We are currently witnessing societal and business change not seen since the industrial revolution. The combination of mobile phones, the internet and social channels are revolutionizing every aspect of our lives.
Within this brave new world where the customer is ‘front and centre and totally in control’ in terms of what and how they want to be engaged, we need to re-evaluate the traditional means of communication with current and potential customers when it comes to the online environment.
Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) businesses have the ability to combine social media engagement with customer relationship management. For savvy businesses looking to capitalise on the next stage in the social/ technology revolution, SCRM is the next frontier.
Presently there is a stampede of businesses jumping into social media via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc. Unfortunately there are very few businesses that really ‘get’ social media and the opportunities it provides. For those businesses that understand the opportunity, SCRM provides them with vehicle to locate and engage with their customers.
Gone are the days of trawling through business directories or purchasing email lists. Business can, for the first time, locate their target market in the numerous social channels, blogs and online communities.
There are a number of ways you can locate your target market and l am happy to supply these to readers who are interested in receiving this information. All you need to do is either shoot me a message via Twitter @thesocialtonic, Blog thesocialtonic.co or Linkedin: stephenbduggan.
Once you have found your customers, you need to interact with them on their terms not yours. This is the biggest mistake companies make when it comes to social media; they think they are still dealing with consumers like they did in the pre-internet days with a push strategy and the mentality of ‘everyone needs to know about our brand’ Put simply, a push strategy in the social/technology age will do far more damage to your brand than you could ever imagine.
As mentioned earlier in this article, the consumer is for the first time in control of what brands they engage with. People seek out brands they want to connect with, not because they have this need to feel connected with that brand, but because they are giving permission to a brand they want to engage with it at a number of levels. Companies that think their fans are joining their community because they have a desperate need to be connected to that brand are only interested in one way dialogue are delusional.
Remember who is in control in the social technology era; the customer has complete control and this control will only grow as the social technology revolution gathers pace. You need to understand what why your customer has given you permission to engage with them, not market to them. What tangible value do you provide your customer? What are your customer’s motivations in giving you permission to engage with them? What do they want out of this relationship? How can your brand deliver and satisfy their met and unmet needs? What value are you adding?
The social technology revolution provides organisations with unprecedented opportunity to get closer to their customers, which (if done correctly) can help facilitate increased revenue, cost of sales reduction and internal cost efficiencies.
Companies that want to fully capitalise on the potential of social media, need to design experiences around adding and delivering tangible value in the eyes of their target market in return for their customers’ time, engagement, endorsement, feedback and data.
Stephen has in excess of 20 years senior marketing and communication experience, having worked for top 100 Multinational's as well as medium size and Greenfield startup businesses. His industry experience covers a broad range of industries from FMCG, Pharmaceuticals, Education, Banking, Health and Beauty as well as the Travel and Hospitality Industries.
Latest posts by Stephen Duggan (see all)
- Implementing a Social Media Policy - November 12, 2013
- A Brave New World – Social Customer Relationship Management - February 12, 2013