THE POWER OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media is everywhere. This new phase of our planet’s development has transformed every aspect of our lives – from the way we conduct our daily conversations to the way we build brand image and transfer information.
From the emergence of this innovative form of communication comes a medium that transcends traditional journalism. With immediate and unfiltered content, information can be spread and received instantly by a global audience. On a personal level, this means connecting and sharing ideas with like- minded individuals who would otherwise be separated by land, sea and circumstance. At a global level, we see events unfolding in real time and reported by real people on the ground. This is modernised frontline reporting and some see it as the future of journalism itself.
Social Media, a force for change
Richard Branson wrote how “one of the best things about social media is the way it can unite people behind causes and be a force for good. Its immediacy and accessibility has allowed it to contribute to everything from the Arab Spring to animal conservation.”
A good example of this unyielding potential is Brandon Stanton’s brainchild, the Humans of New York (HONY) Facebook page. With more than 14 million Facebook followers, coupled with 3.7 million on Instagram, he is the ultimate social media success story. In a recent trip to Pakistan he uncovered the hearts and minds of its inhabitants and humanised them in a way that larger news broadcasters have been unable to. He showed us the story of Syeda Ghulam Fatima, a woman who works tirelessly to aid and emancipate the exploited and indebted kiln workers of her country. Despite being electrocuted, shot, beaten and abused, she continues to fight this modern day form of slavery.
The HONY community donated more than $2million to her cause, thus transforming the scope and reach of her organisation, The Bonded Labour Liberation Front.
But what does this mean for brands?
Brands too can enjoy the fruits of this connective medium. Social media can make or break a brand, particularly for larger companies. One bad tweet and you can be boycotted, yet one opportune share and your stocks can rocket, so it is essential that you hire people with expertise to manage this important facet of your corporate identification.
Social media can benefit businesses in two ways: first, by building a reputable brand image and second, through the seamless sharing of products and services.
Traditionally, the sharing of goods and services existed solely in the physical realm, yet now more and more brands are choosing to adopt an online presence. A recent study showed that while on average we spend 8 hours 21 minutes per day sleeping, we also spend an average of 8 hours 41 minutes viewing various media devices. Telephones have long had many more functions than merely making calls, and as Cory Edwards, the head of Adobe’s Social Business Center of Excellence writes, by delivering “content where they like it most – their phones” companies are able to see their sales flourish.
Moreover, building relationships between brand and buyer has always been intrinsic to a company’s success and now, in this era of connectedness, this relationship has never been closer or more achievable. The Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, released a study in 2013 that stated 67.45 per cent of online shopping carts are abandoned. But what exactly is it that stops buyers from completing the purchase? There are numerous reasons, such as cost and time delays, but quite often it is a lack of trust. A brand’s social media presence, when executed well, can build confidence and loyalty. After all, trust is created through transparency, and by having a human face behind a brand you can provide a genuine and engaging experience for both sides of the exchange.
However, it is essential to remember that results take time to manifest. Learning how to cultivate the information gained through analytics can be difficult and time consuming – but once mastered social media can be a key part of your advertising strategy. Luckily, help is at hand – contact Manifesto Design and we can help you to capitalise on this growing form of mass communication.