How Brands Are Managing The Broken Supply Chain Using Social Media

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Social media bridges advertising, PR 

Supply chain issues have been plaguing brands and consumers for months. Social media is emerging as a key way in which brands can reassure consumers, control the narrative, and address concerns.

Whereas in the past, social media’s primary role was in marketing products or services, today we see a shift in this role, as social media becomes something much bigger, while still retaining its original function. 

So how have brands been dealing with these critical issues using paid social media? We used the BrandTotal platform to gain a deeper understanding of leading brands’ strategies. 

How brands are addressing that problem on social

Brands have used social media in different ways to relate to supply chain issues. 

A high-level approach

In the “high-level” approach, brands emphasize the problem from a macro perspective, including how they are uniquely positioned to solve this challenge. 

Twitter Ad from Intel

Intel: “The chip supply chain needs to be rebalanced ⚖️ This requires a more global approach to manufacturing.”

Intel takes a global view of the supply chain issues currently facing brands and consumers, and posits that a complete rebalancing of the global supply chain is required in order to prevent such issues from happening again. Intel is heavily affected by the chip shortage specifically, as the knock-on effects from this shortage are affecting everything from cars and appliances, to LED lighting

In taking a proactive approach to this problem, Intel is showing how it is part of the solution, and not part of the problem. 

LinkedIn Ad from Cisco

Cisco: Helping ports go digital

By now, most people are familiar with the serious bottlenecks at U.S ports. This is a major factor in supply chain interruptions, and Cisco is showing how it is tackling this problem head-on, through digital transformation. 

This approach also positions the brand as part of the solution, as well as a brand that offers unique technology solutions to today’s most pressing problems. 

The human side

Facebook Ad from UPS

UPS: “A link in the chain”

In this UPS campaign, the focus is on the humans behind the headlines. In this case, it’s a UPS driver that deals with tremendous challenges to successfully deliver toys on time for the holidays. 

This metaphor is then used by the brand itself as a way of demonstrating how it is going above and beyond, despite supply chain issues, to deliver on time.

Brands like UPS could potentially be under fire for late deliveries – even though the fault is not theirs – but they are the brands the consumer associates with the delivery itself.

With campaigns such as this one, the brand is showing how it is doing its best in adverse circumstances.

How brands are helping the consumer

LinkedIn Ad from Amazon

Amazon: “We’ve made some investments to ensure recent supply chain constraints won’t impact the Amazon experience for our customers.”

Amazon seeks to reassure customers that its goods will not be affected by supply chain interruptions. 

Specifically, the brand shows how it has invested in its plans to help the consumer, which both shows how the brand values the consumer, and preempts any nervousness about ordering through Amazon. 

Facebook Ad from Walmart

Walmart: “Improving delivery this holiday season”

Walmart also emphasizes its commitment to its customers, showcasing how it is making every effort to ensure that supply chain issues won’t interrupt holiday shopping. 

The brand acknowledges the supply chain issues it faces, but provides a roadmap for dealing with these issues – which should reassure consumers.

Interestingly, the brand highlights how technology is part of this process, which positions it as a leader in this space.

Emphasizing that items are in stock

When Target ran the following campaign, it might not have foreseen the types of responses seen below.

Facebook Ad from Target

Target: “Unfortunately the supply chain fiasco is hitting a lot of our favorite stores, including Target. Empty shelves all over in CO 😔”

From this, we learn that brands have to preempt these kinds of comments in order to keep consumers engaged and in love with the brand. 

One way that brands can do this is by emphasizing that items are in stock.

Twitter Ad from Moccamaster

Moccamaster: “Now in stock”

Moccamaster leads with this message, which is what consumers need to see especially when it comes to direct-to-consumer (DTC) products that aren’t backed by the logistics machine of an Amazon or Walmart. 

Twitter Ad from Best Buy

Best Buy: “Back in stock”

Similarly, BestBuy emphasizes that a product is in stock. Consumers are tired of being advertised great deals, only to find out that the item they wanted is not in stock. By leading with the fact that the product is definitely available, BestBuy effectively addresses this concern immediately.

Broken supply chains and brands' response

We saw several approaches to the broken supply chain by leading brands; from taking a high-level approach, to showcasing the human side, to helping the consumer, and emphasizing that items are in stock. 

What these brands’ strategies show us is that there are many ways to deal with supply chain issues. And social media is the best way for brands to connect consumers with their messages. 

Would you like to see how BrandTotal can help you gain visibility into how other brands are dealing with global trends and issues, like the supply chain crunch? Request a demo today.