Social media platforms are taking over our daily life. By the end of 2016, a staggering 2.8 billion people worldwide were using social media, with social media use, particularly via mobile devices, continually growing. Although Facebook remains the most popular social media site, Twitter, Instagram and other sites continue to grow.
Social media popularity means more and more consumers are looking to engage with brands via social media. In the UK, over 40% of adults say it’s important that the companies they purchase from have a strong social media presence. As a result, companies are more frequently displaying their social media handles on their packaging and labels.
How is Social Media Used?
Social media is integral to marketing strategies, with companies and brands using various social media platforms to do a number of things:
Communicate with their customers.
Advertise their products.
Establish their brand presence and voice.
With consumers today sharing virtually everything online, your brand and products take on their own social identity. Social media therefore becomes an extension of a brand and product. Social media is also a great tool companies can use to run digital campaigns, getting customers involved in the brand. Companies can also make use of social media to provide customer service: customers have said that social media platforms make it easier to get queries answered and resolved.
Social Media on Packaging
Including social media information on packaging primarily encourages and enables consumer communication with the brand. Customers can quickly and easily interact with companies, without having to send a traditional email, and can seek detailed product information. Social media allows conversations in real-time, with Twitter in particular a go-to platform for asking questions and finding news and updates.
It also humanises the brand, bringing it to life. From one social media symbol on packaging, consumers can go directly from holding a product to becoming part of an online community, where users can share images of a product via Instagram, for example, with the ability to tag brands and companies, as well as viewing other users images. Uniting with other consumers and sharing ideas is a great way for brands to build a social identity and community.
When social media is incorporated to product packaging, it shows that brands are interested in listening to their market. By inviting customers to visit their social media, brands invite customer feedback and open a dialogue to promote customer/brand communication. This highlights that customers are at the forefront of product design and manufacturing, building trust and reliability. Today, customers expect this social media dialogue from brands.
Social media on packaging can also be used to run campaigns. The use of hashtags on packaging can make products fun and interactive, whilst connecting to a wider campaign. Integrated hashtag campaigns on packaging enable customers to easily find useful information and are a way to incorporate a brand’s voice to the packaging and product.
Adding social media symbols to packaging is a great way to encourage consumers to engage with a brand and product online, rather than just physically. Customers invest more in brands that they can influence, so by including social media on packaging, customers are able to become part of brand. As a result, packaging becomes an honest and trustworthy option that customers will want to return to, and brands can build a successful relationship with their customers.