Wasn’t it much easier 20 years ago, for Brands and their Marketing Teams to sell their products?
Well, here’s what I mean. Take this scenario; a popular brand selling beauty products, launches its new line of anti-wrinkle cream. Let's say the brand is Oil of Olay (just a name that popped into my head… and no I’m not getting any affiliate commissions).
Now back then, all that was required, was to create a few attractive ad campaigns via print and electronic media, point out the benefits of this new ‘dazzling’ product, stock up the stores and that’s about it. Customers would find their way to the stores – because that’s all the information they got about the product, the ‘promising’ one as advised by the brand.
And even if one of your friends or a close cousin supposedly ‘discoloured’ her skin using the product, you'd brush off the incident as an ‘exceptional’ case, and put all your trust on the brand.
You know why? Because when you're overwhelmed with ads in the media left, right and centre, all showing beautiful models and celebrities using the products to ‘reverse’ their age – a constant bombardment of positive messages, it gives you the benefit of the doubt, if any.
How about now? Let's say in 2017, would such incidents go unnoticed? Would brands care less for such mishaps and sit on their laurels and expect to recover or rather ‘cover’ it up with a huge ‘blanket’ of advertisements? I highly doubt it.
Yes, it’s definitely not a walk in the park for brands to stay afloat in today’s world, where they have no control over the information being circulated or the speed at which it's being absorbed and shared with millions of people.
The credit goes to the internet, smart phones and Social Media, which have completely redefined the ways in how a brand engages with their customers, or what constitutes ‘customer service’.
It's estimated that 68% of consumers trust ‘consumers opinion’ posted online. Another estimate from Forrester says that shoppers can be anywhere from two thirds to 90% through their buying journey before they contact a salesperson.
Both of these statistics clearly indicate the importance for brands to observe or monitor the thoughts, conversations and trends that occur in Social Media, if they are to strategically position their brands or engage in Social Selling.
Wouldn’t you like to know what people are talking about regarding your industry, products, their preferences, experiences with your products, or with your competitors’ for that matter?
The estimates claim that 30% of Tweets mentioning your company don’t include your Twitter handle. Now, if you're not monitoring these tweets, you’ll be missing out on that valuable information and stories your customers are sharing about your product.
Social Media Monitoring is all about mining these valuable conversations and thoughts of your customers or prospects, so that you can create better marketing campaigns, improve your products, bolster your services and engage with more happy customers.
And this is only possible if you're ‘alert’, if you have your eyes and ears wide open – which in another way could be referred to as ‘Social Listening’. The crux of all that encompasses Social Media Monitoring.
The following are two examples of how brands can benefit being a ‘Social Listener’ or make a mess when they’re not alert or out of sync with the Social buzz.
EXAMPLE 1: The NightCap App Photography Tutorial (Courtesy: Sproutsocial)
Below you will find exchange of casual tweets, engaged in sharing some tips on photography. The tweet is initiated by Jennifer Beese looking for suggestions for mobile camera apps with manual settings for photographing the moon.
And somewhere down in the conversation, someone recommends the NightCap App:
Within a few hours this conversation took place, @NightCapApp joined in the conversation. The brand responded adding more value in the conversation by suggesting a tutorial link following the request by the photographer.
The conversation didn’t end there. The brand had further posted more tutorials and answered all follow-up questions of Jennifer. Before this Jennifer had not heard about NightCap App, but now she has purchased the App and is happily practicing her photography skills with it.
EXAMPLE 2: An unhappy customers shuns British Airways on Twitter
The customer had apparently bought a ‘promoted tweet’ to complain about the luggage his father lost when taking a flight with British Airways.
The tweet immediately went viral with thousands of twitter users retweeting and following in on the conversation – to the detriment of British Airways, who was nowhere on the scene.
After ten hours however, British Airways did reply saying: Sorry for the delay in responding, our twitter feed is open 09:00-17:00 GMT. Please DM [direct message] your baggage ref and we’ll look into this.”
The reply only seemed to add to the problem, with people being more alarmed to learn of a reputed international Airline company offering service to ‘social customers’ during UK office hours. Adding to the disaster, a number of international news sites also picked up on the story. A huge price for British Airways to pay for neglecting social media, or simply not ‘listening’.
To Sum it up…
Let's not forget that nearly one-third of the world uses social networks regularly and 42% of customers complaining via social media say they expect a response within an hour. So as we collect social mentions and track customer experiences and queries, as a part of our Social Monitoring Strategy, let's be mindful to remember to truly ‘listen’ to our customers through proper analysis and reflection.
If you'd like more assistance with your content or would like to discuss anything covered today, we'd love to hear from you.
Call Andy Fox (me) on (03) 5249 5570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Website is element7digital.com.au