To have a successful social media campaign that reaches your consumers and builds a positive PR reputation, the brand must be on top of their social media networks.
Brands like Starbucks and Chobani are examples of interactive brands that do a great job supporting their consumers on social media.
Starbucks makes sure to cause outreach for their customers by talking about new deals or products but also asks consumers to post pictures and retweet their followers’ posts.
Chobani starts conversations that have nothing to do with their yogurt brand.
They want to hear what their consumers are talking about.
With brands tweeting and posting all about themselves and what they offer, but with no response to the consumer, brands can hurt the essence of what social media is about, which is engaging with your audience.
It’s important that college students looking to enter the field and practicing PR professionals have knowledge of how to manage social media because it is quickly becoming one of PR’s greatest assets.
If a consumer posts something that is potentially a great conversation starter, WRITE BACK.