In today’s marketing circles it is becoming the norm for brands to find themselves looking to invest in social media. The stigmas associated with social media networks have greatly changed as the space has evolved – resulting in limitless opportunities for savvy marketers.
Although this new social paradigm affords unique and never-before-seen marketing opportunities, we must remember that social media is an infinitely more personal way to connect with your fans. Fans engaging with a brand demand more than ads and promotions. This is a two-way exchange where real dialog is created. Today, many executives are missing this point and simply allocating a social budget, treating it as a part of their overall ad-spend. This couldn’t be further from what is necessary.
A new type of service leads to increased ROI
Social media allows customers to have instant access to brands, inherent in the very nature of social media. Traditional online communication with a brand, such as email, has historically been and will continue to be measured at a relatively slow rate whereas the inherent speed of social media engagement is the single greatest aspect of the medium. Customers expect a quick response while a discerning public watches. Brands can choose not to participate, but to their own detriment. Swift acknowledgment to an issue or question not only satisfies the customer’s needs, but also publicly assists others who may be in search of the same answer. This open, quick and efficient form of communication has huge potential for a high return on investment.
The social public forum of customer service holds the possibility of eliminating countless hours spent answering emails and telephone calls by addressing the entire community at once. More in depth, personal issues your customers may be facing can be sent via a private message to take more serious conversations away from the public eye. Looking for an answer from your customer base? There’s an app for that – poll your customers and quickly receive the answers you seek, bypassing user groups and market research.
Not all issues facing brands are easily solved and there are times when such public displays of customer service can be downright revealing at best, and nasty at worst. You won’t be able to please everyone, but by responding with grace, and a sense of speed and service, your company is portrayed in a much more glowing light. This type of PR can’t be bought, and best of all? It’s practically free!
The Brickfish platform – Convert through engagement and reap the benefits through online visibility
Beyond effective customer service, social media in its various forms, present a tremendous opportunity to manage your brand image and efficiently and effectively communicate with your biggest fans. Superfans (as we like to call them here at Brickfish) love to be acknowledged by the brands they like. Having open communication in a public forum (such as the Brickfish platform) with incentives to share goes a long way in building your fan base and driving users to return. The Brickfish platform creates a new marketing channel for users, in both a positive and rewarding environment. Users can earn points and prizes for speaking out on your behalf, externally generating real engagement. It really is that easy!
When brands can successfully navigate back and forth dialog between their consumers, making them feel welcome and a part of the company, they will return regularly, inevitably leading to more sales. Returning customers are more apt to try new products and participate in new offers, which can consistently be promoted through online social campaigns powered by Brickfish. Running these promotions across an engagement network will feed onto themselves and quickly become a self-sustaining cycle – if brands continue to nurture, communicate and reward their most loyal users.
A Brickfish campaign produces consumer (user)-generated content (UGC) beyond the traditional marketing means. UGC can help grow brands’ SEO and search results by expanding your online footprint. This type of contest is especially useful, considering entries are created exclusively for your brand by your biggest fans. Content can be anything from pictures with a product, to unique branded postcards with your newest assets, to an exclusive video entirely made to represent your company. All content is then effectively shared across the web, to increase the participant’s chance of winning great prizes.
Massive potential to extend your brand online
Online presence isn’t merely your brand’s .com address anymore – branding extends through your entire online presence – particularly social media. Keep your brand consistent and stamp your social sites with the unique and unmistakable mark of your company.
User-generated content is a large part of this branding experience – after all, aren’t your fans an extension of your brand? Although you can’t control the quality of content produced, you must remember that there is no expectation to do so. UGC helps tell your story – your story with consumers – and your fans are recreating how they see your brand, with unbridled enthusiasm… so let them!
Smashing the limits of your brand’s reach
It’s really quite simple. People don’t trust brands’ advertising and marketing messages nearly as much as they trust their friends’ recommendations. Twitter @mentions, Facebook wall posts and the famous ‘like’ are direct referrals for your brand – from customers who have dozens, if not hundreds of friends. Word-of-mouth potential is limitless, in terms of its reach and speed. Opinions of your brand shared among friends is considered to be much more genuine than an ad campaign, and therefore much more authentic.
Turn up the volume on Advertising
Advertising in the social media space is inherently different than it’s more traditional online advertising counterpart. Ads and campaigns can be shared, talked about, often times interacted with and critiqued, in an open forum. Done right, the potential for amplification is immense when your target audience feels a part of the very campaign itself! The Brickfish platform allows your fans to do just that. Users are more apt to not only receive your message, but also more likely to shout it on your behalf, across their entire social network if effectively incentivized with even the smallest reward.