By Paula M Burke
Social media marketing continues to design great social channels to gain competitive brand equity in the social landscape. Trends indicate that companies will take a holistic approach to marketing by leveraging their relationships with consumers in real-time forums and live streaming videos. The methods to harness progressive social media will be centered around customer engagement (CE) through active listening and interaction. Branding will offer more integrative customer experiences. As many companies have acquired great profitability from highly engaged social media strategies, the consumer demands an active presence in the social ecosystem.
The key element to this success is found in the gravity of customer communication as a play maker to the brand. Customers desire to be part of the company culture and adopt a brand pride for a specific product or service. The future advances await social networks as new technology through app development in mobile spaces become more seamless. The goals are to cultivate dynamic content for the greatest customer experience. Corporate branding that embraces technology and (CE) will gain high value proposition and competitive return on investment (ROI).
Future implications project that real-time communication with brands on their social channels will continue to be a valuable commodity for brand equity. A recent brand study was conducted to measure performance from social media engagement and influence on Facebook brand pages. Data was compiled to evaluate the role of consumer gratification with over 400 people participating in a printed survey format (De Vries & Carlson, 2014). The findings show that consumers that have positive brand relationships engage in word of mouth (WOM) referrals staying enthusiastic to the brand. Brand pages that utilize quality content in a 2-way communication model with real-time dialogue retain customers for long-term product loyalty.
Keeping customers on a loyal track comes back to basics; customers wants, needs and preferences. The company branding programs must have synergy to the customer goals through progressive relevant content. The direction for branding in the future will continue to place its value on how consumers will embrace awareness of the product or service gaining brand power (Keller, 2013, p. 43).
Digital assets will unify the brand by building an authentic content archetype in the form of live video streaming through storytelling expressing the voice of the customer (Daye, 2014). Customers are looking for ways to build trust and have control of the brand decision making. With the help of new innovations in technology products will enter the market in intelligent platforms through voice recognition and live video for customer personalization.
How can companies meet these goals today and in the future? The best way for companies to harness this effort is to create a social advocacy program among their employees inside the organization. Content shared by employees amplifies the brand encouraging customer participation. Messaging will continue to direct customers to the brand and this will have far reaching benefits to companies that embrace the conversations (Holmes, 2015).
Daye, D. (2014, June 26). Brand storytelling strategy workshop series. (Retrieved from http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2014/06/brand-storytelling-strategy-workshop-series.html#.VtNhbIfrjjo
De Vries, N. J., & Carlson, J. (2014). Examining the drivers and brand performance implications of customer engagement with brands in the social media environment. Journal of Brand Management, 21(6), 495-515. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1057/bm.2014.18
Holmes, R. (2015, December 9). 5 trends that will change how companies use social media in 2016. Retrieved from http://www.fastcompany.com/3054347/the-future-of-work/5-trends-that-will-change-how-companies-use-social-media-in-2016
Keller, K.L. (2013). Strategic Brand Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.