When 95% of senior marketing executives around the world say they believe social media will “grow in significance over the next five years”, you’d better listen. In a recent study conducted by TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony, some 49% of global executives believe that social media should be monitored at the executive level & be allocated significant resources. So what does this mean to you and marketing your business? If you haven’t created a social media plan to take control of your brand yet, strike now while the iron’s hot or be left in the cold!
As we've learned, Social media is not just another media channel to use in order to push your messages to the consumer. Wise organizations are using it to build stronger relationships with their customers. According to a study conducted by the Society for New Communication Research, 59% of consumers are using social media to “vent” about customer care. Additionally, almost three quarters (72%) said they sometimes research company’s customer care prior to purchasing a product or service. With so many opportunities online for consumers to share feedback on their experiences with your brand, it is very difficult for businesses to avoid and ignore the comments of consumers. It behooves companies to become apart of and to take the lead in the conversation.
In Social media there are two types of responses: Active and Passive. Companies who are “Active” have a corporate blog, post videos, and actively engage their consumers online as well as ‘reading & analyzing relevant social media to understand genuine & unfiltered consumer perceptions’. An “Active” response empowers the consumer with brand assets, in various forms (information, applications, widgets, etc) that they share and control and eventually embed on their personal profiles. Listening & interacting with the consumer is a greater priority than simply promoting a brand message. Though this is a difficult idea to embrace for most traditional marketers, it is quickly becoming our online reality.
The “Passive” response, which is the most common approach, encompasses buying & running ads on social media sites, creating viral campaigns and creating a dedicated MySpace/Facebook page to promote a product or service. Though the passive approach does make a definite impact, true success will only be gained by understanding & utilizing the “two-way” conversational nature of social media.
I hope this article helps to rev up your engines to get started fully utilizing all that Web 2.0 has to offer. It's the wave of the future and its time for you get your boogie board and hop on!
Currently, I work with DEI Worldwide in Social Media and Research. I have over 7 years of experience in online and offline marketing & research. However, I have been a "social media" consumer for well over 10 years. I specialize in helping companies create and maintain a unique social media plan for their business.