We all know that brand awareness plays a crucial role in consumer’s buying decision. Consumers who search for a product or a service often take a decision based on their prior knowledge of a brand. For example if you are searching for a latest smartphone with all new features, you will probably go with the brand that you have heard in the past while a new Smartphone manufacturer offers almost all the attributes that you are looking for; may be at a much more cheaper price. Sometimes the brand and the product becomes so synonymous that when you think about the product, you actually think about the brand. ‘Coalgate’ and ‘Xerox’ are few good examples that have done this miracle over the years.
But, today’s generation is more informed and more knowledgeable. They are ready to experiment and go for the new ones. And, social media plays the most significant role here. Social media has grown rapidly in last one decade. Today, there are 3 billion active social media users worldwide, which is almost 40% of world’s total population. This is a huge number that brands can’t ignore.
Brands have to be more social and approachable to reach out to their consumers and should establish direct dialogues with them; of course, more frequently and ethically. Brand owners have to put ethics at the top of their agenda in their social communication strategy. For example, the CSR initiatives taken up by big brands not only just showcase their social face; but also establish them as ethical brands. Consumers often relate themselves to these messages easily. P&G’s ‘Shiksha’ is one of such examples where consumers take the pride of being part of a social cause.
A social post can create more noise than an official communication like a press release or a news release could do in the past. Traditional communication strategies have to be modified according to today’s consumer behavior. And, for the success of any of such communication strategy, you have to consider social media as more of an engagement platform rather than a medium to push out your marketing messages. From marketing perspective, the future of social media is all about nurturing your relationship with the consumer and taking this to the level of personal know-how. Personalized content better connect with a consumer taking his/her specific wants and needs into consideration. In this context, personalized content means creating specific content based on factors such as the audience, their geography, their content consumption behavior and the devices they use. When consumers feel that their voices are being heard, brands can build a valuable relationship with them. This change is just one among the many changes that the future of social media branding will witness and influence consumer’s buying decisions significantly.