Social media content is essentially an extension of a brand; it becomes part of the brand image, “25% of search results for the World’s top 20 brands are links to user generated content” (Siobhan, 2010). This is a very new concept for marketers to grasp. Traditionally marketers were responsible for creating a brand image and implementing marketing tactics that aligned and promoted that image through all marketing medians. It today’s era the marketer no longer has 100% control of the brand image. It’s up to the marketer to understand how to guide the brand through social media.
When users post content about a brand to the internet this information becomes public world-wide knowledge. This information can be positive but more significantly it can be negative. When negative content is posted about a brand and company it takes away from the brand equity created through all other marketing medians.
Social Media Marketing is about participating in consumer conversations to help guide the brand. Pepsi understands this concept. This is a great article from Business Insider about Pepsi and their social media efforts. But remember this isn't just for large companies; mid and small size companies need to be just as aware.
Siobhan, C. (2010, May 9). Social Media Revolution 2: How it affects PR, advertising and brands Message posted to http://claresiobhanpr.wordpress.com/2010/05/09/social-media-evolution-2-how-it-affects-pr-brands-and-advertising/