How does one use Social Media to build brands? Well one begins by being present in social networks and understanding how they work. On-line communities and portals already exist, what one needs to do is to understand how to facilitate conversations about ones brands over there and to add value by providing the community with tools and content to help them do what they want to do. The next step is to listen. To encourage and be a part of their discussions and act on their feedback, if any. Basically to interact, share, listen and observe ; because every conversation will be an either an opportunity to build a relationship with a consumer or an insight that can be used to either better brands or to build new brands.
Since the Internet is now a mass of conversations, what needs to be done as Marketers is to get one’s brands to be talked about. Every community will have a few very active and authoritative people- the objective should be to know who they are, and engage with them and get them on our side; create a buzz.
Brands are not people and therefore cannot build relationships with other people. It is therefore imperative to get the people behind the brands to share their passion and stories about the brand with the consumers. If one can get ones consumers to see then as their peers, they’ve done their job pretty well, because in today’s world, that is what is going to translate into sales and consumer goodwill.
One needs to initiate conversations about their products on non-marketing communities and get people to talk, connect with them and keep them informed about their brands. It is imperative to take their feedback seriously and in the event of negative feedback, respond immediately. Many a times a company’s employees are their biggest source of Word-of-Mouth, there is a need to harness this and allow employees to engage with consumers on-line, albeit after revealing their identities in order to maintain transparency.