Humanizing Your Brand: Bringing the Social Back to Social Media

Tony Hseih has become the face of Zappos through Twitter and social media.

In this ultra-competitive business environment, it’s easy to get caught up in the social media marketing race going on between companies. But the businesses having the most success are those that are getting to know their customers in very personal, unique ways. We’re not talking about those brands that are pretending to connect with customers; this is about those having actual one-on-one conversations.

Bringing Social Back: An Example

Recently we heard about a woman who purchased a can of soda. As soon as she had finished pouring the drink into a glass, she heard rattling inside of the can. When she tipped the can upside down, she was shocked to see a piece of rusted metal fall out. She immediately went on Facebook and Twitter with her complaints. Within seconds of her tweet going public, the soda company had issued a personal apology, made a phone call and responded to her email.

Obviously, one can argue that the soda company moved at lightspeed to deal with a negative issue. What about the positive ones? Many times we have heard of companies like Zappos replying to posted Facebook messages from customers, asking about their families or even their pets.

Yet personalization can go far beyond a Facebook wall.

How To Bring Social Back With Your Company

Here are a few things that your social media marketing campaign should be doing to ensure client success:

  • Listen to your audience – Be open to your audience’s suggestions and comments on social networking, and listen as if they were right in front of you.
  • Talk, but get your audience to talk back – When you reply, don’t make it all about the fact that you’ve replied; engage the customer in conversation. Mention specific details about what they wrote and call back some of their points into the mix so that they understand this is truly not a one-sided conversation. One way to put this into practice is with a Twitter Q-and-A session. You can set one up and announce it on your Facebook page.
  • Recognize the audience for sharing – Tweet something nice about the person you’ve been talking to via social media. Acknowledge the fact that they shared something about the company, and thank them.

It’s the little things in your social media marketing campaign that can produce big results for your company. Personal conversations with your customers – putting the social back in social media – will ensure that your brand is well represented online, and that positive energy is sure to go viral.

(Photo courtesy of Brian Solis.)

Posted on May 3, 2011 in Featured, Front Page, Uncategorized

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