Social Media for Big Businesses (GF302)
More and more big businesses are realizing what small businesses have known for a long time – they need to be personable with their clients if they expect to gain a loyal customer following. That is, engage them in continuous and meaningful dialogue. This requires using social media tools to create interest and encourage responses from clients while building lasting relationships with them. In an age where consumers have grown jaded and more skeptical about the world around them, businesses NEED to find ways to build trust with their audience.
1. Create blogs that are personable.
In recent years, the blogosphere has proven itself to be an ideal forum for getting the word out. Company blogs are the place for virtual focus groups, posting breaking news, and generating new ideas. Not only are they valuable from an SEO perspective, they’re the perfect platform for company employees to share industry knowledge. Creating a voice for your blog is essential. If you have knowledgeable employees who are passionate about their work and have a story to tell, leverage their skills and enthusiasm to create company blogs. Blogs should be written in a personable voice – like the way you’d carry on a friendly conversation with a co-worker. At the same time, they should be credible and relevant to your company’s industry.
2. Make your site interactive
Visitors stay on a site so long as it holds their interest. Paula Berg of Southwest Airlines offers some great tips on how to make a website more interesting. Paula recommends adding features like personalization options, reader polls, photo and video galleries, links to company communities, user login and profiles, a consumer-generated Flickr feed, video blog, sharing features, a news feed, podcasts, and rating opportunities. All of these features encourage interaction from site visitors. Interactive sites experience more visits, more individual page views, and more visitors who remain on the site longer. From a consumer perspective, site interactivity conveys an image of friendliness and openness – just the kind of company they’d feel comfortable doing business with.
Enable your site for customer commentary – it’s the best way to gauge public sentiment. Consumers are fed up with the communication barriers big businesses throw up in front of them. Restricting the communication link between you and your clients will not win your business points. Businesses that communicate with their customers openly are viewed as credible and trustworthy. Ignore people and they perceive you as untrustworthy and disinterested in their needs.
3. Be an active social media participant
The company blog may be your social media anchor, but it’s not the only place where customers can find you. They’re at other outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, and Twitter. If you’re going to cover your social bases, reach out to your customers wherever they’re most likely to be found. Social media outlets are also useful for promoting new product/service launches, branding campaigns, building a strong fan following, and receiving direct customer feedback.
From time to time, the names of big companies appear in the news headlines. The media sometimes gives them bad raps through accusations that may not be necessarily warranted. If you’re ever the target of bad publicity, you’ll be glad you have social media channels in place to defend your good name! Your social media outlets are where you can publically defend your actions and clearly state your position. There are many instances where companies saved their brand reputations by delivering publicity through their social channels.
- Your company blog is the epicenter of your social media communications. Create blog content that sounds conversational and is relevant to your audience. Build credibility and trust.
- An interactive website generates interest and allows customers to become engaged with your company.
- Broadcast your product/service via social media outlets you’re customers use. Establish a fan following.