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Putting it all Together

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Category: Social Media Published on Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Friends Help Friends, Keep Friends  

 

Figure 1- Shorten the Journey – Increasingly, online experiences with companies and products have reinforced the loyalty loop in the consumer decision cycle.  In addition, with today’s online existence, these customers can be a strong extension of your marketing/sales efforts by recommending your products/services to others and defending you when issues/problems arise.  Illustration – McKinsey Research

  

Social media – blogs, social sites, chat rooms, discussion forums, YouTube, microblogs – have grown rapidly, have become popular for consumers and companies.

  

The key reason is that people want to establish their identity, feel connected. 

  

The power of social media can be realized by your organization by integrating the online data with your customer/marketing data.

  

Much of the online activity today is being done by communications or PR people.  Their information is seldom shared/leveraged so the long-range benefits are lost to the organization.

  

Social marketing is a top-down activity that incorporates marketing, communications, product design/development, HR, customer service/support…and IT.

  

It’s all about building a personal bond with your customers for the long-term.

  

Come On In

 

According to ORC (Opinion Research Corporation), companies are welcome into the social network communities as long as you follow the rules:

 

·         51% said companies should have a presence but shouldonly interact with consumers as needed or by request

 

·         34% feel companies should be in social media and interact regularly

 

·         15% say companies should sit in the balcony or stay home

  

According to a recent Razorfish study, an impressive 64% of connected consumers had made their first purchase because of their digital experience.  In addition:

 

·         60% consider the brand favorably when they are in the market for a product/service in that category

 

·         40% recommend the brand to others

  

Cone Research found:

 

·         74% who interact with the company/product online usually have a more positive impression of the company, product/service

 

·         72% feel a stronger connection with the company/brand because they can interact with the company online

 ·         70% feel better served when they have an online discussion with the company

·         68%have improved their opinion of the company/product because of friend’s recommendations

 

·         64% become followers, friends, fans of companies/brands because they showcase my personality/interests online

  

Constantly strengthen your relationship with your best customers online.  Develop new/different ideas, share thoughts/concepts, listen.

  

People who go online to research a product/service will almost unanimously place customer care/customer service high in their decision making process.  IDC research found:

 

·         74% choose companies/brands based on others’ customer-care experience shared online

 

·         72% research companies’ customer care online before purchasing at least some of the time

 

·         84% consider the quality of customer care in their purchasing decision

 

·         81% say blogs, online rating systems, discussion forums give consumers a greater voice in customer care

 

·         33% believe companies take customers’ opinions seriously

 

·         Search engines are their most valuable research tool followed by social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, microblogs

  

Be Proactive

 

That’s why it’s important to be proactive in the social media arena

.Figure 7 – Busy Landscape – While every company agrees they have to be involved in the social media landscape, most firms don’t have organization-wide policies and programs on what can/should be done by staff members, how the efforts will be monitored/measured and who is responsible for the social media activities.   Social media includes everything the company does in reaching out, touching, working with people in the firm’s many/varied publics.  Social media is still so new that it’s an uncoordinated mess.   Organizations struggle to develop a strategic policy/program, implement measurement tools/systems, even though the area continues to evolve, reinvent itself. Departments – marketing, advertising, sales, HR, PR – elbow each other to manage/control the new media turf.   But no one department is going to manage, control, change social media in your organization. As Nike says…just do it! Hits: 1722

Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman's Jocgeek fan page at www.facebook.com/jocgeek, or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek.  You can also contact him via email at jocgeek@earthlink.net.  Mike's blog can also be found on the Huffington Post website at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-l-berman/.