If there was ever any doubt, the question is settled: sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn have changed the face of business forever. The ability to connect with customers on an individual basis, to answer questions in real-time, and to provide a meaningful forum for brand interaction has made social media a staple for any truly comprehensive marketing strategy. But it isn’t all rose petals and sunshine. Operating social media venues requires time, talent, and strategy. Here are a few approaches industries are taking today.
Banking – Many banks today are slow in developing social media—and with good reason. Considering the negative attention the industry has received in recent years, it’s quite a chore policing message boards and walls for offensive and possibly damaging content. It’s important for banks to take the reins of new media now, however, rather than later—such as in the case of U.S. Bank and the group U.S. Bank Sucks, a Facebook group for sternly-stated complaints.
Amusement Parks – Although more of a niche industry, amusement parks are fertile ground for customrs to talk to each other and discuss favorite rides, memories, and stories. This is evidenced alone by Disney’s Facebook presence of over 22 million fans. Mascots are big business, too—before Shamu’s Feb. 2010 attack, her tweets were reaching over 10,000. After social media publicized the attack, however, Seaworld suspended the program.
Retail Establishments – Though the potential is there, many retail establishments are struggling to find a role for social media on their own. The reason they give is that there’s a large difference between a shopping experience—what customers encounter when they enter a real-world store—and a buying experience, which includes online sales. Staples and Bloomingdales are two heavy hitters in this field, accumulating millions of followers by actively searching out customer questions and providing helpful answers on Facebook and Twitter.
Signing off for now,