Over the last 10 or so years, social media has grown to become a global culture, a ubiquitous tool, one that has radically challenged the way we converse and connect with each other.
What fascinates me about social media is the shift in empowerment from brands to consumers. Consumers no longer listen to brands the way they once did during their decision making process. They are now far more likely to pay attention to fellow consumers; the real-life people that have eaten in the restaurant, flown with the airline, or stayed in the hotel.
Companies have essentially lost a significant measure of control of their online brand (if they even had that much in the first place). Through tools like Twitter, Facebook, blogging and YouTube ‘Joe Public’ now has a voice to either vent frustration or praise good customer service, and companies are being forced to face up to the reality that they have to engage with their consumers in a way they’ve never had to before, or face the harsh consequences.
The good news however is that for the companies that choose to roll up their sleeves and get in the game, social media can reap huge rewards for your brand.
Whether the conversation was started by a post on Facebook, a mention on Twitter, or a comment on your blog, you have the choice to respond.
The clue is in the name here folks: social media. This brave new frontier allows you to open up two-way dialogue directly with your customer in a way you never could with other marketing and communication channels, allowing you to investigate a complaint, respond to a query or thank them for their positive feedback.
Your customers are online right now talking about your company and your competitors. Can you continue to ignore them?
I will be using this blog to talk about my opinions on digital media, outline recent developments and share case studies that I have experienced, both from working in social media and as a consumer.
In order to practice what I preach, I welcome your comments as well as suggestions for blog posts and topics that you would like me to cover in the near future.