Businesses that have a level of self-awareness will typically resonate with their customers, and the wider public for that matter, in a relatively broad way. After all, it's fine to hide behind a corporate image at times, but it's the human element that really draws people in.
Of course, this is far more noticeable on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et al have levelled the playing field and broken down barriers between brands and consumers like never before.
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The importance of social media cannot be underestimated. Research collated by the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) explained that the variety of platforms has made brand building easier, with 81 per cent of businesses increasing their influence as a result.
Eighty-one per cent of businesses are actively increasing their brand influence thanks to social media.
So, how can companies leverage social media effectively and build better relationships with consumers? Well, the short answer is through progressive media analysis.
A recent real world example captured perfectly how virality on social media can build brand reputation and influence, providing the company in question is aware of goings on and ready to react.
To that end, a photo posted on Twitter depicted an American Airlines employee who bore a striking resemblance to Severus Snape, one of the main characters from the popular Harry Potter series of books and films.
The picture itself quickly went viral, and was shared thousands of times by customers of the airline and fans of the fantasy stories alike. American Airlines quickly picked up on this, and managed to use the situation to their advantage.
The company tracked down the employee in question and publicised his existence across its social media channels, including in this Tweet:
— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) June 5, 2015
Consequently, the savvy shown by the airline was picked up on by a plethora of news outlets, and the company was praised for how it has managed its online presence.
Naturally, none of this would have been made possible without effective social media monitoring. This example shows the power companies have in both brand and consumer relationship building if they can harness virality as and when it occurs.
While, of course, second guessing what kind of post is going to explode in popularity - particularly if it's coming from a vast pool of consumers - is difficult, the response to any kind of viral story is what marks out the best strategies.
Not only is the process a relatively simple way to build brand confidence, adding in an extra touch of personality on social media can help boost wider engagement, too.