Now that content is easily available on a moment-by-moment basis (e.g., content on Twitter), there is a new opportunity to forge deeper relationships with customers.
One of the smartest ways that some of the biggest brands in the world (Coca-Cola and Home Depot, for example) are using social media now is to immediately respond to anything negative that is said about their brands. They “make good” on their relationships with customers and let everyone read how far they are willing to go to make things right, even when someone buys the wrong screwdriver. As a smaller brand than Coca-Cola, your tactics on Twitter and Facebook need to be somewhat different, but you should always be learning from what the leaders are doing. Where you once had 30 seconds to catch a customer’s eye, you now might see customers spending many hours on your website watching your YouTube videos and reading your blog. You may even have them following your every move on Twitter or subscribing to your news channel. Before the modern Internet, the vehicles of expensive TV ads and print production did not provide this ongoing flow of information and, perhaps more importantly, instant interaction. Now, at the click of a button you chat with live customer support people, you can download ebooks that were uploaded moments ago, and you can tune into podcasts that were recorded this morning. This is a big change and it’s only coming faster.
Watch as your feedback on a company’s products and services flows into their R&D process, resulting in products that better fit your needs. Johnson & Johnson, for example, became an early adopter of social media when they made a space online for women to share their needs with regard to feminine hygiene products and responded to those concerns.
Now, if sites do not have review sections or places to comment, they often do not get the Google, Bing, and Yahoo visibility they crave. Once again, social integration is paramount online. You must be involved in involving your customers in you. That is why truly static sites are now being left in the dust after Google’s recent Panda and Penguin search algorithm updates.
While the old marketing models are being undermined, new models are emerging. Post a comment on the Facebook page belonging to Red Bull and you can “speak” to over one million people. Join a group on LinkedIn about your niche that is “Very Active” and has several thousand participants, and not only is your discussion featured on that home page, but it also appears in the email boxes of each and every one of those people as every new comment on that discussion comes in.
Wow. That is an immense wow.
The new age of marketing is one of sharing around a digital campfire where everyone gets a chance to tell their story and/or react to someone else’s.
What kind of social media strategy is your company employing?