In the age of social media, every company has jumped on the bandwagon and created a social media presence of some kind. Whether it’s a Facebook page, a Twitter profile, LinkedIn, etc.- businesses today are engaging with their audiences in a very real way. This is a valuable and essential component of their integrated marketing communications, and they're killing it.
Not every company’s social media presence has been created equal. Some companies have hit the ground running with their social media presence and have used it to strengthen their brand and build a loyal following of evangelists. Conversely, other companies are failing to see how to properly harness the power of social media to engage with their audience. If your business is struggling with social media marketing, it may make sense to look at some companies and brands that currently have a firm grasp of what it takes to be a social media success.
For all the coffee lovers out there, Starbucks is either one of the most loved or most loathed coffee companies around. Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t help but admit that they’re killing it in the world of social media (that’s a good thing). Starbucks is using social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to invite users to share their Starbucks stories and photos, run innovative promotions, and post creative and aesthetically pleasing pictures and videos that elicit responses from their audience.
This giant has been at the forefront of engaging their audience on various social media channels for quite some time. They have created a sense of connection through their branding that brand-loyal consumers crave. Nike creates community through their brand and spreads it across social media to create a sense of belonging. Furthermore, they enable their audience to connect with the sub-brand that they desire, such as Nike Women, Nike Basketball, Nike Football, etc. Daily, they continue to inspire their audience through the stories of athletes, Olympians, etc. through their #justdoit campaign. This creates a sense of desire and determination in their audience that is unmatched.
With 96 million fans, Coca-Cola remains one of the most timeless brands. According to Coca-Cola's Senior Vice President of Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities, Wendy Clark, "No single medium is as strong as the combination of media. We see this first-hand in our campaigns that integrate TV and social. We know our target consumers -- teens and young adults -- are consuming media on multiple screens in single sessions. This means the TV is on, a laptop is open, and a smartphone is in hand. For marketers, this requires having a single, integrated conversation across those screens. When we do this well, we create significantly higher impact than any of those screens could do on their own." This integration of technology across all platforms is what puts Coca-Cola as a frontrunner.
With all the good associated with social media, there are several companies that tend to shy away from the use of it. Many think that they can’t handle it, or they don’t want to open a direct communication line to their customers, in fear that this may elicit negative feedback. Or they may think they don't have the budget to do what these companies produce. That's just simply not true. You don't have to spend millions of dollars to post your customers photos or videos, or create and post your own. Your advertising can be done right if you have a solid team to back you in branding, SEO, and developing and inbound game plan. It's not an impossibility. Our advice to you: Just start somewhere, and then build off of that.