Social Butterfly

Social Media has changed the world and the way we communicate with one another beyond recongnition! Social Media has become an integral part of our everyday lives, and it is for that exact reason why more and more businesses are moving towards Social. It offers a completely different way of communicating with consumers, and seems to add that almost personal feel. Word of mouth is by far the most powerful marketing tool, and social media allows business to establish ‘relationships’ with and between their consumers with ease. It allows business to create ‘hubs’ if you like, where their consumers can congregate and discuss their product experiences. This offers businesses a way of indirectly marketing their products and services without saying a word, and people seem to be more trusting of this than direct sales. 
So when it seems to be such a fantastic marketing tool, why are there still such reservations about businesses going social? This inhibition seems to stem mostly from luxury brands, and yesterday Markus Kramer, the Marketing director of Aston Martin seemed to shed some light on this issue. Speaking to Marketing Week at the Forrester Forum for Marketing Leaders last week, Kramer stated that, "Luxury brands are afraid of digital and social marketing because opening up information about brands to a much wider audience flies in the face of the exclusive nature of luxury brands."

In simpler terms, this means that Social Media opens up the market to everyone. Everyone can see it, and more to the point, everyone can have their say. Luxury brands are terrified of losing their exclusivity, which after all is crucial to the success of any luxury brand! Far too many brands run in all guns blazing with no clue whatsoever of what their motive for going Social is. Kramer addressed this issue by pointing out that he would never immediately say "go digital, go social”, and to be very careful to think through why you’re doing it, for which products you’re doing it and what purpose it serves before you go and do it.  I completely agree with this statement as I have seen far too many examples of businesses which have a social presence, yet there motive is clearly blurred. I recently read a HubSpot article called '101 brands rocking it on Social Media', and after reading it I found it extremely easy to spot the Social Bulldogs who had just raced in motiveless. 
Red Bull, Adidas, McDonalds, Coca Cola, Nutella, Michael Kors, Lindt, Vogue are among the Social media stars, and all of these brands share the same recipe for success. All of their pages, whether it be Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn are regularly populated with content, pictures, updates and random snippets of information to keep their audience engaged. Social Media is an all or nothing type thing! Either do it whole heartedly or don’t do it all! I am a firm believer that no Social Media presence is better than one without a cause, so in order to achieve social success in my oppinion, you have to get your motives in check and then put your heart and soul into it!
I recently went onto the Pizza Express twitter page, and I have to admit I was grossly disappointed! Do not get me wrong. Pizza Express is one of my all time favourite brands. The reason for this is probably pretty obvious, who doesn’t love pizza! However, as much as I love this brand, I was pretty disappointed when I went to check it out on Twitter only to find a meagre 25000 followers. Compared to the likes of other ‘fast food’ chains such as Nandos who are nearing the 1 million mark, I couldnt help but feel a little dissapointed. TO make matters worse, their feed seemed to be just a long list of tweets replying to people who had complained!
Lindt are one of the Social Media stars, and the reasons behind Lindts success seems to be because they post engaging, fresh content daily including photos of mouth watering chocolate. This in turn generates a huge amount of retweet action and positive conversation. This is an easy trick that Pizza Express could mimic as there pizzas really are to die for! Posting photos of mouth-watering pizzas would be a great way of tantalising the taste buds, and sending Pizza cravings across the nation. Moreover, Pizza Express claims to offer the best Calzone this side of Naples, so if I were in control of their twitter feed, I would take Pizza Express back to its Italian roots, and give consumers a glimpse of that Naples lifestyle. After all, who can resist the sun, beach and a good old pizza!
So I guess the Social Media debate will batter on, but I am sure of my view. Get your motives in check, set out your strategy, and then make it your absolute baby!

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