Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Brand Managers - Essentials of building customer relationship on social media

As a brand manager, social media seems to be an ever changing world of new site, new capabilities and new ways to engage with your high value markets.  As graduate student pursuing Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University. I have been studying digital & social media and have found two articles that you might find interesting.

Relationship building has been regarded as a critical success factor for business in academic literature. The article "The Art of Business Relationships Through Social Media", refers to concepts of 'social network theory' in establishing how strong and weak ties provide companies and individuals with competitive advantages.  Further it talks about the impact of technology and how it has now become a requirement for brands to develop relationship based associations with their customers especially to build and maintain brand loyalty and to manage or at least influence what is being said about them online.  

No doubted social media has bridged the gap between brands and customers, but how to use this bridge to establish relationship with the consumers remains a challenge for managers. In an article "Brand Building: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media", Jose Costa (President of MAACO, previously VP of marketing, R&D and Supply Chain at Burger King)  talks about his screening factors for all social media communications. He argues that all social media communications should be authentic, remain relevant, be persistent and be consistent.

From my analysis of these two articles and other material I have been working on at Northwestern, here are the three action items I recommend you to incorporate in to your social media development efforts

  • Listen - Hear the consumers dialogue; what they have to say about their needs                             
  • Converse - Develop a two way dialogue. Converse with; about what they need and provide it to them                                                                                                                                    
  • Develop Develop content that resonates with consumers on emotional level
Social media is becoming a critical component in building customer relationships and brands have a great opportunity to utilize it for their advantage.

Muhammad Umer is a graduate candidate enrolled in MS. Integrated Marketing Communication program at Northwestern University with emphasis in Branding strategy and Digital, Social & Mobile advertising. Previously, Umer worked as media buyer at Starcom Mediavest and a Media Investments Analyst at Private Equity fund.

Follow: @umerjaffer Linkedin: Muhammad Umer


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