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Guest

Now That We Found Love, What Are We Gonna Do?

By: Guest | June 28, 2011 | 
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Today’s guest post is written by Michael Palko.

Remember that song

“I’m not quite sure as to what is going down; But I’m feeling hunky dory ’bout this thing that I found.”

So what in the name of Dick Clark does this have to do with social media or marketing?  Well, let me tell you.

I don’t have to tell this echo chamber that the use of social media has exploded over the past few years.  Just try to find a corporate website, or print ad for that matter, that doesn’t have an icon encouraging the shopper to like, follow, friend, subscribe to, or stalk them.  “Come one, come all!” Businesses are basking in the glow of the hordes of customers that they’ve attracted to their Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube sites,  but as Heavy D asked,

“Now that we FOUND love, what are we gonna do with it?”

It’s not enough to just check that box in the marketing strategy. 

“Engage in social media.  Check”

It’s pretty easy, almost effortless, to gain a following, but what are you doing to KEEP that following?  Folks can just as effortlessly click the unlike/unfollow button. What do you do to keep the love flowing?  Your use of social media needs to be part of a larger company philosophy to gain and, more importantly, maintain a loyal customer base, regardless of what you’re selling. Your social media should not only build love, but also maintain the love.

How closely is your marketing department working with your product management department?  Likely pretty close.  They may even be one-and-the-same.  Are they working just as closely with your customer service and support teams?  They should be.  Who is tweeting or posting the Facebook updates?  Marketing?  The marketing intern?  I challenge you to consider letting multiple members of your staff use the same social media accounts, a COMPANY account, not just marketing’s account.  As a consumer, I would love to hear the many voices of a company in my timeline.

Five Ways to Keep The Love:

  1. Sales tweets about the new account they just won.  It’s their way of tempting me to keep up with the Joneses or making me feel that I AM a Jones.
  2. Marketing tells me about an upcoming product launch.  There’s nothing like building anticipation and dropping incentives on me.
  3. Product management informs me of the product road map.  Let me know you’re forward-thinking.  Plus, I like feeling like I’m an insider.
  4. Customer service tells me about a creative way to use the product.  Good one!  I would never have thought of that on my own.
  5. Support staff updates me about a problem they just resolved and how I can avoid it in the future.  I can learn from my own mistakes, but I much prefer to learn from the mistakes of others.

No matter who is contributing to the timeline, you MUST engage, converse (that means two-way), discuss, entertain and for heaven’s sake, be real with your customers and prospects.  AND it is imperative the quality of your product/service/widget be equal to if not greater than the quality of your social media campaign.  If it’s not, people will see right through it (spin sucks, right?) and you’d better believe they’ll tell their friends and followers, too.

I’d really like to hear from companies that are already doing this and what the retention rate and response of your customers has been.

And if it’s working,

“don’t stop and you don’t quit, you got keep it on and on and on….uh yeah, yeah aye aye, ha ha ha…”

Let us know about what you’re doing with the love that you’ve found!

Michael  Palko has a background in project management, training design and delivery, and online community management.  He has a low tolerance for mediocrity and can occasionally be seen planking the Triangle.

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17 comments
rosemaryoneill
rosemaryoneill

We've been using both our corporate Twitter account and personal accounts to connect more deeply with our existing customers, and it's been so much fun. In sales, they used to teach you to look around the prospect's office and make note of their trophy fish on the wall, kid pictures, etc. Well Twitter allows you to do that virtually---you now know that your best customer has a thing for Harry Potter or owns a hairless cat, which can serve as the basis for true connection and conversation. I'm having a ball with it, and my sense is that it's resulting in a retention bump too.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

I'm still mad at you. I've had this song stuck in my head for 36 hours now. What's interesting is AllFacebook just released some stats that only three percent of a company's fans see their posts. Which means they're not posting often enough. That and they have NO idea what to post. I like your breakdown of how every department can get involved. It's not brain surgery, people. It's CONVERSATION. Something we do all day, every day.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Now here is a rational Business Case for Social Media internally. Thank you. I have always viewed them as tools for communication. And since a Fan Page surely isn't bringing in much business or ever will and twitter can be fun but not scalable, why not use these tools and others to connect departments, share insight where possible (even if Fan Pages and Twitter will usually have minimal impact on sales they are great intelligence gathering tools!) And why not have everyone get this insight vs just one person doing all the work.

I have a client in one of the few high impact niches for twitter. It is a mobile gourmet food business in LA. That industry Twitter is the lifeline so fans know where you are. One of the few that has found a way to truly impact sales numbers. We have myself, an intern, and the people in the field all use the same Twitter account. It used to be just me. The response from the fans has been immense over the last two months and we started adding followers faster. Plus now the brand has more than just my personality. Plus the folks in the field now see what happens when they are late to a location when previously it was left to me to pacify customers, as well as seeing the positive feed vs me telling them in a weekly meeting they did well. So much more personal having compliments from customers directly vs your boss telling you they heard from a customer.

Tinu
Tinu

I love that song. :) Ah, memories. Heavy D and the Boyz. That product development tip is a good one. It's great to feel like you're on the inside, very true.

jenzings
jenzings

Good points--I've spent a not-inconsiderable amount of time thinking about the long-term efficacy of social media for brands. I don't follow/fan too many brands, and of those I do, I've noticed an increased sense of "uh, now what do we talk about?" There is a sameness to the updates. I'm not sure what the answer is. For example one of the brands I've "liked" on Facebook is a national chain restaurant. They have new specials quarterly, so there's the news feed info for a few times out of the year. But there are only so many "what's your favorite dish at _____________'s" type of posts you can read before they seem stale. I can tell they are struggling to find content to engage people.

For some brands, yes, there will be enough new stuff to talk about. But for others, it's going to be a stretch to continually generate content that encourages conversation, I think.

Todd Lyden
Todd Lyden

You can NEVER go wrong with a Heavy D reference, NEVER

mpalko
mpalko

@HowieG Great example of having your Twitter account take on the personality of your brand and not just the one person tweeting.

SamHosenkamp
SamHosenkamp

@mpalko That's the second time today I've had a song stuck in my head after reading something!