While sceptics predicted that 2012 would be the end of the world due to an atrocity related to global warming. Nobody could have foreseen the powerful impact of turning a simple social concept into a global revolution.
Facebook has become a phenomenon since its launch in 2005, followed closely by the explosion of Twitter to the social scene in 2007. The majority of us now seem to be captivated by the need to share our every movement with the rest of the world (in a 140 characters or less). After all - you are not really single or married unless your Facebook status says so… In a nutshell word of mouth and networking have never been so fundamental to our everyday lives.
An article posted in Social Media Today claims that 78% of consumers trust social peer recommendations while only 22% trust adverts. And last week Facebook announced that there are now 1 billion recorded users in the world (Ok fair enough Zuckerman may have 'created' at least 50% of that). However for businesses and brands this surely sparks the all-important question: “how do I make social media work for me?”
There is so much potential for brands to thrive in this environment. While at least 65% now measure their popularity via the amount of likes or follows, there are still some brands hiding behind the social curtain. Never has the old adage of quality over quantity been truer - brands need to start monitoring the interactions they have with their consumers. After all social networking is all about communication right?!
If you are going to get social with your brand strategy then you need to be smart about it. There is always the potential risk of brand negativity and online it can spread to your whole customer base and beyond. A clear example being the most recent association with a certain supermarket chain and their Twitter campaign… (No names mentioned).
This month Mercedes Benz launched their first interactive digital experiment ‘Youdrive’. Their consumers were given complete control over the outcome of their next TV advert choosing from 3 different scenarios via Twitter. The different ads were run in between last weekend’s installments of X-Factor creating a Twitter frenzy (and boosting huge brand awareness).
For us in the world of Experiential Marketing, it’s all about the positive association with brand experience that can be captured through social media. One of our latest campaigns for property company Delancey promoting East Village, displayed a creative and interactive installation at Westfield Stratford. To drive engagement consumers were able to have their photo taken against a green screen in front of their favourite Olympic venue. This was then posted to their Facebook page and printed as a souvenir. The photo mechanic alone attracted over 1000 consumers and impressive press coverage across BBC regional news and the Metro.
Competitions, photo mechanics and online campaigns: the proof is in the pudding. So what are you waiting for? Go out, get social!