No matter your industry, How to Build a Brand is certain of one thing: word-of-mouth advertising and personal referrals are the top most influential brand builders. Brand strategies are built around the goal of mining these gems…and an impressive number of acquisitions come from social media.
In the past, when a branding professional asked a client, “Where are your ideal clients hanging out?” the answer might have been something like, “Markets,” “Coffee houses,” “Doctor’s offices,” or “At home, in front of the television.” But today’s brand strategies are different in that the answer might simply be, “Social media.” The real question now is, “Which social media channels are your ideal clients most likely to frequent?” These are modern-day hangouts – the places where you’re most likely to cultivate those priceless recommendations and shout-outs.
The Importance of Social Media in Brand Strategies
Research suggests that approximately 65% of modern-day economy is driven by word of mouth. Think about it: if you have a choice between 2 different shopping experiences, and your friend has recommended option #1, are you more likely to choose that one? Or, are you more apt to eat lunch at a restaurant with a filled lot or with an empty one? This is the equivalent of a recommendation, as is everything good a commenter says about your brand on social media. In fact, Forrester Research estimates that on average, 150 people are reached with every social media post…and that doesn’t even take into account the comments those 150 people make, or the number of times they share the good news.
Of course, brand strategies must include a plan for handling criticism through social media and other public channels. This isn’t bad news, though. View criticism as an opportunity to demonstrate how your brand deals with adversity, and how important customer satisfaction is to your brand. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of online conversations about brand names are positive. The conclusion? Get people talking. The word-of-mouth odds are in your brand’s favour.
Brand Strategies with Social Media are Cost-Effective
Let’s face it: return on investment plays a key role in deciding how you will reach your target audience. Even when brand strategies include an initial or periodic social media promotion plan (paid advertising), the meat of the matter is relatively inexpensive, in terms of monetary and labour investments.
Once your social media strategy is in place (following thorough research into where your audience is spending most of their time and attention), and once you have communicated your brand’s values and benefits with real-world examples and the offering of helpful advice, you can expect your ideal clients to start doing some heavy lifting for you. You see, as a rule of thumb, people are not willing to make recommendations or to speak highly of any brand unless they have unshakable confidence in that brand. Other people innately understand this, and therefore, take personal endorsements very seriously.
If you’re not already using social media to build your brand, or you’re not getting the word-of-mouth results you’d like, get in touch with How to Build a Brand. We’ll show you precisely how other thriving brands have built social media into their brand strategies with great success. Call me, Sammy Blindell, or Miles Fryer, on [email protected] today, before other brands reap the recommendations you should be getting.