By Jim Tomanchek
I have always been fascinated with how companies build a particular brand into something people are just crazy about. I have seen an item in a store or on TV and thought “That might be kind of cool” and then weeks later it seems everyone I know has to have it. People always seem to want what their friends have and Social Media seems to be a tool that can really turn a brand into something with a specific appeal. In today’s information saturated marketplace, marketers must make sure their message reaches the relevant audience, as well as hear the consumer’s response so they can provide relevant feedback. Social media marketing facilitates a conversation between the brand and the customer, thereby engaging the two parties in such a way that loyalty is solidified. Loyalty is becoming increasingly important in a global marketplace where consumer tastes can change overnight. The ability to cater to a customer base and continue to interact and determine their needs is essential in a market where physical interaction is not a necessity. This is especially important for small and mid-level businesses because they have the luxury of focusing on a smaller client base and cater to their localized tastes and preferences. Social media is one of the best ways of capitalizing on this need to be connected and thus allowing both the brand and the customers to maintain the conversation.
Another aspect of social media that advances this conversation is the ability for the customers to communicate with each other. Peer interaction is an incredible tool for any brand in the social media environment. Liking an article, commercial, or blog post and having the ability to share it with peers is changing the way that word of mouth is communicated. We can discuss our likes, dislikes, and personal preferences about anything and everything with marketers. This allows marketers to have immediate feedback from their customers so they can provide feedback and react to trends at a moments notice. I find it increasingly important to voice my opinion about a specific issue, product or service simply based on the fact that I know my voice will be heard immediately by a much larger audience than ever before. This is a powerful tool that has become a force that cannot be denied. Just think about the fact that the Egyptian Government was overthrown by citizens communicating, organizing and then acting all on Facebook.