Not a day passes by without hearing about one brand or the other launching their social media initiative. Some seem to be in a big hurry to “be there” and are eventually abandoning the program, leaving behind carcasses of Twitter pages with no tweets, Facebook fan pages with no fans (leaving apart their own bored webmasters) or YouTube channels with a couple of outdated corporate PR videos.
No doubt social media has changed the rules of the game. One-way, carefully calibrated communication with a generous dose of PR spin is going out of fashion faster than this year’s summer collection. Enter social media apps and consumers have started wielding powers that they only dreamt of in the past.
Like most other things, you can either get it right or you can get it wrong. Marketers always wanted to control the mindshare of their audience and they think social media is just another channel to do so. I read somewhere that almost all CMO agency meetings nowadays start with the CMO saying, “so what can you do for our social media marketing?” Marketing? Hello…? Why would you want to push marketing messages down their throat when your customers are eager to share what they feel about the brand—good or bad? Wouldn’t it make sense to listen first, then add some value to the conversation before offering a solution or advice?
Social media is the exact opposite of “in-your-face” marketing. And, unlike traditional marketing, it is highly dependent on a two-way interaction—inside out and outside in. When your employees truly start caring for your customers and engage with them at all levels, your social media campaign has already started. Then, all it needs is some tools and methods to get the mechanism working.