Do brands engage their customers through social media?

Consumers spent their time on social networking nowadays for almost one out of five minutes. It represents an audience of nearly 1.2 billion internet users. Brands know this things and are competing on social media to increase their reach of campaigns and create engagement with their customers. It’s a new thing which is very complicated, but many researches try to make it easier to find the best way playing on these platforms. In an article I read they said: When the 1950s-era criminal Willie Sutton was asked why he robbed banks, he allegedly replied, “That’s where the money is.” For any salesperson wondering why she should use social media, the answer is similarly obvious: That’s where the buyers are. (Giamanco, B., and Gregoire, K., 2012)

Four articles connected to the subject described many ways in different social platforms to choose your best strategy for joining social media. The first one was about how to use the brands employees in communicating with the customers. According to the writers, brands would have to use all their employees so not only the sales and marketing department. I disagree, because these are the people who are trained and educated to do these jobs.

The second article was about different Twitter channels and its effect on corporate reputation. The researches tried different Twitter channels to see if, for example, the design factors influence the brand’s engagement.

The third article was about increasing the reach of your campaigns. For example, do not focus on quantity and just post especially funny and creative advertisements. It’s better to use photos and text, because customers don’t have the time see all videos appearing on their timeline and external links aren’t very attractive.

The last article is from The Guardian and it says that companies miss 80% of customer engagement opportunities. Because of this very high percentage, the writers gave away three principles to use and to use the opportunities which normally have been missed. These three are: engage and empower your workforce, get personal with your customers and create advocates.

To see how brands are using the social media and to see if it’s effective in creating engagement, I found two cases. The first one is Coca-Cola. The creation of its Facebook page was strange, because it is created by two big fans who were allowed to keep the page. This means that Coca-Cola didn’t have any influences in how the page will be used. The brand chose to connect their customers with each other and tried to create this word-of-mouth promotion which is succesfull.

The second case was about Starbucks. The brand is very active on social media and especially on Twitter. The creation of an extra Twitter channel, where customers are ably to apply new ideas, became a big success. The normal channels are used to give suggestions, ask question and complain. Many employees are working on this and that’s why these one-to-one conversations became so successful.





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