This change in the consumer mindset has lead to dramatic changes in consumer behavior and in turn has dramatically impacted the marketing landscape.Social media has created a new set of challenges and opportunities that has forever changed marketing. The following are some social realizations companies need to embrace in order to grow in this rapidly changing environment.
This was written in 1999, over a decade from today, but it has never been more true. Conversations have never been more powerful. Digital & social media are enablers of these interconnected conversations. They have far greater reach beyond geographical boundaries or immediate social circles. Interconnected conversations are now amplified and immortalized. This has brought about fundamental shifts in the marketplace that companies cannot ignore. But it also brings out unprecedented opportunities for companies to connect with consumers.
Greater transparency results in companies having to consciously and consistently deliver quality in their product and service. If the customer experience isn’t perfect, then companies need to deal with it in a manner that is transparent and genuine.
Consumers expectations are rising…
It helps to put things into perspective when we look into motivations behind social media. It’s not technology that makes social media so powerful and explosive. Social networking hit the sweet spot where technology & platforms came together to facilitate the fulfilment of an innate psychological need. (Mark Zuckerberg was a double major in computer science and psychology. His vision for Facebook is to make it the internet one big social network, where your virtual social graph mirrors your social connections in reality. )
That’s Facebook’s Golden Rule: “Interact unto others as they would interact with others like themselves”. Which applies to any social platform… companies need to adapt to this new environment that is all about humanrelationships.Here are some guidelines: Be GenuineBeing genuine doesn’t mean opening up and revealing all of your flaws. But it does mean being honest with yourself and your consumers about your products. It’s about quickly accepting fault, and humbly accepting praise. It’s about fixing the problems when they are brought to your attention and communicating that to your consumers. Companies who are actively engaged and transparent with their consumers, and make an effort to fix problems, benefit greatly. These benefits can be seen from increases in overall public perception, as well as in helping fix broken internal processes and policies.Essentially, the thought goes, if I don't feel I'm being tricked or taken advantage of. I'm more inclined to hear what you have to say, and buy what you have to offer. When it comes to consumers, social media is a “no-spin zone” and they are able and willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if you’re being honest. But don’t forget your PR 101 basics. Have a crisis management plan in place for when something does go wrong.2) Stop talking. Start respondingIt’s easy to initiate dialogue, but tough carry on a conversation. The key to ongoing conversation is responding, instead of just talking. Instead of talking about how great your product are, how about getting involved in what consumers are already talking about. Responding involves active listening. Be aware of what your consumers are talking about, in relation to your brand/product, what they are passionate about, their suggestions, pain points, experiences at retail. To enable active listening, it is essential to have online buzz monitoring services in place that track the online conversation around your brand/ product/ campaign or competitors. When responding, be open and gracious, never defensive. It’s also crucial to have a unified voice for the brand that is consistent throughout all communications, online or offline.3) Find your voice. Consumers are highly suspicious sleek, corporate speak, so it’s important to find a voice that reflects what your brand stands for. It needs to have personality, depth and dimension, not a sales pitch. To create a connection with people, brands need to come across as spontaneous, not calculated. Have a nuances in personality, not one-dimensional. They should have opinions and be passionate about something. 4) Think relationshipsRelationship building takes time but it pays off. It establishes lasting preference and builds loyalty. People are more likely to advocate your brand and they’ll also be more understanding when things don’t go as planned.
The rules of engagement are
It’s about collaboration & amplification.
1) Simple – contain one simple truth, idea or concept at the core. 2) Unexpected – It needs to exceed people’s expectations. 3) Concrete – Concrete images, words, examples for people to connect with4) Credible – the idea should be able to stand on it’s own feet5) Emotions – tap into people’s emotions (surprise,humour, sadness)6) Story – people connect with stories
The Internet is enabling conversations… that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.<br />Source: The Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999<br />
There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.” <br />
76% of people think advertisers LIE#<br />People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors.*<br /># Source: 2009 Yankelovich Study<br />* Source: The Cluetrain Manifesto<br />
Real time Customer Service<br />55% of customers expect a response to an online complaint within a day.*<br />*UK Customer Satisfaction Study July 2010<br />
It’s about Sociology not technologyIt’s about the “why?”<br />
The art of socializing<br />“<br />“<br />Interact unto others as they would interact with others like themselves.<br />Kevin Colleran, Facebook Global Account Lead<br />Be Genuine<br />Stop talking. Start responding. <br />Find your voice. A human one.<br />Think relationships & transactions will happen<br />