2. Build a Community

By Betsy Sigman Print this article Print

Companies that want to enhance their brands and strengthen customer relationships must become adept in social media.

2.     Build a community to communicate with customers and improve service.

Social media services inform customers of news and information regarding company initiatives and products. In Facebook’s words, “Build a community around your company.”  From receiving instant feedback on proposed changes and products to conducting market research on consumer preferences, social media provide a channel for timely responses, which conveys integrity and loyalty.

Use social media for customer service to help get your customers’ questions answered quickly and automatically. For example, when a person tweets about a concern, a company can have prepared answers sent out automatically by a computer program called an intelligent agent, which recognizes word phrases that indicate a particular concern. This can create a good customer relationship. 

3.     Create viral videosand engage with consumers to promote new products and brands.

One of the best ways to promote a brand is to create a promotional video. Burger King was one of the first companies to use viral videos in 2005 to promote its TenderCrisp chicken sandwich. The company created a video of a man directing a large chicken to act out his orders and demands.

The message was that this sandwich would provide chicken according to a customer’s specific liking. The viral video inspired a Website at which consumers could control a chicken’s movement. The site became so popular that Burger King improved it, enabling the chicken to respond to more than 300 commands. 

In another case, Ford recently discovered that its orange puppet “Doug” and his viral videos helped market the company’s Focus car. Ford didn’t skimp on the production of its Doug videos and hired writers from The Simpsons and The Office to produce the clips. Once the videos went viral, the amount of attention the clips received negated the production costs, and the overall campaign was less expensive than TV advertisements.

4.     Distribute promotions through social media channels.

Web discounts and promotions, many of which are accessible through mobile phones, can be used to lead organizations’ promotional efforts. Social media support distribution of deals and coupons.  Furthermore, location services enable social media Websites like Foursquare to target promotions to people based on their proximity to restaurants, bars, stores and services. 

This article was originally published on 2012-03-09
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