Sometimes when working with brands on their social media, I get a funny feeling. It seams as if old school marketing people wish that you could cut out the ability for anyone to even be able to interact with the brand. As if we could just go back to the days of marketing when you could just put up a billboard or put on an ad on television, and if it upset some customers they could simply mutter to their wife and be done with it.
We don’t really live in that age anymore. We live in an age where for good or ill, interaction with customers has to happen on a daily basis on this wonderful interweb. Old-school marketing is still relevant for certain mediums, and I’m learning how to use print, and other possibilities to strategize from every angle. But on Twitter, and Facebook in particular the name of the game is riding the waves of customer appreciation and occasionally discontent. It’s a new world of the wiley customer.
And the wiley customer is the exact person who’s going to brag all about you when you do something right. You can cut yourself off from interaction to a certain degree by playing down what your customers say, this lessens both the good and the bad. But, if you respond to peoples negative comments with care and message them privately, and when you share awesome comments (Retweet! Retweet!) that people make about you, you can make good impressions in really quite simple ways. It’s not new, it’s just common sense; we just need to remember to carry it over into the Social Media world. Listen. Respond. Care.
Thought I’d share also about a new social media platform I started using. Thumb.
Personal crowdsourcing – Say you have no idea what shirt to match with your new jeans. Snap a photo, upload to Thumb and crowdsource the decision. Simple questions typically generate hundreds of thumbs up or thumbs down, plus comments, from the network’s very active user base, sometimes within minutes. Appealing to the twin social impulses of vanity and voyeurism, Thumb generates serious engagement among users (reported to be around four hours a month, second only to Facebook among established networks) and seems poised for growth in 2013.
My own experience with thumb is that it definitely is a time waster, and an easy way to get peoples opinions quickly, although there’s a lot of rather trite stuff on there, so people’s opinions become a bit less constructive. Try it out: Thumb.