Social media is one of the most important marketing tools used by businesses today. Given the myriad social media sites available on the Internet, enhancing visibility of your company or business has become very easy. In fact, many businesses feel that this is the smart way of Internet marketing and brand building. However, it is important to understand how to use these tools to actually produce results. Often, people register with social media websites and forget about it and then complain about the lack of traffic to their website. Apart from following the four “P’s” of traditional marketing, Social media has a fifth ‘P’ – Participation, which is very important for getting positive results. Participation is a two-way dialogue between the company and the customers.
A very good example of the successful use of social media to actively communicate with its customers is Dairy Queen – an ice cream company that has been in business for over 7 decades. A very well known international brand in the ice cream business, Dairy Queen successfully implemented social media techniques to its advantage and reached out to a wider network of customers, thereby increasing its sales. Dairy Queen has always been a pioneer in exploiting all aspects of advertising to its advantage. In 2008, with the advent of social media applications, Dairy Queen was not to be left behind and adopted these techniques with the same fervor as traditional advertising strategies.
What exactly was the social media strategy of Dairy Queen that made it so successful? Well, firstly, there was a holistic acceptance of the techniques and principles of social media. Acceptance combined with their transparent attitude and the need for connecting with the customer ensured a successful social media venture. They adopted a five-prong approach in applying social media techniques to reach out to their customers by using the tools like:
• Mobile technology
Dairy Queen ensured that their blogs did not print press releases but actually told stories of the company through the eyes of its employees. A chief brand officer was totally responsible for updating the contents and keeping in touch with customers. Audio or visual podcasts helped a lot in brand building and Dairy Queen used these tools to the optimum by using an articulate speaking approach via words. They conveyed the story of the company by way of an audio podcast that reached out to many people.
Facebook and Twitter are two of the common tools these days that many people use to promote their company. Dairy Queen, not one to be left behind, insisted on engaging in an active dialogue using both these social media tools. Re-tweeting customers who tweet them and following their clientele has helped Dairy Queen tremendously to promote their brand. Finally, Dairy Queen has made another win-win move by accepting the increasing use of mobile technology and is now looking to build a DQ store locator in iPods and iPhones, which would be made available via the iTunes app store. This move will surely help Dairy Queen go a long way in brand building.
If you look at all the above factors that made Dairy Queen so successful in its social media marketing venture, you will understand that it is total participation that actually would go a long way in making the most of these social media tools.
Source:Social Media Marketing Strategies
My Special Thanks to the author- Mike Fruchter