To better understand this phenomenon, the Forrester team decided to contact random users of MySpace and Facebook to ask why they had added the account of a particular brand or made a review of it. In almost all cases, the response that they had acquired points to the conclusion that the users had an affinity with the brand. On another note, some users also get to learn about new products offered by the marketer through the SNS application that is associated with their friends (Li, Bernoff, Feffer & Pflaum, 2007).
Since Michael Kors’ primary target is the youth, the company could start off with promoting the MICHAEL and KORS fashion line on Facebook or Myspace by creating profiles on the collections. It could also tie-up with game generators of Sorority Life and Fashion Wars by incorporating recent pieces from the fashion lines in the prizes or points of the game. It could also use the application of sending a gift voucher to a fan of the brand to a friend in which he or she could claim the by printing out the voucher and redeeming it to the Michael Kors store nearest to their hometown.
It should be expected that some members would only join or add the marketing profile of a brand to get a discount or promotion of its products, while others are only attracted to the hype of its campaign as many of their friends are part of it. Marketers may want to take advantage of the congregation of the users who are part of the marketing profile but might get disappointed when it doesn’t give the result it is expected to produce since it’s hard to compartmentalize the users to cater to their needs.
While this may not sit well with Michael Kors, exposure through SNS would greatly benefit his brand as it will surely reach an all-high when it gets to promote its three fashion lines so that it would attract more youth buyers. Users of SNSes are an important asset to marketers hoping to succeed online since they would be able to help the brand spread its reach by engaging them to personalize the brand such as incorporating a downloadable element of the brand to their profile such as wallpaper, badge, coupon and other personalized knick-knacks.
Such brand elements would take on a life of its own as users provide the context and meaning for the brand. Once users become actively engaged with the brand, they turn into brand advocates. The 2007 Marketing Evolution study found that more than 70% of the marketing value created by social network marketing campaigns resulted from the ‘momentum effect’ of viral marketing across SNS users. In addition, display ads played an important role in compelling awareness and traffic to the brand profiles, helping to further promote the brand’s name (Szewczak, 2008).
According to Li, marketers who seriously want its presence felt on the web should follow through its techniques and tactics to acquire users to add its profile. For example, the profile page of Brides. com, an affiliated company of the Conde Nast Publications, had developed a way to keep users coming back to the page with its consistent approach on guiding them from the engagement period up to the wedding date. Newly engaged women now have the option of downloading a wedding countdown timer which they could display in their personal profiles.
Their friends would see the timer and are likely to add it to their own profiles once they get engaged. The Brides. com profile page also features links to the Brides. com site, which has a variety of features and content, such as wedding photo sharing areas and wedding day experiences (Li, Bernoff, Feffer & Pflaum, 2007). Perhaps Michael Kors could use celebrity figures wearing his collections or designs so as to entice the younger consumers to add the market brand profile and be informed about the latest fashion trends.
To effectively utilize SNS marketing, the profile needs to become a part of users’ lives. One way to accomplish this is to provide value in the form of entertainment, information, or promotions. For instance, Chili’s sponsors Secret Shows on MySpace wherein only those who have added them as friends could receive clues about the date, location, and name of the band that are scheduled to perform. Michael Kors could offer contests to watch fashion shows in New York or win signature pieces from his collection every month (Li & Bernoff, 2008).
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