As social media changes how consumers communicate, brand marketers are struggling to keep up with the new opportunities and challenges that are created as a result.
With social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter making it easier for consumers to share opinions regarding brands, products and services, brand marketers are finding it more difficult to control their brand message than they did in the days where buzz was created by word of mouth.
In a survey of brand representatives conducted by Mires Ball and KRC Research in August, 2010, 40% of brand marketers indicated that they believe that social media creates new challenges to maintaining brand integrity and more than 1/3 of those brand marketers surveyed indicated that social networking sites can affect brands significantly enough to bring about definite changes in overall marketing strategies.
The results clearly indicate that social media is affecting the marketing industry, both positively and negatively. The main benefit regarding social networking and social media is that they provide marketers with access to many more consumers – at least 500 million consumers can be reached through Facebook and Twitter.
Therefore, this increased opportunity to reach new customers makes the associated challenges worth the headache. Some of these challenges that brand marketers are facing with the increased use of social networking and social media include:
- Marketers are no longer fully in control of the brand message
- It becomes increasingly difficult to maintain the integrity of the brand
- Social media has caused marketers to be more willing to stray away from the important strategy of using a brand to define what a company or product is
- Attempts at social media success have led brands to create an online presence that doesn’t fit with their brand’s personality
- Marketers have used inappropriate marketing campaigns which do not convey the brand’s message in the desperate hope it will go viral
Ultimately, with access to such a large audience the benefits of social media and networking for marketers far outweigh the challenges and risks. As marketers become more accustomed and comfortable with the changes created by social networking it is possible that traditional methods may evolve and grow.
In the meantime it’s smart to continue to pay close attention to how social media continues to challenge and change brand marketing.
Your WSI Consultants specialize in social media optimization and can help your business take advantage of the large number of consumers who are tapped into social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and blogging.
Contact us to request a free consultation to learn more, or visit our portfolio and view our client testimonials to see how we’ve helped businesses in your community reach their social media optimization goals.