Marketing is all about getting one's message to the people, in whatever way possible. But perhaps more than that, it's about utilizing the channels that are best suited for the job. A Super Bowl commercial is great for a company like Coca-Cola or Disney, but such valuable marketing space would be lost on a local plumber or electrician. The point being, not all channels are created equal. This concept is demonstrated perfectly by social media.
With social media, companies can do the impossible - reach out specifically to individuals who have an expressed interest in their brand, product, or service. A television or radio commercial is a catch-all; the audience may be large, but what percentage of those people are actually interested? The promise of social media, at least for businesses, is that 100 percent of the audience is interested. It's not just the exposure that draws companies in (though that's huge, too). And while it's true that on a case-by-case basis, you will likely find disinterested, disengaged, or even fake followers, the basic premise behind the concept holds water. For this reason, any business wishing to connect to its target audience must have a social media presence.
These brands seem to understand the importance of social media integration and are embracing social media adoption. And they are finding success in the process.
With accounts on YouTube and Tumblr urging fans to go #FullCaptain, this celebrated and popular rum brand seems to know exactly what its audience wants. And that is spiced rum with attitude and a bit of cheekiness. Not afraid to be just a bit irreverent, Captain Morgan doesn't think twice about winking at its fans while producing content that begs to be shared. From GIFs to YouTube videos, the company puts its pirate mascot front and center. Its efforts haven't gone unnoticed either (rather impossible, considering the prominence of the Captain's grin in the company's marketing initiatives), as the company's individual YouTube videos have upwards of 500,000 views.
T-Mobile, like any national company, has a slew of social media accounts. But when it comes to T-Mobile, the only thing that really matters is Twitter. Not only does the company keep an active Twitter account - one in which they interact with consumers, engage with competitors, and generally stay right in the thick of things - but CEO John Legere does, too, and he may be even more vocal and engaged than the company itself (he has more followers, too, which is something of a minor miracle). T-Mobile is taking the old notion of the faceless corporate entity and flipping it on its head by being ever-present and always available for a chat.
Pabst Blue Ribbon
The odds are good that you have strong opinions about Pabst Blue Ribbon. You either love it for its affordability, working-class reputation, and hipster street cred... or you hate it because of its hipster street cred! PBR was on the brink of collapse in the early 2000s before being resurrected. Now, PBR sells approximately 200 percent more by volume than they did a decade ago, thanks in part to a younger consumer demographic. Say what you will about Millenials, but PBR embraces them. On social media, the company promotes annual art contests that encourage fans to appropriate the company's logo, which are then further shared online.
Beyond being able to reach one's target audience, social media also provides the promise of organic growth - that is, content that is naturally shared among an audience (and sometimes produced by this same audience) without the brand's specific participation. To you and me, this is known as "going viral." If there is one company that understands the appeal of sharability and user-generated content, it is GoPro. The manufacturer of wearable action cameras seems to believe strongly in the old saying that a picture is worth a 1,000 words, as it actively encourages and shares user-generated content. In effect, with Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, and its other social accounts, GoPro enables its fans and users to market for them - all GoPro needs to do is provide the camera.