Social Branding Model in Armenia
by Ara Ohanian
We are not seats or eyeballs or end-users or consumers. We are human beings and our reach extends your grasp. Deal with it.
Excerpt from “The Cluetrain Manifesto”
We will never forget the time before the creation of Web 2.0. When companies spread information online, we read them silently and express our thoughts offline. Web 2.0 emerged, and the digital world radically changed. Ever since we “speak online” whatever we want and as much as we desire. Meanwhile, the companies also decided “to speak online” by promoting their brands. But there were no dialogue, no listening. Yet in recent years the way companies push their messages has basically changed. To become successful brand is required to act ethically, its modus operandi should be in a socially responsible manner. All of this has resulted in a shifting paradigm for brands by forming a new digital era called social branding.
What is Social Branding ?
According to the Head of Social Strategy of the World Cyber Games, Michael Brito, a social brand is any company, product, or individual that uses social technologies to communicate with social customers, their partners and constituencies, or the general public. For the time being, companies try to get everything they want at all costs, sometimes at the expense of customers, employees or partners. What the social web has changed is that companies need to build relationships with their customers in order to evоlve their brand. As the famous brand strategist Sudio Sudarsan once said: “It is often the case not what the brand stands for, but what consumers perceive the brands for.” The social branding is not really about brands, because brands are not ours to control. It is our customers and all the people who think and talk about it. Building a relationship is not about CRM or mass marketing, because it is already dead. Now we should consider every customer as a human-being with its needs and feelings. What we should do is to put ourselves in our customers’ place and communicate with them by being human. And only in that case we may start to build something substantial, something that we call a social brand.
Armenia’s Social Branding approach
Looking for Armenian brands in this issue I came across some contradictory statistics: the pages that get the most “like”-s have nothing in common with social branding. There are no engaging posts in their Facebook pages, no listening and no dialogue at all. Maybe it is because the “like”-s are increasing without any back and forth? Or maybe they base themselves on their offline brands and their social websites are just an extra tool. In either way Armenians are considered as hot-tempered nation and if they have complains they will express it either online or offline. ( 5 Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes in Armenia )
Getting stuck in Armenian contradictory statistics I encounter a wondrous example of Armenian social branding: PanARMENIAN Network. PanARMENIAN.Net is the first Armenian online news and analytical agency and one of the most cited Armenian informational resources worldwide. Being the 32th Facebook page which has the most “like”-s PanARMENIAN has a highly engaging Facebook page. They spark conversation and promote content that generates dialogue. They encourage interactions between the members of the community. However, their most significant trump card is that they show the human side of their company. Social media is about socializing and people want to feel like they are connecting with real people to share their feelings and values. And this is absolutely that case. In my humble opinion we can definitely consider their social pages as an illustrative example how the social brands should be. ( Digital Marketing in Armenia )
Final thoughts about Armenia’s bright future…
Grounded on this terrific example I have already noticed some social pages which are keen on building their digital strategy in that social way. Pretty soon we will have Armenian brands which will treat digital media as a social branding tool that will create an emotional bond between the brand and its customers. Nowadays meaningful dialogues, social responsibility and product customization are not a lip service. It means that customers expect a real conversation with the brand and every business that is now digital should adapt itself accordingly. It is not an easy task, but you will definitely handle it if you delegate your Online Branding to our professionals in Aragil ! (Contact Us for a free “Online Marketing” Consultation & Estimate)You will not even worry about your Social Media engagement. They will be under way… until you get a postcard… from your Social Media fan! That is for sure!
Digital Marketing Strategist , Social Media Professional at Aragil Online Marketing
April 25, 2017
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