I have just read an article called Demystifying social media from McKinsey Quarterly. A really inspiring article that my professor Paul Cubbon in eMarketing told us about.
In the article they write about what they believe is the four primary functions of Social Media:
- Lead consumer behavior
A great summary, I would say. But what do they mean? I interpreted it as such monitor is about constantly look up what people are writing about your company, so you know what the customers are saying about you. Respond is about taking action on what is written about you. That means that you cannot take weekends of, but you have to monitor social medias all the time, since no response is quick enough. If someone is writing untrue things about your company and e.g. people start tweeting about it, then you have to discover it quickly to reduce the potential damage. Amplify is about making your customers more engaged, e.g. by competitions that makes people interact with you and with other people. Lead can be used proactively to lead consumers toward long-term behavioral changes. Maybe they are interested in buying from you but needs an incentive. If you give them a time limited offer and they go for it, if they like you they might turn into loyal customers.
To me as a customer, the amplifying part is the part I like the most, and events is the kind of marketing that makes me the most excited. To be invited to an event at Facebook that you think sounds really fun, attend to it and have a great time, to me that is the best kind of marketing. Nothing gets me more involved than that kind of marketing and I love inviting friends and buzzing about these events. It is marketing that makes brands come to life and be a part of your way of living. I can list many brands I have got a better attitude to, and actually consider using/buing or already have used/bought. I have also made a lot of new friends through these kind of events, friends from other cities that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. Guess if you get a super good attitude towards the brands sponsoring the events like “Red Bull Crashed Ice” or “Stadium Winter Jam” (Stadium is a big sports chain in Sweden) when you had so much fun with the brand and with other people that also like the brand!
The article summarize all with pushing on how important it is for senior managers to understand this impact social medias have on customers. Through social medias you can learn so much about your customers if you only know how to do it (knowledge that even can help you improve your product), and you can gain loads of new customers at the same time as you strengthen bonds with current customers.