Opinion

Using social media to put your brand where your customers are

18 April 2016

Jonathan Winchester Shopper Anonymous
Jonathan Winchester

As millions of consumers worldwide now use the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or WhatsApp, Jonathan Winchester, UK chief executive of customer experience expert Shopper Anonymous, explains why businesses cannot afford to ignore the power of social media to actively ‘pull in’ customers 

Not a fan of Facebook? Irritated by Instagram? Stumped by Snapchat or wondering about WhatsApp? You might not like these platforms but your customers do.

Nearly half of the entire world population are now active internet users and almost 2 billion users are using their mobiles for social media platforms.

Facebook is still adding 0.5 million users per day.

Instagram has a larger active user base than Twitter and Snapchat is not far behind.

In the business to community relationship, these are statistics you cannot afford to ignore.

Content marketing was the preoccupation of every good marketer last year. Every business was forced to rethink its advertising tactics and we all spent many hours developing our content strategy. Being visible and prominent as a credible source of knowledge is paramount.

But it’s no longer enough. Due to the rapid rise in social media platforms and the prominence of mobile devices that deliver blogs, articles and visuals in the blink of an eye, users are filtering what they choose to view.

In 2016, there is evidence that the only way forward is to engage consumers, to build a relationship and to show that you are more than a ‘provider of goods or services’. Yes, customers want to be loved but they also want to feel that they can trust you and that it is worthwhile keeping you on their contacts list.

So if you are busy churning out blogs and articles on various social platforms it might be time to dig a little deeper and offer more. Coming up with innovative ways to engage your customers as well as using competitions or fun, interactive invitations to involve your customers is the 2016 way to really raise your brand profile in your customer database.

Last year my neighbours spent a beautiful summer holiday at Adler Thermae Resort in Tuscany. An excellent holiday by all accounts. During the stay, their teenage daughter, Alice, noticed Adler was advertising a competition to win a free holiday at one of its resorts.

shopper anonymous_post your best photos

The competition was simple; post a collage of your best photos taken whilst at Adler Resort on Instagram and the person with the most ‘likes’ wins the holiday. In a desperate bid to attract likes she played the ‘like for like’ game and kept posting and sharing. Alice won the competition; a four-day break at an Adler resort.

Adler resorts also won. 5,172 people have viewed the photos and the brand ‘Adler Resorts’. Clever marketing we’d say. This is a perfect example of ‘actively pulling in your community, not passively waiting for them to engage’.

If you are still a little hesitant about using social media and harnessing its incredible power of influence, ask a teenager to show you their phone or tablet. Ask which platforms they use and what they see. You are missing out on possibly the most successful and effective vehicle of marketing if you choose to stay in the digital dark.

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