The latest buzz in social media is Four Square, a social networking site that is accessed as an application through your smartphone. It then works off of GPS, allowing the application to report where you are at any given time. The benefit? If you’re dining at a restaurant and have just sat down to order, a friend can post a recommendation of what to eat, mobile-to-mobile.
Forsman & Bodenfors came up with another innovative digital campaign for Ikea by turning one of Facebook’s basic functions into a promotional tool, to promote the opening of the brand’s Malmo outpost, its most modern store to date.
When we examine social networking, you are achieving something much more valuable than advertising. You are creating referrals, testimonials and endorsements, which gives you instant credibility and a level of trust that traditional advertising simply cannot achieve.
In this recession, marketers have learned that interactive marketing is more effective, and advertising less effective, per dollar spent. While budgets for online have decreased, they decreased less than other budgets. Six out of ten marketers we surveyed agreed with the statement “we will increase budget for interactive by shifting money away from traditional marketing.” Only 7% said “we have no plans to increase our marketing budget.”
It’s time to overcome the misconception that businesses don’t spend money during an economic downturn and embrace the fact that the American entreprenurial spirit fights for survival by spending money prudently. There is no company that exists that couldn’t improve their ability to communicate more often and with more relevance to a defined target. Social media provides that opportunity to leverage brand, build loyalty, maintain relevance and reach new customers by leveraging existing customers.
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