Social media has made tremendous gains in recent years with both individuals and corporate users. While people use the popular sites as a means to stay in touch with friends and share important life events, companies have used Facebook and Twitter as a means to connect with their customers and fans.
Some companies use their social media as a way to deal with customer feedback while others use the unique channels as a way to market their products and services. Regardless of how they interface with customers online, the most successful companies have found the proper balance between the “what” (product) and the “why” (story and branding) of their marketing campaigns.
We’re all familiar with the slogan that Oreo is “milk’s favorite cookie.” The iconic snack’s advertising has always had fun with the simplicity of the treat while incorporating an absurd sense of humor in its celebrity endorsements, such as the DoubleStuf Racing League. This sense of humor extends to their Twitter feed, which frequently retweets fans, drives discussion as to how their cookies are best eaten and shares contests and other opportunities for fans to compete for prizes. The strong unity of their central theme keeps the company’s voice from differing on its different media channels and keeps fans involved.
Try to develop a strong narrative voice for your company and incorporate it into all of your media efforts. Keeping the tone fun and self-aware can encourage more interaction and personal relationships with fans.
When a fan posted a mocking post on Bodyform’s Facebook page pointing out the misleading advertisements of feminine hygiene products, the company was given a golden opportunity: to better brand its company by being transparent on social media. In the popular viral video response, an actress portraying the company’s CEO breaks down the stereotypes of feminine hygiene commercials, all while breaking preconceived notions of accepted female behavior. The company has enjoyed more than 2.8 million views of its video and increased awareness and appreciation of its brand as a result.
Social media is full of jokesters and trolls. Sometimes when one serves up such a golden opportunity to better your brand, you must take it. Being honest with yourself and your public helps to drive brand transparency and build trust with consumers.
Making travel plans in an increasingly expensive economy has become difficult as many different travels sites are available. How can you be sure you’re getting the best deal? Southwest Airlines, an affordable travel provider, has used its social media to share deals and perks for travelers, as well as direct complaints to a customer service page. While the methodology is simple, the classic approach to connecting with consumers puts the focus upon its customers and how to better serve them through special deals and offers.
Remember that your focus is on your customer. Put plain details in place to help direct them to proper channels to solve their issues and share offers to add value to their time on your site. Without the consumers that make up social media, you would have no business to run. Don’t forget that – most of the social media failures are big box companies focused more upon marketing than interfacing.
Social media represent a special opportunity for companies to interface with their consumers. Whether you tie your company’s voice, transparency or service to social media, be sure that the approach unifies your company and meets customers’ needs.