Humanizing a Brand Through a Social Strategy
By Piper Stevens Director of Social Media, Loews Hotels & Resorts | February 09, 2014
Computers can't smile; iPads can't empathize; mobile phones can't relate. Although the best technology can give companies a great advantage in the marketplace, it cannot replace the value of a human connection. Social Media provides brands with the opportunity to bring together technology and one-on-one conversation to create a closer relationship than has ever been experienced before for both brands and consumers.
Many brands that have succeeded over the years have recognized that they can't get by solely on their brand name or logo. They need to attach their product or service to a person or group of people to emotionally connect with consumers. Companies have gone through any number of strategies to find who best to represent their brand. In the 1990s, superstars like Michael Jordan were often the center of ad campaigns. In the 2000s, some companies took the approach of pulling back the curtain and utilizing prominent corporate figures like Richard Branson or Steve Jobs to make a connection with their audience.
In this decade, with the advance of Social Media as well as a more discerning consumer, brands have made the bold switch to ask regular people, like you and me, to represent their brand. Dove, GoPro, Ford, and Rent the Runway are just a few companies that have taken this approach, and the list is expanding rapidly.
Whether you choose employees, industry influencers, or consumers to represent your brand, one thing remains true-he or she will need to play an active role in your Social Media strategy. Using a human connection to appeal to the emotions of a target market in order to develop a stronger connection leads to a type of loyalty that goes well beyond a special membership card or reward points.
Hotels can add a human touch to many aspects of their Social Media plan to gain credibility, show empathy, and develop a one-on-one relationship with their guests. Opportunities are endless for the creative minds at the helm of marketing and communication strategies. To cut through the clutter of ideas, brands should look to review sites, Twitter, blog sites and YouTube to start making inroads.
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