Why Corporations Should Join the Conversation on Social Media

connectinfographSocial media is defined in the Social Media Bible as “the media we use to be social.” That sounds simple enough but how to embrace being social is a matter of your businesses intent to your customer and the message you intend to communicate to your customer.

Many corporations find success in utilizing social media to communicate directly with the consumer eliminating the middle man or traditional marketing to relay your message. The industry also is groomed for people (customers) to tell people what to buy, eat, drink, and patronize. In the same breath it is groomed for people (customers) to tell other people what NOT to buy, eat, drink, and patronize. Because of this, social media has become paramount for companies to integrate into their communications and marketing plan to tell their story, engage their customer, and convert customers to brand evangelist.

Companies are now equipped to engage in a purely organic two-way conversation with their target audience. This can be done through Blogs, Vlogs, Linkedin, Facebook, Apps, Twitter, Mobile, You Tube, and Vimeo. This conversation is deliberate and very intentional. I am enamored by the engagement found on the fourth screen or mobile telephone. “It is truly social media in a box that includes nearly every social media tool in one device, (Safko, 2013).” Recently I found myself engaged in an exchange with the Weather Channel through their mobile APP.

A simple desire to check the weather for apple picking at an orchard turned into a full blown exchange. For 20 minutes, I took a survey, looked through an Ikea circular, watched an American Express video on the #PassionProject, and joined their mRewards loyalty program all while on the Weather Channel APP. When I remembered I was supposed to be checking the weather I was up to 380 mpoints towards a gift certificate of my choice from Amazon, Fandango, CVS and so on. They were successful in their engagement!

The Weather Channel has joined other companies like Crackle, MTV News, and the Daily Puppy to provide mpoints for their mobile APP users. These companies have extended their brand presence through a loyalty program to encourage users to frequent their APP to get rewarded with Session M’s product mpoints. Session M has successfully created a way for corporations to ensure ongoing engagement with the customer (Tode, 2013). While on the Weather Channel App, I took a survey and answered questions about my race, hobbies, travel, shopping and so forth. I am sure this information will be imported into my email profile for their CRM database. It was very unique how they enticed me to get the information. I expect to receive an email soon attempting to continue the conversation tailored to my likes and interest.

The integration of Social Media can’t be missed with the low cost investment, the ROI can be hallmark. Case in point is with the company Animation Mentor. Because their website was built in flash, they weren’t receiving the SEO desired to increase awareness on the internet. They decided to begin a facebook campaign which resulted in a 60 percent increase in enrollment, and an increased conversion rate of 315 percent. Their facebook page accounted for over 4,000 visitors to their website (Safko, 2013).
This low cost investment has increased their bottom line. It can be the same for any company if they understand who their customer is and which tactic will reach them. Typically a social media strategy like this can be developed to reach your target audience by developing a strategy that considers several simple components.

1. Who are you engaging?
2. What are the tools to be used to engage your consumer?
3. What are you going to talk about?

These answers will be the first step in your quest for an organic two-way conversation with your customer.

Reference:

Safko, L. (2013). The Social Medial Bible (3rd Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Tode, C. (2013, January 8). Apps still present significant opportunities for marketers. Mobile Marketer. Retrieved September 23, 2013, from http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/14546.html

JessicaModkins
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