Unlike traditional media, where brands project a specific idea and identity in one direction, social media is a two-way street. It’s changing the way brands and consumers think in more ways than one. Today, a brand can create an aura and reach audiences directly through social media. We are no longer limited to a specific page count or frame size as with traditional media. From brand activity to brand awareness to brand building, it all happens on social media. The engagement is 24×7. Malika Sadani, Founder and CEO of The Moms Co, shares insights into how social media marketing is changing the game.
Changing consumer needs are forcing brands to become more personal, intimate and conversational. Today’s consumer is much more engaged and better informed. They want to know exactly what they’re getting, how they’re getting it, and where they’re getting it from. The more a consumer knows about a brand, the more they can trust and relate to it, and eventually become a brand advocate.
Brand storytelling offers a great way to instantly engage with your customers. For example, you can engage in direct conversation with the founder of a brand on Instagram. Interactive online activities like Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions allow people to speak directly to the brand. Brands are also taking their consumers virtually behind the scenes to build trust. Whether it’s a nicely packaged behind-the-scenes video on YouTube or a series of short clips on Instagram, people are interested in knowing what goes into creating a brand.
It also helps the brand get direct insight into what and how consumers are thinking. From door-to-door polls, we’ve come to Instagram polls. They’re a great way to get first-hand consumer feedback on the packaging or design of a new launch, or solicit feedback on existing products. This instant engagement fosters the bond between consumer and brand and is a key driver of innovation.
Nowadays I often hear young people say that they would like to work with an XYZ brand because their working culture seems so great. Guess how they know that? social media! Even employer branding is being looked at in new ways thanks to the social media marketing ecosystem.
When it comes to social media, influencer marketing becomes another important asset. The power of having a credible face speaking about your brand is immense. The way consumers connect with influencers and believe in what they support makes it easier for brands to build a community of brand loyalists or customers. No wonder brands tend towards influencer collaborations and campaigns. The way a brand tells its story, the type of image it projects, and how relatable it is all add up to create a tribe through which the brand thrives. It is also becoming increasingly important for brand founders to strengthen themselves, to be active on social media and to work on personal branding. I worked on it myself.
We’ve all seen the benefits of social media marketing for small business owners since the pandemic. In times when it wasn’t possible to be physically on the move, people discovered that it was possible to work from home and run a business online. This benefits brands that rely on personalized products/services or that want to appeal to a niche audience. Personally, I’m a heavy online shopper. I order stuff from brands outside of Instagram that might not even have their own website. It’s a huge leap in my observation, but social media inherently helps build that kind of trust with audiences. As an entrepreneur, it is fascinating to see this.