In today’s economic climate, who “owns” a brand, whether that be in a figurative or literal sense, has the potential to make or break the brand. Companies which market brands to be “green” or “local” but are found to be engaging in wasteful production practices or importing components from overseas just might see their customer base collapse faster than they can gather a marketing team to create a response plan. A company which fails to deal with a customer service issue in a timely and effective manner might find itself the subject of a negative viral video, the source of a trending Twitter feed or damaging Facebook posts. Corporations which tightly control their brands by ignoring social media platforms, networks, or hangouts miss out on un- or under-developed markets and effectively omit the true messengers of their brand – the consumer.
As the above graph indicates, just a few social media sources reach millions of people from a variety of demographics. New brands, under a corporate umbrella, which seek to reach targeted or untapped markets should take full advantage of the vast array of social media sources available at a customer’s keyboard or swipe of their smartphone screen. Social media allows advertising, marketing, public relations, and human resource departments to reach potential new customers, hire enthusiastic employees, or use an existing loyal customer base to get the word out about new brands and services. Moreover, customers engaged via social media platforms can amplify the buzz surrounding well-known brands thereby strengthening sales and customer retention.