Why brands need to take social media seriously in 2013

2012 was the pivotal year that brands really started to engage with their audiences on social media platforms. The established players such as Facebook and Twitter suddenly gained some interesting competition from Pinterest, Instagram and Google + and overall this meant brands really had to think about how to manage these channels.

Promoting the office intern to manage the social media output was becoming an increasing threat from some of the brands I have been working with, but the serious brands do accept that social media is now as important as building a brand or e-commerce website and deserves that level of investment. It’s a full-time commitment and without that brand engagement, the knock-on effect to potential customers would be brand suicide.

Whether it’s standard or custom share plugins, ‘tweets’, ‘Likes’ and ‘+1s’ are now as standard on any webpage whether its next to the product image or on a generic page. Giving users a reason to share and drive their own social activity is a win-win for a brand as it’s a low cost way for brands to communicate products, promotions or create brand awareness without having to do too much. The challenge for the brands are now to create that key content and market the campaign to drive traffic and build that following. I noticed more and more promoted tweets around the festive period from less known smaller brands, and while this isn’t targeted in any way that is obvious, curiosity always gets the better of folk and it’s this discovery of new products or promotions which drives traffic and will increase awareness and ultimately greater revenue for the brand.

So if you’re a brand that’s reviewing how to survive this social media purge, just accept that managing a social media presence itself can be quite a task, if you don’t take it seriously and treat it with respect, even loyal fans will be put off. Never forget that social media is now one of the highest channels that existing or new customers use to communicate to brands and they expect this to be two-way. Take it seriously as a business and over time the rewards will come.

What’s your experience with brands and their social media channels?

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