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Feeling Connected in this thing called the Web

January 5, 2011

Why is it that Social Marketing is becoming so important for organizations?  Why do organizations and corporations have to think about viral marketing?  What are blogs and why are they so important to my brand identity?  These questions and many more are facing corporations everyday.  In a blink of an eye, people went from receiving mailers about products and services, to email, to online websites, to now a richly social environment.  So what does this mean to large organizations and how should they prepare for this next step?  Well, strategy and understanding is always the first place to start.

Many organizations are fearful of these “social” tactics.  Could they impact the brand of the company?  How does it work? I think today, more than ever Social Marketing needs to be part of the overall strategy for organizations.  Goldman Sachs recently invested 450 million dollars in Facebook.  It is high-time that we all realized that Facebook and other social media outlets are not a fade and should be embraced instead of ignored.   It is a different tactic and should be thought about in a different light.  This is a very involved medium.  There is no pushing a button and not getting a response.  In the strategy that organizations build, you must think about the customer in every step.  This is a critical piece the entire equation.  Social Marketing is about just that, being social.  It is about having two-way conversations with customers, giving them the opportunity to learn about your products and services in a very informative but approachable way. Social marketing should be looked at as a huge opportunity for organizations to really get to know their customers.  To learn from each other and to share with one another during many stages of the product life cycle.

In addition to Facebook, there are many other options that are very useful investments for organizations.  One thing that I think not enough organizations are doing is Blogging.  Blogging is doing exactly what you see right in front of you… It’s a written piece, a perspective, a thought from an organization.  I like the way Google handles their corporate blog.  It shares updates from a product perspective, but it also has a “voice” to the piece.  It allows users to interact at a different level and they can comment and like the articles.  Again, it’s about the two-way communication.  In addition I believe that Microsoft does another good job of creating Mavens within the company.  Like most companies, I am sure there is someone or several people who are “experts”.  They can also be a voice of expertise for the company.  It provides an intimate way for customers to access some of these thought leaders that I am sure in every organization.  These people are important and should be used to increase your coverage, thus increase your brand.

All of these tactics and several more are easy to implement and important for the next generation of tactics.  All of these things help consumers feel connected to their brands and companies of choice.  It appeals to them because they feel as if they have a voice in their transformation of products and the growth of the organization moving forward.  Customer-centric organizations are implementing these tactics and many more, because they know that their customer are going to guide their product development and go to market strategies for years to come.  Helping customers and organizations be connected is what Social Marketing brings to the table.

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