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Do the Big Brands Have an Advantage When it Comes to Social Media?



Social media is the great equalizer; Lady Gaga (VEGAS tonight, gambling and inappropriate attire to ensue ) Tweeting alongside Taylyr, the junior high school student with a band (:/ im in QUIET the awful state. im pretty sure i dont want to go to school in the morning). Facebook, where you can have updates from TV vampires right next to reminders from your mom. Age, race, socio-economic status, celeb or regular Joe — there are no barriers in social media.

So why is it that the big brands are dominating when it comes to social media marketing? That’s the question Brian Sheehan is asking over at AdAge.

“The dominance of big marketers is in many ways a straightforward matter of resources. For example, Pepsico’s Gatorade has a group of full-time staff who man their “Mission Control” room, monitoring and participating in social media 24 hours a day. Smaller brands may not be able to afford that.”

Resources are good. Money, creative teams, access to software and tools others don’t have. But how important are all of those things when it comes to writing a daily Tweet. Does Nabisco really have an advantage over the Incredibly Edible Cookie Company? I say it’s not about the resources, so much as it’s about brand recognition. If I were to ask 100 people to follow only one of these two companies, most people would pick Nabisco simply because they know the name.

How do you get around big dog? By being creative. Look at Old Spice. They made a terrific video that went viral, but there are thousands of no-cost, homemade videos on YouTube that go viral, too.

You don’t need an expensive ad agency to create a social media campaign.  Just look around. Check with your staff, your family and your friends. I’ll bet someone in that group has a good idea. That’s what social media marketing is really about, a good idea. An idea that hooks the people in and makes them want to share it with their friends.

Social media marketing is the one area where money and resources shouldn’t matter. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube are all free to use and let me tell you something, brand loyalty only goes so far. If you become known as the DVD seller who has the funniest movie reviews, consumers will be hitting your Facebook page every week before they head over to Netflix.

What do you think? Do big brands have the social media advantage or can the little guy hit it big on Facebook and Twitter?

  • http://www.theistudio.com Judtih

    Besides what is mentioned, what I see the big brands having as an advantage are paid employees whose only job in life it is to be on social media 24/7 doing that job. It is a full time job and bandwidth hog to be involved and engaged to reap the benefits.

    Most of my clients just do not have that level of time — as they are busy running their business. Or, they do not realize the benefit of spending every minute of what extra time they do have in social media activities.

    So, I don’t see it as as a big vs. little guy thing. It’s a time thing!