Social Media has empowered consumers through enhanced choice, online Rating & Review websites (like TripAdvisor.com) and providing the consumer with a greater ability to engage fellow consumers and businesses.
However as a recent survey showed, 55% of Irish SME’s view their Social Media as performance as “average or poor”. Therefore, businesses who recognise this changing environment and choose to do something about it, are set to benefit.
Here are four reasons why each business needs to embrace Social Media and create a Social Media plan to harness it:
1. Businesses can no longer use marketing communications to control their message
Marketing is less of a one-way channel today than it ever was. In the past, as a consumer, you were “served” ads. Now consumers can engage via social media with most businesses on the consumer’s terms. Consumers can choose to “like” a business Facebook page, “follow” on Twitter or join with them on G+ or Linkedin.
Consumers can write to businesses, write about them, rate them, share their updates, comment on their blog posts or totally ignore them. The whole process is engaging for all sides. As a business, once your marketing message is unleashed on to the market, it is open to the vagaries of social media and there is very little control at that point.
2. Brand managers no longer have control over their brand
Where once a Brand Manager was the “Lord and Master” of his Company Brand, Brand Managers now run the gauntlet of instant customer feedback – good and bad. If mistakes are made, they are permanent.
Even if the advert, tweet or post is withdrawn, someone will have saved it somewhere so it will always resurface. For example, last year, Home Depot sent this truly awful tweet. It was withdrawn immediately but, of course, that was too late as it had already been shared. This is permanent and lasting damage to a business brand as it will be shared for years (as I am now!!).