Over the past few weeks, we have tirelessly explored just about anything worth exploring in regards to the best practices in social media. With the plethora of social media outlets available for use, it is important to evaluate industry needs and objectives in a social media strategy. When the focus is specifically placed on how social media can be used to further the goals of the consumer packaged goods industry, two major themes become apparent: transparency and interactivity.

Transparency is one of the strongest practices a company can implement with their social media strategy. The concept focuses on being honest about company policies, actions, and effects that they may have on constituents or shareholders. The importance of being transparent is highlighted in week four’s blog post dealing with Tropicana. The brand lacked transparency, failed to listen to customer input until too late, and failed to take action quickly. This resulted in a plummeting market share and the appearance that the company did not care about consumer interests. When practiced efficiently, a transparent company creates vital connections with influencers by being seen as genuine.

Interactivity is the process of building a relationship with constituents through a “two-way dialogue.” It involves taking input of consumers and responding to these influencers with a personalized message or, more importantly, company action. Allowing for participation in your brand creates positive buzz, and in turn, more reach to a target market. This is shown by the cosmetic brand MAC, and Bobbi Brown’s polls and efforts to bring back shelved products by popular demand. In the fashion industry, Rebecca Minkoff partnered with NY Fashion Week to hold an instagram contest, increase participation and attention for a show that might otherwise be “elite”, and earn positive attention and loyal customers. Old Spice reaped the benefits of interactivity when their “Smell Like a Man, Man,” campaign went viral and was an overnight Internet sensation.

When a company uses social media with interactivity as the focus, they understand that customer participation is key to keeping the business afloat, since peers are now the strongest influencers in the market place. A business that is also transparent recognizes that the company is “always on.” Customers are happy to contribute by sharing viral videos or leaving positive reviews, but they will also leave their brutal, and sometimes nasty, opinions of products or company actions. With the immediacy of social media it is important to realize that every move of a business is easily documented and tracked. When interactivity and transparency are correctly balanced on any social media platform, a company will absolutely prosper.

-Jen Parravani


~ by goodpackagedconsumers on October 28, 2012.