And Dulux is not stopping there as the social media space is constantly evolving and being added to as new applications and opportunities are developed. There will soon be a Dulux presence on Pinterest
“There is a misconception that digital only lives online. At Dulux we combine PR, advertising and social media to form a presence across all media,” said San-Marie Jacobsz, the master brand manager at Dulux. “While it is often said that content is king when talking about brands, we have taken this to the next level by saying that engagement is king.”
One of the great things about social media is that every person or consumer has been given a voice – and it is these voices that brands need to be listening to if they are serious about managing and improving brand perception, brand penetration and brand loyalty in a highly competitive environment.
Whether they have a social media presence or not, all brands need to realise that they are being discussed and highlighted on social media platforms. “Each and every day, consumers talk about their love for or dissatisfaction with brands. It is up to brands to engage with these consumers whether their sentiments are positive or negative,” said Jacobsz. “By engaging, through acknowledging loyalty or assisting to resolve issues, brands are able to build relationships that would not be possible through the use of traditional media.”
Significantly, Jacobsz warns that if brands neglect to be part of the digital era through social media, they not only hand over their reputations to consumers, but they also potentially empower their competitors who are engaging via social media channels. However, she says, social media is not the only form of engagement in which brands should invest. Successful social media campaigns need to incorporate all aspects of marketing including above the line advertising and PR – as well as activations and events. In her view, brands also have to ensure that they engage with consumers who have both good and bad perceptions as reputations are built on the ability to respond to queries and observations quickly, honestly and openly. “Gone are the days of bad press simply being swept under the carpet. It is vital for companies and brands to implement flexible strategies that allow their brands to shine in any given situation, positive or negative,” she said.
Importantly, Jacobsz stresses that social media and online participation means that there has to be constant monitoring of “conversations” that take place across the different platforms. This has led to rapid growth in digital agencies that take pressure off companies to follow through on this much-needed engagement with consumers. In her opinion, it is vital for companies to have a proper strategy in place when they outsource their social media management to ensure that brand respect is maintained and campaigns do not fail. “Brands also need to focus on their core branding objective and then integrate the online strategy which should form part of the branding strategy,” she added.
An example of a Dulux usage of social media can be seen on YouTube
which shows how the 'Give Your Colour' application was used on the Dulux Let’s Colour Facebook