Social media goes further than marketing

It’s been over a year since our last blog post.  And we’re supposed to preach the virtues of social marketing… Slapped wrists all round!

This got me thinking, why have we been so disgracefully slack?  The answer’s not great, it’s because we haven’t needed to attract any new business.  We’ve been busy boys and girls, so haven’t bothered to keep our social channels up-to-date.  For shame.

So why the flurry of activity now?  Is it because we need more business? Nope.  It’s because social media is about more than drumming up business; it’s also our voice, personality and face.  We’re currently the weirdo standing at the back of the party not talking to anyone, and that’s never a good look.

I’ve had a few run-ins recently that have reminded me of the importance of keeping up with communication through social channels, some good and some bad.

First, an example of the bad.  I’ve recently had an issue with Jawbone (which I won’t bore you with), which brought their social channels to my attention.  Jawbone use their social channels as a broadcast medium, not as an engagement channel.  This post is pretty demonstrative.  There are two themes running through this post (1) build quality and (2) lack of Android support which tend to highjack any post they make, so that the exciting news that they’re broadcasting turns into a sea of negativity.  Jawbone’s mistake is that they never engage with the conversation.  They never reclaim the dialogue and address their customers’ concerns, which compounds their frustration.  I speak from experience

An example of a business that has it’s share of negative sentiment on its social channels, but who handle it in a better way, is Ninja Blocks.  They’ve had a lot of grief about the stability of their platform and their supply chain, but they have engaged with their customers honestly and in a way that does their brand justice.  Here’s a great example; a forum thread that started off entirely negatively but has been turned around, eventually generating praise for the team.

Here’s a counterexample from the Jawbone forum, anger caused by the original problem is hugely compounded by the lack of response from Jawbone itself.

And then there are those that really get it right.  Master of Malt‘s dedicated customer service twitter account is bang-on; it is owned by the operations manager herself, which shows that they take customer relations extremely seriously and provides a common voice to the account, and all comments and questions are responded to quickly, honestly and helpfully.  A great example right here.

Likewise, the main Master of Malt twitter account is owned by a single person (the Sales Director), and is used as a communication channel, rather that a broadcast marketing channel.

MoM have found that putting the integrity of the brand first, and talking with people, rather than talking at them, has driven a significant direct revenue.  It’s also earned MoM credibility, and the ability to use the channel to promote products and services in the course of conversation.  It doesn’t feel seedy or overly salesy, it just becomes a natural part of the conversation.

Speaking of earning credibility, I would normally close by saying that we can help you to manage your social media channels, but I think we’ve got some work to do there first…  Watch this space.

–Edit 11th Mar

badmanJust spotted this – just perfect.  Well done @ArgosHelpers