Social media plays a huge role in a brand’s marketing strategy — even news sites quote users’ comments from social media. This proves that the views and opinions found on social platforms matter. 

Remember the Clover blue milk campaign that was met with a lot of criticism? This was even after the brand ran a marketing campaign of a blue man explaining why the colour has changed. Clover’s aim with this initiative was to match their product with the corporate brand colour, and it made sense for them to drive the Clover values and identity. 

Despite the brand’s reasoning, this left many consumers confused as to how to feel, leading them to question the capabilities of Clover’s marketing team.

Either way, it’s clear the criticism from social media had an impact on the brand, which Clover will hopefully use as insight for its marketing campaigns in future.

This just shows the influence that social media has on brands, their branding and their initiatives. But it’s only one of many examples, which we dive into further. Keen to learn? Then read on!

Here’s how social media can influence brands: 

1. Brands can discover their personality through social media  

Social media can influence a brand’s personality, which is a great thing because you’re able to change your character when the current one isn’t serving your desired purpose.  

With time, you will learn how audiences communicate with your brand from the phrases and tone they use to engage with you on these platforms.

Take, for example, the #BlackLivesMatter movement that began in the United States in 2020. Brands such as Adidas hopped on the bandwagon after realising that what the black community is fighting for is fundamental human rights.

Adidas adopted a revolutionary position in the aim to add its voice to the #BlackLivesMatter movement on social media. This was done to aid in the fight for the equal rights and treatment of the black community by sharing content to show support and by using black athletes to break stereotypes and ill-treatment towards the race. 

As a result, its brand personality shifted from strictly business towards social activism. In its most recent social media content, the brand uses terms such as ‘hope for equality’, ‘freedom’, ‘liberation’ and ‘justice’. These are just some of the common words and phrases used under the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag.  

Considering the content engagement on their social media platform, it’s evident that adopting a socially-conscious persona has worked in Adidas’ favour. 

2. Social media improves brand-to-audience relationships 

Social media is a conducive platform that has simplified building relationships — whether for personal or business use. 

For example, traditionally building consumer relationships relied on letters, buying a sticker, buying an envelope, posting the letter and waiting for a reply. Long process, right? 

Nowadays, because the social media experience is immediate (meaning communication is improved), it is easy to spot loyal consumers that interact with the brand on a regular basis. In this regard, you can easily build positive relations by offering loyal followers and audiences free tickets to your events or even a free gift, just as a token of appreciation. 

If you’re struggling to spot loyal audiences on social media, you can make use of social media tracking services such as amaSocial. This content management platform will provide you with data about a user’s engagement on social media and how often they mention your brand on these platforms. With these insights, you’ll know which relationships to focus on and grow. 

3. Brands’ customer experience is made public 

When someone is satisfied or unsatisfied with a brand, the first platform they consider sharing their thoughts and feelings on is social media.

If you do not offer your client a top-notch customer experience, they will call you out on these digital platforms. Take, for instance, the infamous case of a family forced to take drastic measures when Old Mutual allegedly failed to pay out a funeral claim. 

Here’s what went down: A disgruntled family, recorded themselves visiting one of the Old Mutual offices in an attempt to claim for their deceased. The catch is, they brought the deceased with them. But it seemed to have worked in the family’s favour when the video clip started making rounds on social media.

Although your brand might be older than social media, it can always be taught new tricks on social media streets. And it’s clear that social has become a platform where people are able to report both good and bad service.

The moral of the story is this: Give your customers the best service before they expose you. This is especially true since some crisis situations are unnecessary and can actually just be dealt with privately. 

4. Social media can spark unanticipated engagement for brands

Unexpected brand engagement on social media should be something to expect, especially if people experience your brand on a regular basis.

When you do something newsworthy and it’s of interest to the public, chances are that it will spark debate on social media even though it didn't occur on social media.

For example, who could forget the ‘KFC proposal’? If KFC was running out of marketing ideas, they were definitely saved by a bold man who went down on his knee to propose to his partner in one of the brand’s fast-food outlets. 

A video of the couple went viral on social media in the year 2019 with many users calling for the attention of KFC. The clip also caught the attention of other brands and individuals who were keen to assist by pledging donations towards the couple’s wedding.

For some months, #KFCproposal was all you could see on the trends map. And, the wedding was planned and put together on social media. 

For KFC, this was unanticipated publicity that sparked huge engagement for their brand. Really, who could have let such an opportunity slip? 

How has social media helped build YOUR brand presence? Let us know in the comments section below. 

We see you’ve enjoyed our content right until the end. To get more insightful stories, sign up for our newsletter.

The way you present yourself in the world of digital  is an essential part of your brand. With that said here’s  How to refine your brand’s social media presence