Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Social Media has taken over, get used to it.

You've been hearing about this trend called social media. This new trend is probably the top priority for marketers, whether you like it or not. Let's face it, we wake up in the morning and check our Facebook news feed, update our Twitter, and occasionally smile from reading textsfromlastnight. Every time we log online, a marketer has an opportunity to get their message out. Companies are obviously beginning to realize that their brand needs to have a presence online, but the challenge is, you need to be good at it. Hell, you need to at least be decent. The goal of social media marketing is not awareness; it's engagement.

This is your chance to be involved with your audience. You're no longer intangible to your customers, you are now speaking to them on a personal level. @comcastcares is the perfect example of a company doing social media right. Have you ever been so upset about a broken product that you update your Facebook status with curse words and anger? And wish you could get a solution? How about getting the solution when you least expect it? That sounds pretty nice. Try tweeting about your disappointment with comcast cable and @comcastcares will take care of you within minutes. They personally try to resolve the issue, whether it be by email, DM, or a phone call. So you're telling me that I can reach comcast and get an answer immediately...without having to wait for an automated voice to ask me about a survey? Yes, that is what I am telling you. Comcast not only make their customers happy, but they MAINTAIN them; build a relationship. Say hello to brand loyalty.

And then you have the social media inept. News flash: Just because you created a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account DOES NOT mean you are embracing social media marketing. Engagement is key. Virgin America has a Facebook page and I still can't figure out why. There is no customer interaction, no custom tabs, and unanswered questions. When your customer writes a complaint on your page about lost baggage and no help, that would be the time to write back. At least give an apology. So not only have you lost a customer, but now every fan of your page can see that someone had a horrible experience and you didn't even have the decency to address their complaint. Congrats Virgin America, you're on your way to losing even more customers.

Marketing is ever-changing. Advertising is about selling to a mass audience. Social Media is expanding that beyond anything we could've imagined. We're given the opportunity to take customer service to a whole new level. We are still selling to a mass audience, but now we can connect with a smaller audience, too. That, my friends, is the power of social media.


Social Media has taken over, get used to it.

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