One of the really important aspects of Social Media, as pointed out in Moz’s latest and greatest, Beginners Guide to Social Media, is the concept of advocacy. The idea is that when a brand is able to establish advocates, by creating continuous “delightful” experiences, those will be the people that spread positive WOM via various SM channels. These are the type of individuals brands want and need! We all know this to be the case from personal experience; when a brand has an army of happy customers who are EXTREMELY satisfied with their goods or services, and are subsequently willing to defend or vouch for that brand, we’re more likely to buy- it’s simple as that. Moz makes it clear that these relationships take time to establish and are formed organically, and that’s part of the beauty because real advocacy isn’t something that a corporation can pay for, they need to earn it.
Social Media sites are relationship portals. There aren’t other ways, nearly as effective, as Social Media in building the necessary relationships with current and prospective customers online. Many unsuccessful business fail to realize this crucial step in the process of converting prospects to customers and customer to repeat customers- when they choose not to participate in SM interactions. The relationships a business is able to build can establish brand advocacy, as discussed above.
A great point to bring up is that SM sites aren’t just for the marketing department. Moz believe that, “With some training and an emphasis on consistent voice,” many departments can step in to assist customers with concerns, complaints or anything else for that matter. As long and the company is represented consistently across that board, it takes the role of being the voice of the business off of marketing professionals on various SM platforms. Doesn’t it make sense that HR would assist in HR related matters and Sales would help out with Sales concerns? Obviously! Think of all the time and stress it would take a marketing manager to find the answers to questions that other departments could answer in a breeze.
So how do you know where to start when setting up a new social media account? Basically, there are three major categories:
Owned– Pretty straightforward, this is anything that is under your direct control; blogs, forums, etc.
Rented– You occupy space on a channel with permission of the owner; Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Occupied– Here there is no ownership of any kind, you can participate but have no control; Reddit is one of the best examples of this category at the moment
Knowing this, the next step would be to determine which SM platforms would make sense for you to be involved in based upon the time commitment in maintaining each, paired with the reach and visibility that’s obtainable. What’s of dire importance is not to take on more than is manageable. Moz says it best, “There is nothing sadder than an abandoned social media account.”
This is just a glimpse of the conversation about social media necessities, for more from Moz visit: http://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-social-media
I know it’s a year late, but still relevant as ever: the Applebee’s Facebook catastrophe was gut-wrenching. One of the biggest mistakes made was assuming eloquent word choice was enough to tame the online community who was up in arms. Their social media manager disregarded, belittled and downright offend customers, the ones who keep their restaurants in business! To call it a PR nightmare is frankly, an understatement. I don’t doubt that who ever was responding to individual comments at 3AM thought they were doing the right thing, because after all it is important to address customer concerns… it just turns out they were sadly mistaken about EVERYTHING else. The repetitive explanations, blocking people, deleting of negative comments and “arguing” that occurred appear childish and unprofessional. This just goes to show that how you handle social media accounts can have an astronomical affect on business. So what have I learned from this? Social media communities are a force to be reckoned with, it would be foolish to underestimate their voice and presence. Oh, and don’t do anything similar to Applebee’s online, it’s social [media] suicide. For more visit: http://rlstollar.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/applebees-overnight-social-media-meltdown-a-photo-essay/
Here is one of the thousands of Facebook interactions with the company-
As with any digital conversation, we have to mention Google;
Besides the added visibility that a Google+ account provides (making it an essential for any business for SEO purposes), it can also be useful for individuals. As is typical with Google, the integration between other aspects of Google provide some alluring elements. According to the NY Times, Gmail is planning to allow Google+ users that ability to email anyone, even if you don’t already have their email address (that is if you both have a Google+ account and a Gmail account… of course). This is extremely similar to what they did when making it a requirement to have a G+ to comment on YouTube videos. So is this just another, “Desperate plot to boost Google+?” Probably so, but it works, and that’s why Google is King of the web!