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Getting Close to Consumers

By: Imogen Matthews
Posted: January 20, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Bloggers are able to respond faster than even traditional daily print publications, empowering them as primary news breakers. “The blogger’s freedom to openly express their honest opinion on a product and publish tried and tested reviews that are not endorsed by advertisers has earned them consumer trust as a reliable, unbiased source,” says U.K-based editor, freelance writer and beauty blogger Julia Brandon.

Reaching Consumers and Letting Go of Control

“Social media allows brands to develop a closer relationship with consumers,” affirms Singleton. “It also allows brands to use the best form of marketing (social commerce)—the power of recommendations. People trust recommendations from individuals, even strangers, rather than being sold to by brands.”

Most bloggers spread the word about their posts via Twitter. Bacharach has seen an explosion of new brands joining Twitter in 2010. Examples include Bobbi Brown, Lancôme and Bourjois, which enables them to interact with the bloggers on a personal level. So will social media replace more traditional ways of communicating with consumers? Singleton points out that the mass adoption of television did not kill radio advertising. “I still think traditional advertising has an important part to play.”

Many of the big beauty companies still have some way to go before they fully embrace the social media change, especially those with massive brand portfolios. Singleton concludes: “Brands need to let go of their control and be humble. Consumers are in control and they need to get used to it.”

Imogen Matthews is a consultant to In-cosmetics. For more information, visit www.imogenmatthews.co.uk.