For The Want Of A Nail…
They say it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Indeed it usually is. It’s also the single Tweet which garners the most attention. Especially when that Tweet comes from a disgruntled restaurant guest, or consumer of any particular goods or services. More and more businesses are listening to the chatter on social media and following up on what they hear. If you have a problem and Tweet about it, chances are you will get someone’s attention.
That Goes DOUBLE For Your Business
If everyone else is doing it, why isn’t your business? There must be something to this social media thing given that companies are expected to pump a billion dollars into it this year.
That means if your business is not using social media to interact with its customers you are already behind the times. Better play catch-up now before you fall too far behind.
As the influence of social media grows, the reach of these complaints will be extended leaving many companies wondering what they can do to either harness the power of the (comparatively) new media for their benefit or at least stop it doing too much harm.
“It may not be a big surprise that people tweet when they are unhappy about customer service but what is astonishing is the expansive network effect of these tweets,” says Yuval Brisker, chief executive of TOA Technologies. “A key goal of every service-based company should be to keep their name off Twitter.”
The keep-us-off-Twitter at all costs approach is not one which would be endorsed by KLM. Instead the airline is going to remarkable lengths to cater for the social media demands of its passengers.
At a recent air transport summit in Brussels, a spokesman for KLM said it employed 23 dedicated social media staff at Schipol airport to address the tweets and Facebook postings of customers. This Twitter army monitor all posts and respond where necessary – sometimes going to, frankly, stalker-like lengths to reach tweeting passengers. One tweeted that he was flying to a social media conference so KLM tracked him down and gave him a ticket to The Social Network. Another tweeted about flying with the airline and was rewarded with a €15 apps voucher handed to him in person by airline staff.
“People will now choose their brand because of social media, which can be a competitive advantage. It’s a new way of advertising,” KLM chief executive officer Peter Hartman told the conference.
There are few people who know as much about the potential and the pitfalls of social media as Damien Mulley. He has been operating both as a consultant and as a user for longer than almost anyone in the country.
“There are a huge amount of companies trying to get involved. Social media is one of the big buzz words but whether companies are using it in a positive and active way is another question. Those who just post links to press releases are not going to make an impact,” he says.
“If you are going to set up a Twitter account then people are going to expect you to be available all the time,” Mulley adds. He says companies who are not prepared to invest properly may be as well off not bothering. “I am the biggest evangelist for social media and my company is built around it but you have to know the space and you have to work at it and you have to have something interesting to say. Some companies get it and they are updating and interacting.”
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