As marketers, we’ve been told countless times to talk to your consumers where they are already present and having conversations. For a lot of brands, that means social media channels. Brands know that maintaining a good relationship with their loyal consumers leads to brand advocacy and, ultimately, more products moving from grocery stores to their homes.
Not only do solid social media strategies give brands an organized method for presenting content in a venue where consumers are receptive and willing to view that content, but they also provide brands an unbiased, honest sounding board for their products. Various studies and articles suggest that brands should make this a two-way conversation to make the most of this unique opportunity. Brands can interact with highly engaged consumers, right wrongs, communicate product information, and become another “friend” in the social sphere.
With all of this power at their fingertips, brands shouldn’t simply look at social media as a medium, as a single strategy, or as another piece to the integrated puzzle. Brands can take this honest, unfiltered feedback and apply it to what consumers are ultimately talking about: their products.
When social media goes wrong, brand value suffers. Toyota recently took a 16% hit in their brand value due to poorly handled response to acceleration issues with their cars. Toyota’s corporate response was non-existent, recall announcements leaked from other countries, and bloggers helped to escalate the complaints. With social media, word spreads quickly, as does the anger from unhappy consumers. Toyota handled their situation poorly and suffered because of it.
Brands can definitely learn from the mistakes other companies have made in the social sphere, but how can they take the feedback they receive so willingly from their consumers and act on it?
Miracle Whip recently took some of the feedback they received through social channels and made a TV spot out of them. The spot featured everyday people, along with celebrities, voicing their true opinions about Miracle Whip. The content was both positive and negative toward the brand, but at the end of the spot, Miracle Whip charged consumers with the task of picking a side. They didn’t care which one—obviously they would hope consumers would pick their brand—but the commercial prompted consumers to try it for themselves and decide.
Baskin-Robbins will launch a new flavor in June of this year, developed by a 62-year old fan. Baskin-Robbins consumers were asked to enter flavor ideas via an online contest with the chance of having their flavor added to the brand’s list of current products. Consumers had a direct influence on the products they are interested in and will eventually buy.
Allowing consumers, your most coveted asset, a say in the direction of your brand will foster a loyalty and advocacy that can reach many channels through social media. With today’s consumer so focused on personalization and customization, soon brands may not have a choice if they want to remain in their consumers’ consideration set.
What are you doing with your brand to incorporate the feedback you’re receiving via social channels? Have you considered escalating the consistent concerns and tweaking your product? Have you rewarded the positive feedback? How can you approach your social media strategy in a way that is bigger than just a content calendar and coupon giveaways?