Customer Relationships 2.0by Roxanne Tom
By Roxanne Tom (@roxanne_tom), class B01.
The ever changing social media landscape
Since its introduction, the internet has changed rapidly; it transformed from a once informational medium to one which is social, especially since the introduction of social media. With the opportunity for everybody to create content online, Web 2.0 was born.
This shift caused to change the way marketers use the internet; social media makes it easier to reach your audience, create brand awareness and enter conversations at real-time. One of the most important benefits of using social media as a marketer, is the possibility of building relationships with your consumers online.
So, why are online relationships so important?
As a marketer, it is important to build valuable relationships with your consumers, as it creates awareness and a positive attitude towards your brand. Online relationships with your consumers are just as important as the real relationships you build with them using other media. After all you are dealing with real people in both cases, and these real people can lead to real business.
Social media has changed the traditional way of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), transforming it to a process which evolves entirely around the consumer and interacting with them instead of to them. This new way, Social Customer Relationship Management (sCRM), is a true 2012 trend and growing as we speak. It allows the consumer to ‘prosume’ and send messages towards the company instead of just receiving. Consumers are heard through media they choose and at times at their convenience.
The true value of your company and its marketing efforts, is more than just the return on investment (ROI) you make. Ted Rubin (@TedRubin), a leading social marketing strategist, just launched his book Return on Relationship in which he describes that “ROI is just simple dollars and cents, but a return on relationship is the value that will accrue in time through connection, loyalty and sharing”.
The interesting concept of Return on Relationship, and what relationships can do for your brand, is visualized above in the infographic by @MillionYou. You need to get to know your consumers, contribute, help, engage and listen in order to build valuable relationships which will eventually lead to sales. Replying to your consumers in real-time, makes them feel appreciated and valued. Rubin himself has a great understanding of how to build a relationship through social media, as I even had a short exchange of tweets with him recently, after I had posted a link to one of his blogs on Twitter. This made me thrilled and excited, and this is exactly what you can accomplish among your consumers by interacting with them personally.
Social media marketing allows you to build valuable relationships with your consumers which will eventually pay off in brand loyalty. Building relationships and being social online also has a positive influence on your reputation. As researched by Forbes, senior marketing and communication executives believe that 52% of their company’s reputation can be attributed to their online presence and engagement. This number is expected to increase to a stunning 65% in only three years, making it the prime driver of your company’s reputation. Surprisingly enough, 85% considers their social media efforts not yet to be ‘world class’. Do you belong to this group? Keep reading.
Keeping it real is the key to success
Social media is a two-way tool, meaning that besides sending your message, you must also listen and respond to your consumer. Just like face-to-face conversations you have with your consumers, it is very important to be honest and authentic. This means that also negative comments, tweets and feedback must be addressed by your company and made public. Showing just the positive comments on your social media platform will damage the trust your consumers have in you.
Trust is considered to be the cornerstone of building a relationship through social media. The trustworthiness of your company, and your social media practices, depends on your perceived credibility, reliability, intimacy and self-orientation. The overall trust in you is highly dependent on your orientation: is it consumer driven, or do you place your own interests in the center of doing business? Needless to say, a consumer-oriented business is perceived to be more trustworthy. All your actions must show that you value the consumer, and put their interests at the first place.
Using social media to build a relationship, means that you have to be personal. Do not let your need to sell dominate the conversation but try to focus on engaging and listening to what your consumers want to tell you. This will eventually lead to much better results, as they feel that you are handling in the best interest of them, rather than oriented on your personal selling results.
Putting it all together
More than ever, social media platforms are the base of real-time conversations and interactivity, and you as a marketer should join in. This will help you to build a valuable relationship with your consumers, and appear more credible and trusted. Overall, the three main things to remember are: be trusted, sociable and authentic.
Invest some of your marketing time and budget in building relationships through social media, and it will give you loyal consumers and a stronger reputation in return.
Please do not take ‘building a relationship’ with your consumer too seriously, like this guy did.
If you liked this blogpost, I recommend you to read the following:
Ted Rubin on Mashable “How to Create Real Relationships With Social Marketing”
Marcus Sheridan on Social Media Examiner “19 Ways to Build Relationships With Blog Comments”
- Weinberg T. (2009), New Community Rules. O’Reilly Media Inc., Sebastopol, USA.
- Social Media Marketing Podcast, interview with Chris Brogan
- Ted Rubin, ‘Creating Relationships with Social Media Marketing’
- YouTube video, Ted Rubin: ‘Return on Relationship’
- Social Media Examiner, ‘How to Build Trust with Social Media’:
- Trusted Advisor, ‘Understanding the Trust Equation’
- Blog de Enrique Burgos ‘How CRM transformed to SCRM’
- Media Futurist, ‘Funny video on social media and viral marketing’
- Million You, ‘ROR Infographic’
- Chris Brogan “Are You a Trust Agent”
About Roxanne TomInternational Communication & Media student
- The world of Pinterest http://t.co/pRJK2rHP 02:55:49 AM January 11, 2013 from Google ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Swedish fashion brand Nelly on the social meter http://t.co/cStSiZZm 03:41:18 PM January 10, 2013 from Google ReplyRetweetFavorite
- The measuring of coca cola http://t.co/fQLchQqa 02:05:26 PM January 10, 2013 from Google ReplyRetweetFavorite
- Assignment 1 – Reading reflections (35)
- Assignment 2 – Reading reflections, again (32)
- Assignment 3 – Blogging and Social bookmarking (28)
- Assignment 4 – Twitter practices (34)
- Assignment 5 – Facebook and Pinterest practices (30)
- Assignment 6 – Analytics and measurement (31)
- General Info (54)
- Individual Assignment – Blog post contribution (80)