Ciaran Moran. Web 2.0. Online Marketing. Social Media. Mobile. Android.

Ciaran Moran. Web 2.0. Online Marketing. Social Media. Mobile. Android. header image 2

Is Your Business Social Media Presence Confusing Your Customers?

March 24th, 2010 by Ciaran

Is your business using Social Media to interact with your customers online? Or perhaps you are considering adding Social Media to your marking mix? Either way I need to demonstrate a mistake that many businesses are making right now.

First lets look at why a business would want to use Social Media. One reason is so that their advertising and marketing campaigns reach the largest audience as possible. Newspaper and traditional TV consumption are dwindling in the face of Internet usage. Therefore a business needs to ramp up its online presence to maximise its reach with its target audience.

Even more so, a business needs to meet its customer in their own online neighbourhood. Are your customers on Facebook? Then include Facebook in your marketing mix. Are they on Twitter? Then use Twitter too. However don’t just throw them the “old fashioned” marketing effort. Instead with Social Media, you must now learn to engage with your customer. Get to know them on their own turf. Listen to them. Learn of their experiences, suggestions and needs. Then offer to answer their needs by matching them with your services or product.

However I see one facet of this shift that traditional Bricks and Mortar businesses are doing wrong. They are still marketing themselves as a Faceless Organisation.

Social Media offers a fantastic oppertunity for a business to tear down the corporate mask and show their human side. This enables a business to interact directly with their their customer in a friendly face-to-face inviting manner.

Lets think about what happens when you interect with a business in the traditional way. If a customer walks in the front door of a business they are generally treated with a smiling face and a polite welcoming. If you phone up you expect to be treated by a friendly welcoming human voice that comforts the caller.

Its these human aspects that should be extended to the Social Media doorstep, but they haven’t!

Let me provide an example. What many businesses are doing is using their corporate business logo as their Avatar, and using their corporate name as their social media name. This is all well and good for strengthening brand awareness, but where’s the human aspect of this? This still makes a business look like one more faceless organisation.

So how can a business convey a human welcoming to a customer arriving at their Social Media front door? I have a suggestion that just might work.

Lets say you have chosen Twitter as you Social Media voice. You upload your corporate logo as your Avatar, all important for visual brand recognition and brand awareness.

What about the Social Media Username? Surely we can leverage this unique piece of information and give it a human aspect? Yes we can, and its quit easy to accomplish too.

Lets say your business is called Acme Corp. Many businesses will set their username like “acmecorp”. Now if I’m on Twitter I can find you and interact with you. But do I find that a personal experience? I think that initially it is not personal enough. If you are a long time follower and have gotten to know the persona behind it all over time, then this issue is reduced. But what if I’m a new customer, or an existing one engaging with you using Social Media for the first time; I won’t know you from Adam. I won’t know the person whom I’m conversing with.

Even worse, what if the same Social Media account is used by different people over time? Who takes over during holidays and periods of sickness? Or perhaps you have a social marketing team that operate within a rota. Then you have different flavours of personality possibly conflicting and confusing the customer.

I believe that this is a shortcoming in the Social Media systems themselves. Twitter would be far more useful if it offered a business type account (perhaps at a small premium) with sub-accounts. Each sub account could then be used by each individual in the team. Each individual Tweet could then get rolled into one unified stream for the main parent business.

How can we accomplish this now though? The answer is to use Social Media Group Tools such as CoTweet or HootSuite. These Social Media Clients can facilitate Team Workflow functionality. This allows for different members of your Social Media marketing team to work in harmony yet within their own unique human persona. It also allows you to allocate different permissions to various team members, like contributor, editor, administrator etc.

cotweet

Co-Tweet is aimed at Twitter. It will allow each member of your Social Media team to use Twitter using their own sub-account. All your Tweets will be made using your main business Twitter username. However the users initials get added to the Tweet.

hootsuite

HootSuite will allow you to manage your full Social Media effort. Do you Facebook? Twitter? Use WordPress as your Blog? Then HootSuite will facilitate all of these streams. You can also schedule blogs posts and Tweets, save drafts, upload files, manage followers and even tracks clicks using customised URL’s. Also importantly, you can track your social media efforts and report your social media statistics.

So there you have it. If you take your business Social Media Marketing efforts seriously then consider using a Social Media Professional Client to make your customer engagement more human.

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