With the company that owns the drinks brands Bacardi, Bombay Sapphire, Dewar’s and Grey Goose recently announcing that it is paring back its investment in its respective websites in favour of social media, PR Company, Punch Communications has suggested that SME’s and start-up’s could benefit by following suit.
In times of economic uncertainty and in contrast, a social media boom, smaller businesses could benefit in terms of brand exposure, monetary stability and even turnover by turning their Online PR efforts towards the likes of Facebook rather than investing in the maintenance and upkeep of an existing website or even the development of a new one.
Ben Leuty, an Account Manager at Punch Communications, commented: “Websites don’t offer a great return on investment if they’re not attracting the appropriate traffic, whereas, with an online community of fans, the brand is able to actively reach out to its audience and encourage direct engagement.”
Other brands such as Smirnoff and Heineken are also increasing spend in social media-related marketing. Smirnoff’s well publicised Nightlife Exchange Project, which is updated with realtime news and live streaming of global events, has built an active community of 312,000 ‘fans’ in the UK and over two million worldwide.
Ben continued: “Being able to instantly promote a brand to over two million people who already have an interest in the product offers considerably more benefit than the large majority of websites. SME’s and start-ups, realistically, are unlikely attract this volume of fans, especially in such a short space of time, but will still be able engage with an appropriate and interested audience and, if they follow the likes of Heineken, could increase turnover by selling products through their social media profiles.”
As part of a wider strategy to develop its global presence Heineken is raising its investment in social media marketing, with the upcoming launch of a Facebook store that sells branded merchandise.
Ben continued: “As a Public Relations Agency that offers combined campaigns incorporating traditional PR, search engine optimisation and social media strategies, Punch has long being aware of, and utilised, the power of social media as a means of increasing brand profiles. As a result, over 80 per cent of our clients now benefit from this service.”
For more information about Punch Communications and its PR, search and social services, please visit www.punchcomms.com or call 01858 411 600.