The emergence of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has materially affected brand owners. These sites and others like them allow brand owners to interact directly with their customers or potential customers. Their use is an important part of brand management.
Social media channels should be managed using a brand-oriented approach. This is particularly so concerning mobile devices, as consumers spend more time on these devices than personal computers. The brand execution that appears on social media should be consistent with the material and approach used elsewhere. But because social media frequently changes rapidly, a flexible and diversified approach needs to be adopted. Brand owners that fail to adapt can fall behind.
Simultaneously, there are potential concerns with social media that need to be addressed. They include but are not limited to the unauthorized use and adoption of usernames that incorporate brand names, the impact of unauthorized or negative publicity, potential liability relating to content posted by customers and privacy issues.
Besides the opportunity to participate in activities on social media sites, operators of the sites typically offer to brand owners digital advertising services and related products to assist in reaching consumers.
Many brand owners encourage individuals to visit their website. An important part of this approach includes search engine optimization directed at increasing organic search rankings on search engines such as Google. Links from other websites to the brand owner's website serve as indicators to the search engine algorithm that the brand owner's website offers relevant content. The links can come from a variety of activities, but social media marketing offers a relatively simple way of doing this by delivering content to followers that links back to the website.
It is important that brand owners have in place a method of monitoring what is taking place on social media and deal with any problems in a prompt, proactive way. The world of social media is different from the bricks-and-mortar world, and a brand owner needs to avoid being perceived as an overly aggressive “trademark bully.”
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