Managing Social Media: Not Just a Waste of Time – Why It Really Matters for your Brand

 Repost of Accelerate Marketing’s  post on Excell Puget Sound (http://excellpugetsound NULL.blogspot NULL.com/2012/04/managing-social-media-not-just-waste-of NULL.html),  May 28, 2012
The precipitous rise of social media and its idol worship status in the press has led CEOs and other executives to wonder whether social media really justifies the investment of time and corporate resources to support it. After all who really cares that in the last 30 days the number one topic trending on Twitter was “Happy Easter”?! (Yes, that was the top trending topic as I was writing this blog.)
But what gets lost in all the frenzy about social media is that this is just another means of communication. Social media content is just information and opinions shared online with others, in many cases people they don’t know and have never met. Online opinions and social media statements about your brand probably already exist today. Comments can be made about your company, its products/services and your customer service by current, prospective and former customers, and even employees (and former employees) at any time. This information is your corporate “digital brand tattoo” that influences what everyone believes about you and your products.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (www.womma.org (http://www NULL.womma NULL.org/)) will tell you that consumers’ purchase decisions are driven by:
  • 54% Word of Mouth
  •  47 % information from a Web site
  •  42% email sent by a friend
  •  31% online review
Online reviews can be positive, raving about a great product and brand they love, or negative, blasting poor customer service. Regardless of the perspective, almost half (49%) of Americans believe online “word of mouth” or reviewer information to be highly credible, and are increasingly searching for and using that information when making purchase decisions. While 66% of individuals’ brand-related conversations are “mostly positive,” 8% of individuals’ brand-related conversations are “mostly negative.” Can you afford to ignore this online information and not manage what is being shared about your brand?
(Research source: http://womma.org/word/2011/10/16/infographic-the-word-and-the-world-of-customers/ (http://womma NULL.org/word/2011/10/16/infographic-the-word-and-the-world-of-customers/))
Learn what is being said in social media by setting up online alerts for your company and product names to track when they appear. If a negative comment appears step in, fix the problem and placate the negative opinion (potentially getting an updated positive response) or at least do damage control before it spreads and hurts your brand. Then when you are ready expand your efforts across online forums and social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Yelp among others to proactively engage with your customers. You’ll increase your number of online fans and the word will get out. See you online!

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