The Beauty Of Social Media
As I’ve said quite a few times in this blog, one of the best things about social media and the way it’s changed the nature of business is the relationships that it sets up. Gone are the days where customers could only get messages to their favorite brands via old snail mail or by telephone. Today people just have to pick up a smart phone and an endless number of social media channels become available for a message. They can go right onto a brand’s own Facebook, Twitter or Youtube page and get their voices heard. With this new freedom of expression however, brands and businesses now must be wary, since their fans can just as easily use these channels to complain or spew something negative. This is the importance of how relationships, and more specifically, two-way relationships, come into play and how social media can sometimes backfire no matter what business you’re in. While perusing Mahsable, I came upon this article that showed some great examples.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Some shining examples of a good two-way conversation include a person who went on a JetBlue flight and then tweeted how much he enjoyed it, to which JetBlue tweeted back, “Great, does this mean we’ll see you again?” Another great example includes someone who tweeted that there was only one Oreo left in her bag and she didn’t want to be the one to eat it. Nabisco’s @Oreo tweeted back and just told her, “Go for it!!!”
While these might seem like silly examples, they underscore an extremely important point. Everyone who has an online brand, whether a big business, local production house, or even a freelancer, wants to build that human touch. Of course there have been a few ways that social media relationships have backfired on bigger companies. McDonald’s used a new hashtag on Twitter to promote positive stories customers had the at the famous chain. Instead, people used it to share their horror stories from the restaurant. One other example comes from England, where Snickers paid celebrities to tweet pictures of themselves eating the candy bar. The UK’s Office of Fair Trading investigated the ads, since companies are required to specifically spell out when a product is being endorsed.
Laying A Foundation For That Two-Way Conversation
Corporations today try use social media to build a personal relationship with their audience, which is what they should be doing—and so should you. Personification is truly the name of the game here. Your customers should always feel like you have their back and that there is genuine give and take in the relationship. While you may not be a huge corporation with millions or billions of dollars to throw around, you still want to make sure you have a positive presence online. If you put something out there and someone comments on it, you should respond even if it’s a negative comment. Your aim should be to make these interactions as natural as possible and show that you care.