We’re all aware of social media. If you weren’t then you probably wouldn’t have ended up on this page in the first place. It’s a great way for communities and individuals to get together and stay connected, sharing thoughts and ideas effortlessly through multiple popular platforms. In recent years, the transition of social media application and function has broadened its horizons; switching from what was solely personal use to now being a key tool to networking and marketing for business of all different sized in different regions. As taboo and risky this seemed at first, currently the business market flourishes through the effects that transpond as a result of proper social media marketing in the corporate world.
All types of brands, companies, goods and service providers, use social media outlets to make the business and values known. Through mediums like facebook and twitter, companies can have a voice, gain support and followers, promote ideas and offers, and overall get virtually free advertising through the sharing of links and profiles. Because things like twitter, facebook, and instagram, are all free to sign up for and use, it’s highly in a profitable company’s interest to use these outlets as ways to get their name out there and use the tools effectively for advertisement. It can even couple with a lot of the work that advertising agencies and in house marketing teams already do for companies because once an announcement or advertisement is created it can then be shared quickly and widely with just a few clicks.
Although marketing and promotion are great ways to utilize the gift of the internet and wonderful instruments of social media, there is a whole other branch of running a company that can definitely be capitalized on by companies that involves some hands on wit and a computer. Customer relations is often the butt of many jokes, from airline companies to large banks, from department stores and even large product developers, being able to be reached and allowing a customer to speak has always been a struggle in the marketplace. In the dawn of internet marketing and online business the closest that customers got to being heard by companies was either an email or a customer review. However as time went on many people realized these are just futile attempts to be heard and are often simply brushed off without any concern or recognition. Now that social media is directly accessible and connects a consumer with a company, it is a wonderful segway for thoughts to be expressed and leaves the ball smack dab in the middle of a business’ court of deciding how to handle it.
You probably see it all the time, once or twice a week you will see a post about another company that just so happened to have a clever PR guru behind the keys when they received a mention on twitter. The interaction, even the response of a company to let the consumer know they’ve been acknowledged by something more than just an auto-responding computer program, usually tends to go a very long way for a company and it’s reputation. Whether a customer has a complaint or words of praise, by them being able to reach out to a company and get a response that they were heard, their thoughts are appreciated, and that something could be done to better their experience a company’s reputation can grow ten-fold in the eyes of public. After all, if positive response and proper customer relations takes place on a platform meant for sharing then the only thing left to do when something goes successful is to share it.
Since social media is predominantly run and functioned through the hands of younger adults, teenage consumers, and mid-twenty somethings, it’s safe to say that an appeal to their mindset and ideologies can be a great way to gaining the support and popularity amongst their buying power. That is why maintaining a social media presence that is coupled with effect pop culture knowledge can be a great weapon in a public relations and customer service arsenal. Often times very cryptic or ‘underground’ messages, mostly jokes, can be sent to a company via twitter in hopes of a quick laugh. However, if a company turns around and plays onto the comment and shows not only that the customer has been heard but the reference is understood and reciprocated, then the internet will inevitably go share-crazy over the thought that some suit-and-tie somewhere understood a funny little teen trying to make a joke on the internet. It’s occurrences like these that build brand loyalty.