Monthly Archives: July 2012
There’s a classic chicken and egg conundrum happening here. Do people who already buy from a company tend to interact with them more on social networks, or do people who ‘like’ brands on social networks then go on to buy more of those brands?
Without extensive lab-based research we’ll probably never know the answer as it’s nigh on impossible to track real-life behaviours before a qualifying event occurs. So, for now, let’s take the following data with a pinch of salt.
According to a study by ExactTarget, 32% of people claim to be more likely to buy from a company after following them on Twitter. A ‘Like’ on a company page on Facebook makes 24% of people more likely to buy from that company, while email is a slightly less potent sales magnet with only 21% claiming it has the power to influence their buying habits:
And, as the chart above shows, the likelihood to recommend a company also rises after someone opts in to emails or becomes a fan or a follower.
Whether this is a forming or a latent effect we can’t really say, but the evidence is compelling: those who engage with brands through email and social networks are some of the most valuable customers any business can have. Treat them with the love and respect they deserve.
Twisted Twee is that rarest of online things: a delightful shopping experience. We’ve been fans of their esoteric designs for some time, but their email shot yesterday made us love them just a little bit more.
Like all great marketing, this really doesn’t need a lot of introduction. Take a widely held consumer insight (most of us are really bad at wrapping gifts), spin it on its head (what if the store wrapped things really badly?), and use the attention this attracts to drive home a core part of your value proposition (we always gift wrap your purchases nicely without charge).
Delightful and remarkable! Exactly the sort of creativity that makes the social web go round. Nice one Twisted Twee!
[click image to enlarge]
That’s why almost every business has a responsibility to invest in staying on top of the conversations that are happening around them, and monitoring them in real-time wherever practicable. I met one business recently where the marketing director proudly showed me the daily report he receives detailing all social media conversations of interest to his firm. Sounds good, I thought, until I realised that each day’s report would arrive the day after the conversations had taken place! Reading yesterday’s news today might have served us well during the newspaper era, but today’s consumers expect real-time, up-to-the-minute information and responses.
Simply put, if a customer asks a question or (heaven forbid) voices a complaint about your product/service, you owe it to them to respond within the shortest time possible, preferably measured in minutes, not hours. This ‘nipping in the bud’ mentality needs to pervade every customer-facing part of your organisation. Waiting until you receive the daily report the next morning is increasingly unacceptable and likely will come to be viewed as a denigration of responsibility as the speed of our interactions accelerates further.
But there’s more. You also need to have the ability to respond to people through their chosen channels, even if only to make initial contact so you can continue the conversation in private. You might think that your telephone and email support lines are all you need, but in truth you really ought to be present in all the places, online and offline, that your customers and partners frequent. And the best time to get the channels up and running is now, not tomorrow, or when a business crisis is underway.
This is a very different business world to the one you may have grown used to. Welcome to the real-time world.
Smart businesses run by smart people get it. They know that learning to be great at using social media channels is the key to their near-term (and possibly long term) success. They’ve long since figured out that the societal changes hastened by the rapid, widespread adoption of online communication platforms have ushered in an urgent need for organisations to embrace a new generation of business communication and collaboration styles.
Yet so many other organisations still haven’t got it. Or perhaps, rather, they don’t want to get it. These changes are profound, complex and irreversible. It takes a brave business leader to face up to changes of this magnitude. Surely it would be easier to keep our heads firmly in the sand and hope this whole thing blows over? Few executives ever expected to tackle radical organisational change during their brief term in office; surely these tough issues would be better handled by their successors?
But this denial is no longer viable. It hasn’t been viable for most organisations for several years, but I firmly believe we’ve now passed the stage where any organisation can credibly afford to continue to ignore the changes that social media has brought.
Social media is firmly established as the most prominent business communication tool. While it remains confusing and fast-changing, the new behaviours it has taught us are already firmly entrenched in our daily lives. Social media has changed vast swathes of the general public who have adopted it and quickly learned to love it. Isn’t it time your business learned to love it to?
Here at Wild Orange Media, we’re always exploring new ways to do things better, faster and smarter. That’s why we’ve decided to put the blogging platform on our Wild Orange Media site (which, by the way, is hosted on Squarespace.com) to the test.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting new blog posts both to our current WordPress blog at http://www.allisterfrost.com and to our new test blog at http://www.wildorangemedia.com/blog. This will allow us to compare the two platforms, listen to your feedback on these changes and evaluate the best solution for the long term.
Please let us know what you make of all this!
There’s rarely any need for guesswork these days. If you’re writing marketing or sales copy and wondering what’s the best phrase to use, you would be well-advised to consult ‘The Internet’. Free search marketing tools like Google Adwords can give you great insights into the relative appeal of different terms, even highlighting how their usage differs by geography. And simple social web analytics can also give you invaluable clues about the words people use most often, allowing you to mirror their behaviour and capture their attention.
For example, if you were writing about fizzy drinks, how does your audience refer to these products? Talking about pop or soda might work, but which is best? This simple study from Edwin Chen sheds some light on the answer. There are vast geographical differences across the globe, as well as within regions in culturally diverse countries like the USA and UK, Interesting stuff.
It’s just one example of how mass market intelligence can be used to improve your results. Read Edwin’s report to learn more and let me know what you’re doing to be just as smart.