One of the most-often asked questions we get from clients is, “How should we use social media?” That question is a bit different from where it was 2 years ago when companies weren’t sure of the value of social channels or if they should pursue them at all.
Today, there’s no question that corporations believe in the power of social media to help build their brands, and clients are now asking, “How do we effectively engage in the social space?”
The first thing we tell our clients when thinking about how to engage in the social space is to consider that they’re actually already a social brand. Consumers are conversing whether the brand is involved or not. Historically, if consumers were sharing their experiences about a brand with friends & family, it was on a one-to-one basis. Now, with today’s advances in technology and social platforms, that interaction has transformed into one-to-many. The reach of the consumer’s voice has increased the scale of the impact on the brand.
For companies that have call centers, they’re already thinking about managing, measuring and improving response time for consumer interaction. This gets amped up in the social space and today is called social care (aka: customer service). The consumer’s capacity to have instantaneous interaction with a brand through social channels has prompted companies big and small to rethink how they respond and what adjustments they need to make to improve their social media strategy. This requires a change in mindset as well as infrastructure.
The other big consideration is content. Virtually every article you read today talks about the need for content and finding ways to engage, and there’s a reason for this. Consumers don’t want to be “sold,” so companies need to find a way to promote an ongoing conversation with the consumer. It is much more than the number of likes a company has on Facebook.
Bottom line: It takes work to get consumers to see brands in a positive manner no matter what the medium — social media just ups the ante. But when social media helps make that connection, consumers can become great brand ambassadors.