Accessing the vast audience that is the internet, through social media, is a great way to elevate your brand to a higher audience.
At STANCE, we believe using social media for marketing purposes can not only enable small business to further their reach to more customers. But can also help consumers engage with each other before the sales push even ensues. Social media inevitably allows businesses to create and communicate with a vast array of communities, in a low-cost effective way.
Now when most people hear “social media” their mind almost always goes directly to creating content for consumers, well to consume, of course. But, according to Mikolaj Jan Pisorski, companies should be more focused on connecting consumers in a manner, so that they can develop social strategies under the umbrella of their brand.
A notable example would be nike’s, “nike+” platform that allows users to interact with friends who use Nike’s digital products and synchronize them with the platform. The results of this endeavor have been impressive, and has been widely credited with contributing at least 30% increase in Nike’s athletic shoe sales.
American Express, has also invested in a number of proprietary social platforms. The company’s “OPEN Forum” helps its small business cardholders connect and help each other with business issues.This has also yielded impressive results. Cardholders who used OPEN Forum functionalities were shown to be more more likely to recommend Amex credit card to others.
Threadless is an online community of artists and an e-commerce website. In 2000, co-founders Jake Nickell and Jacob DeHart started the company with $1,000 of their own money. Threadless designs are created by and chosen by an online community. They’ve managed to craft a cool creative community for one of the coolest audiences. A true example of building a business for a community and not a community for a business.
HSBC is also becoming a good place for local business owners to chat, due to its utilization of forums and online chatting systems. Much like American Express, users who use the forum are shown to be much more loyal to the company.
All and all, in the changing world of social media, a company that is able to break away from the norm and create a community rather than always selling something will come out on top.
Information retrieved on May 26th, 2014: Olenski, Mikolaj Jan. “Social Media And Branding: A One On One With A Harvard Business Professor.” http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=10663, (web)
Information retrieved on May 26th, 2014: Olenski, Mikolaj Jan. “15 Examples of thriving online communities” http://www.feverbee.com/2010/11/15-examples-of-thriving-online-communities.html, (web)