Social media is easily the most overused term of 2011.
That said we have seen everyone and anyone jumped into the bandwagon from Banks to Retailers and Brands.
For Big Brands like coke the reason is simple – to engage and perception of what a cool product it is.
For retailers – to feature their latest products and get people excited
For Banks and Financial institutions – it is slightly trickier. This article below pretty much summarizes the key intent
1) Build a community – Create touch points, get everyday conversation going with consumers and make them part of the group. Eg Small Business Saturday* was an excellent example which Amex did to build a local community to support local businesses
2) Product Research – listing tool to what consumers want and their rants
3) Customer Service – Twitter is commonly used for this one as a quick response channel to consumer rants and grievances.
4) Marketing and Promotion – What retailers do..Get Fans, promote your product and sell the idea. Eg Citibank App which allows users to share reward points.
5) Transparency – a great way to update consumers on market news, interest rates, press releases etc.